Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How To Be Smart While Sun Tanning

This might be a little controversial seeing as everyone and their dog's are out there advocating self-tanning by the use of sprays and lotions, but I'm definitely someone who is a not a fan of that. So today I really would like to share some tips on how to be smart while tanning naturally because no amount of convincing will get me to switch over to other forms, but it never hurts to do it safely. You really don't find too much information about this out there without some shaming into using sunscreen or the likes so I'm here to share a few things that I've picked up through the years.

Number one rule is really establishing that base tan! Paler winter skin will be much more sensitive to the UV rays that cause burns and damage. I've done this many times at the first sign of warmth I will just lay out for hours and then regret it for weeks afterwards. When you are first getting back into the tanning groove, lay out for no more than 10 minutes per side (front, back). This is enough sun exposure to get a hint of color, while also letting it adjust to being back in the sun.

With that being said, even after you're a tanning veteran limit your time in sun to just one hour (30 minutes on each side). That is enough time for you to get some color, but not long enough for the damage and burns to set deep into your skin.

The sun is strongest and most harmful at the peak hours of 10am - 4pm so avoid laying out right into the middle of that time. Instead aim for the first or last hour (or outside of that window altogether) to limit contact with the stronger rays.

So I already stated early I'm not a huge fan of sunscreen but I will say that a dab in certain places is absolutely necessary. My nose always gets sunscreen, along with the backs of my knee and crook of the elbow because the skin in those areas are extra sensitive to sun and if you've ever gotten a burn in those areas, you understand the extreme pain that any type of movement causes.

Finally my last few tips are for the after sun care. If you're risking it all for a natural tan there are a few steps you can take to prolong the precious color that you build up to. Moisturize all over with a thick lotion when you're out of the sun. This will help refresh your skin after it's been baking and drying in the sun. A tan is the change in coloration of the top layer of dead skin cells so doing this will also help keep those cells intact for longer. Next wait a good 2-3 hours before stepping in the shower and avoid using any type of exfoliating body wash or loofahs, which again, will increase the shedding rate of your newly tanned cells. This is starting to sound weird and lizardy to me.

Tanning out in the sun is fine in moderation and just be smart about it! Of course the number one tip is to stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water before, during and after!

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