How to get the best sun tan safely

Sunbathing can make you look and feel great. That healthy-looking glow boosts confidence while vitamin D exposure lifts the mood. Yet, if not done with care, sun exposure can cause sunburn, wrinkles, brown spots and maybe worse. Try these tips to get a great summer tan without the sun damage.

How to get the best sun tan safely

[Photo Credit: iStock.com/Maridav]

Start with sunscreen

We all know that we should never sit in the sun without sunscreen, but it’s often one of the first steps we skip when going for that golden glow. However, using an SPF 30 or higher enables your skin to tolerate the sun longer, and produce a tan slowly. Slap on your first layer of sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, reapply every two hours and after swimming. Use at least 30 grams of sunscreen (about the size of a pair of dice in your palm) to get good coverage. Be sure to protect ears, chest, back of the neck and hands and add a swipe of SPF-containing lip balm, too. It’s best to use a separate product formulated for the face that won’t clog pores.

Remember, even if you don’t see a sunburn the sun is still damaging your skin. Limit daily exposure to about an hour and avoid the time when the sun’s rays are strongest – noon to 3 p.m.

Try a self-tanner

Our wish list for the perfect self-tanning product is long. It has to look natural, not orange. It should smell like summer, not some strange chemical. It should dry instantly and never transfer to clothing or bed sheets. And it has to be easy to apply. Are we looking for a unicorn?

At-home tanning products come in a wide variety of shades to complement all skin tones and different formulas including mists, lotions, creams and mousses. Application methods vary from rubbing in with your hands or a special tanning mitt to spraying or wiping on with cloth applicators.

Read a selection of online reviews before buying a self-tanner for user recommendations and tips for applying self-tanner. If in doubt, visit a tanning salon for an all-over spray tan that will be sure to cover hard to reach places like your back.

Get a quick fix with makeup

If you’re after a fast, and temporary, tan makeup is your best bet. Bronzing powder or creams give a sun-kissed glow when applied to the cheeks, forehead and nose — where the sun naturally hits the face. Choose from shimmer or matte finish, depending on your mood.

A variety of bronzing lotions are also available for the body, and some are even waterproof making them perfect for your next pool party or beach day. Body makeup has the added perk of covering up skin imperfections, creating an airbrushed look.

Keep hydrated – inside and out

The drying effects of the sun, wind and water can wreak havoc on even the healthiest skin. Don’t be afraid to double up on hydration by applying moisturizer and adding an after-sun lotion to your skincare routine. Look for skin nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, vitamins E and A, cocoa and shea butter and cucumber extract. Gentle exfoliation once a week removes dead skin cells and gives moisturizers maximum skin-quenching power.

Keep your after-sun cream in the fridge for added soothing of over-heated summer skin. Skip hot baths that can strip the skin’s natural oils in favour of cool showers (with a moisturizing shower cream or oil) to prevent peeling. And always drink plenty of water for plump, smooth skin.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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