People love the summer season because it’s the perfect time to vacation to exotic beaches for swimming and of course, sunbathing. Out with the blankets, sweaters, and knee-high boots and in with the bikinis and flip flops. However, this means spending long hours in the sun. All this exposure should definitely be a concern and with good reason too. So if you would like to know how to safely get a healthy tan, below are a few tips for you.
1. Prep your skin before you tan
Before going for a tan, it is a good idea to exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, dirt, and oils. This helps the tan last longer. You can either use store-bought exfoliating cream or make your own d-i-y scrub mix using sugar, coconut oil, and oatmeal. To achieve sufficient exfoliation, use an exfoliating glove or a loofah in addition to the cream or homemade scrub.
2. Load up on foods that contain lycopene
Lycopene is the body’s Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Remember your skin is the largest organ in the body and adding lycopene-rich foods to your diet can boost sun protection a whole lot. Examples of such foods are tomatoes, papaya, watermelon to mention but a few. According to dermatologists, the antioxidant polyphenol can help with achieving a naturally great tan too and sources include green tea, dark chocolate, and black chokeberries.
3. Use sunscreen always
When choosing a sunscreen lookout for higher (SPF) numbers. This prolongs the time you can spend in the sun without getting sunburnt. A high SPF such as SPF 30 to 50, means more ultraviolet B “burning rays” protection although it says nothing about ultraviolet A protection, according to the American Cancer Society. Be sure to apply the sunscreen in generous amounts 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours of exposure.
4. Include oils that contain natural SPF
Coconut oil can help you tan. On its own, it doesn’t offer full sun protection but it keeps your skin hydrated while bathing in the sun. Coconut oil has an SPF of 4 and protects the skin by 75%.
5. Know the safe tanning time
Don’t stay under the sun longer than required for your body to produce melanin, which is responsible for skin tanning. So it is unhealthy to lay on the beach all day. The strength of the sun is more between noon and 4pm, so if you are fair-skinned, it is better to avoid these times to avoid getting sunburnt.
6. Avoid tanning beds
They produce huge amounts of ultraviolet A which unfortunately penetrates deep into the thickest layer of the skin causing premature aging and can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer.
7. Don’t skimp on drinking water
Keep in mind that tanning can cause dehydration. This leaves your skin looking parched and dry. You need to hydrate by drinking water to achieve that sun-kissed glow.
8. Cover your eyes and count to 3 (pun intended)
No, we are not playing peek-a-boo here but it is important to protect the delicate skin around the eyes and the eyes itself by wearing sunglasses. If not protected properly can lead to cataract formation or worse even, eye cancer.
Achieving a healthy tan would be one produced by the tanning process without the skin getting hurt. So follow the tips listed above and enjoy your summer.