The summer is almost here, and holidays and vacations await many a person. Tanning can be a dangerous business, and if you want to avoid sunburns or more serious complications – such as skin cancer – you’d better try preparing your skin for sun exposure. It’s not that difficult, and can make tanning sessions safer and more effective.
A new swimsuit is already waiting to be tested, a new hat is hung on the wall to remind you of the coming vacation, and it seems like you’ve prepared well. Yet you probably forgot to prepare you skin!
Simply applying a sunscreen lotion won’t do, as far as safety is concerned. There are other things you should take into account when setting out to get that tan you want. However, if it’s the quality of tanning that you are worried about, you might want to take even more measures to ensure your skin becomes bronze the proper way.
Tip #1. Exfoliation matters
A healthy skin regimen includes exfoliation, even if it is winter. Removing dead cells from the outer skin layer can help achieve an even skin tone, get rid of acne, and unclog pores by removing oil and small particles. You can use an exfoliating glove and a scrub. Choose one to your liking: it is recommended to use scrubs that contain coarse particles that are able to buff off dead skin cells without staying on the skin and irritating it, for example, sugar, salt or even oatmeal. Such an approach can make your tan last longer. Besides, when the time comes for the tan to disappear, it will do it evenly, without leaving any white spots scattered over your bronze skin.
Tip #2. Remove Hair Properly
It may be a good idea to keep the skin, from which you have recently removed hair, away from direct sunlight for at least a couple of days. Let it recover before you expose it to water or the sun, regardless of what hair-removal process there was. If you do not have time to remove hair in advance, apply an oil-free sunscreen to the skin, let it dry on its own, and use baby powder that does not contain talc. You can also use after-waxing products containing salicylic acids, which help prevent ingrown hair. Remember to wear comfortable clothing that does not prevent air from reaching your skin.
Tip #3. Wear a hat and sunglasses
The skin around the eyes is sensitive to ultraviolet. To protect it, wear a hat and sunglasses. If you fail to keep your eyes away from direct sunlight, it can result in such eye diseases as eye cancer, age-related macular degeneration, and cataract. Choose eyeglasses that have a large frame, like the ones that protect the eyes from rays coming from different angles. Look for labels that state the glasses can provide proper UV absorption, i.e. up to 400 nanometers. Wear sunglasses whenever you are outdoors, but make sure you don’t fall asleep wearing them, otherwise you run the risk of looking like an inverted picture of a raccoon.
Tip #4. Wear a sunscreen
Choosing a good sunscreen can be a challenge. There are the so-called broad-spectrum sunscreens, which protect against UVA and UVB, but there is no classification that would enable us to determine what level of protection a particular product provides. It is recommended that one applies a sunscreen with high SPF numbers – while they do not protect against UVA, they can provide UVB protection. You can tan with sunscreen applied to your skin, and by doing so you can reduce the risk of getting skin diseases, among which is melanoma. The amount of sunscreen that should be applied for it to have the effect is 2 mg per square centimeter.
Tip #5. Don’t overexpose the skin to sunlight
Tanning gradually can help you avoid sunburns. Spend an hour under the sun every day to get enough vitamin D. It is of utmost importance to choose the right time of the day to expose your skin to sunlight. UV is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so try not to sunbathe during these hours. Early mornings and evenings are a much better option.