The Ultimate Guide To A Perfect Tan

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  • You’ve had skin cancer – If you’ve ever had skin cancer or had a biopsy reveal precancerous cells, sunbathing is out of the question for you. You’re at an extremely increased risk of recurrence and should use high SPF sunscreen every time you head outdoors.
  • You take medications that cause photosensitivity – Many prescriptions, over the counter medications, and herbal remedies increase your sensitivity to the sun and can cause severe burning. Check all labels on your medications, and be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure. Birth control, blood pressure medications, ibuprofen, and many common cold and allergy medications fall into this category, so you’ve got to check every single thing you take.
  • You’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant – There is mounting evidence that increased body temperature may cause harm to fetuses, and can potentially cause miscarriage. If you’re pregnant or think that you might be, play it safe and stay out of the sun until your baby is born.
  • You have severe health complications – Certain health complications may put you at increased risk of heat stroke and other medical issues from overheating. If you currently have any serious medical conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor about the potential risks before deciding to sunbathe.

3. Common Tanning Myths and Mistakes to Avoid

  • I have to burn before I tan” – No, you don’t. A lot of people with fair skin believe this old myth because they spend too long in the sun during the early stages of the tanning process, and they were too impatient to do it correctly. The truth is that your burn might fade to a tan, but it actually slows down the tanning process, as your skin has to heal before you should sunbathe again, and it causes peeling, which strips away color.
  • Once you’ve got a tan, you can’t get burned – There is a kernel of truth in the center of this lie. The more tanned you are, the longer it will take for you to burn, but you can still get burned. Don’t get fooled into believing that just because you’ve established a base tan you can spend as long as you want in the sun without burning. You’ll end up paying a painful price.
  • You have to sunbathe every day for the best results – Not only is this false, it can cause unnecessary damage, and even potentially slow down the tanning process. Your skin needs time to recover in between tanning sessions. While you’re establishing your tan, it is recommended that you sunbathe every other day. Once you’ve reached the color you desire, you can decrease your tanning sessions to a few times a week.

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