If you can't tan it, tone it: Tips to Achieving that Perfect Spring Break Tan

Mental preparation is desperately needed. Dead Week. Finals. Spring Break. It’s all moving so fast. It’s time to buckle down and finish the last of the quarter on a good note. Once the long nights of studying in the library and last minute cramming for those exams are over, we can all finally enjoy a break filled with much excitement and relaxation —hopefully the majority of it spent in a bikini. But before the fun can begin, a tan is essential for impressing those Spring Break hotties. Might as well use this nice weather and studying time to multitask and achieve that perfect tan.

Here are some tips to help:

Hydrate your skin

It is very important to keep your skin hydrated if you want to maintain your tan. You can do this in several ways: exfoliate, drink lots of water and use lotion after sun exposure. Drinking water can help extend the time of your tan, while lotion can help you tan faster and darker because it releases melanin in your skin. Exfoliating your skin with a “loofah” or exfoliating soap will help scrub off any dead skin, which will also help you tan easier.

Use Sunscreen

It may seem like a good idea to opt out on sunscreen, but sunscreen is vital to avoid sunburns or other risks. Choose the SPF depending on your skin type. You can still be a bronzed beauty and be protected as well. If you’re feeling on the wild side, maybe try a lower SPF.

Start Slow

The trick to getting a natural looking tan that will last is to gradually spend more time out in the sun each day. If you start out spending too much time in the sun you will burn, rather than tan. Instead, set a timer for about 20 minutes and then continue increasing time throughout the week. Remember that it can take up to a few days to see the full results of your tanning session.

If all else fails, fake it

Even though natural is better, spray tans are always an option. You can do it yourself by taking a trip to the local CVS or Rite Aid and purchasing a self-tanner. If you’re willing to spend more money, you can leave it to the professionals and go to a tanning salon. The downside to spray tans is that they can be chemical rich, but you can avoid this by trying to get an organic spray tan.  Planet Beach is one salon in San Luis Obispo that offers this organic spray tan option!

Taking all this into consideration, it’s time to get outside and start working on that tan. Remember that everyone has different skin types, so if you are prone to burning, don’t risk it, wear sunscreen! Most importantly, enjoy that fun in the sun.

This article was contributed by Julia Tettamanzi.