Summer means lying out by the water with a cool beverage in hand without a worry in the world. Before you get your summer bronze on, keep these safe tanning tips in mind.
1) Sunscreen- The sun is powerful and you can still get a fantastic tan while wearing sunscreen. Choose a lower spf, such as 15, if you have a darker complexion and a much higher spf if you are a bit fairer. You want the tan not the burn. There are two types of sunscreen on the market; chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen uses a blend of synthetics to absorb UVA and UVB rays before they can burn your skin. Physical sunscreen uses natural ingredients and minerals (such as zinc oxide) to reflect rays as they hit your skin. Try a physical sunscreen if you have sensitive or eczema prone skin.
2) Sun Burns- Sunburns damage your skin over time. Yes, they may hurt and blister the day after you get them but the true damage can show up years later. Skin cancer risks increase exponentially based on how many severe sunburns you get throughout your life. Know that your chest, nose, back and shoulders burn more easily so be sure to cover them with sunscreen or clothing. Keep an eye out for suspicious moles on the body parts you know you have burned badly. Tanning and sunburns can also cause premature skin aging along with wrinkles and sagging. Always apply a high spf to the delicate skin on your face. Remember, you can always fake a tan with bronzer or self-tanner. If you do get a sunburn apply aloe vera mixed with lavender essential oil to the burn. This all natural remedy reduces inflammation and redness and it soothes the skin. For particularly painful burns, use a tea tree oil compress and apply it directly to the burned skin to soak the pain away. Just add a few drops to a wet washcloth or basin. Essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties will boost recovery time and help prevent any scarring caused by blisters or peeling.
3) Tanning beds- Tanning beds use high dosages of UVA rays to tan the skin faster than lying out in the sun. Tanning beds emit 10-15 times the UVA rays than that of the midday sun. Avoid tanning beds since overexposure can cause serious damage to your skin.
4) Spray tans- Of all the tanning options available getting a spray tan is by far the safest. It requires zero sun, which means there is no chance of UVA or UVB rays damaging your precious skin cells. New technology and formulas for spray tan now allow for at home or “in spa” application and when done correctly spray tans can look just as natural as a traditional sun tan.
To have that worry-free summer in the sun, when you go outside always apply a sunscreen, even one with a low spf. These are commonly found in most face creams and lotions in addition to good old suntan lotion. The Vitamin D the sun gives can be nourishing but too much time in the sun may result in a nasty burn. And to practice good skin health, be sure to visit a dermatologist once a year for a skin cancer check and report any suspicious looking moles as soon as you spot them. This summer we all want a little color so limit the amount of time you spend in the sun and mix up your tanning regimen. There are so many great options available.