Most people look great with a bit of color, and showing off a golden tan can be a wonderful boost to our self-esteem, but tanning naturally takes careful preparation. With UV damage being a leading source of ageing and skin cancer, tanning safely is essential. Follow these steps to achieve a natural tan effectively but, most importantly, carefully this summer.
Make sure your skin is hydrated
Before you head outside into the sunshine, make sure you hydrate your skin. Skin that is well moisturized will tan easier than dry skin. To prepare your skin for tanning, you should first exfoliate your whole body to remove any dead epidermal cells and then moisturize. Try to use a lotion that includes sodium PCA, a natural component of human skin that conditions the epidermis and helps keep it healthy. It will also attract moisture from the air to keep the skin hydrated for longer.
Protect from burns
We all know that a nasty sunburn will eventually turn into a heavy tan, but not only is taking this tanning approach dangerous, it doesn’t offer a long-lasting and consistent all over glow. To achieve a healthy tan that’s even, always use a good sunscreen to avoid burning at all. It’s not true that you can’t tan whilst wearing SPF lotion. Check that the SPF rating is correct for your skin, if you have light skin you’ll need a higher SPF factor than those who already have a dark tan. Don’t forget to use a waterproof cream if you’ll be taking to the sea or swimming pool in between sunbathing sessions.
Dress for tan success
Alongside flaking sun burn, tan lines are another huge no-no of tanning. Think carefully about your swimwear before you head out tanning, what sort of tan lines will this be providing? A simple 2 piece bikini is best for matching coverage of your underwear although if possible put on plenty of sunscreen and go nude! No tan lines guaranteed.
If you want that gorgeous all-over bronze, forget lying on your back or front all day. You need to keep moving to get a complete tan and actually just relaxing is not the best way to soak up the sunshine. Try sporting activities like volleyball, swimming, walks or beach football to really get the blood pumping and encourage melanin production. You’ll find that tanning is a lot more fun this way too.
Look after yourself
Tanning in sweltering heats can be hard work! If you’re really dedicated to hours of sunshine make sure you look after yourself so you can last as long as possible. This means protecting your eyes with sunglasses, considering a hat to keep your body temperature down and making sure you eat and drink plenty – you don’t want to faint the next time you get up, a tan is really not worth the risk of sunstroke.
Aftercare for your skin
The perfect natural tan takes a little care away from the beach too. Make sure you use a good aloe- based skin lotion which will soothe and hydrate your skin post-tan and help keep your skin healthy.