The Ultimate Guide To A Perfect Tan

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  • Wearing sunscreen while you tan doesn’t make any sense – It might seem counterintuitive to wear sunblock when you’re trying to get a tan, but it’s actually an important part of the process. While it is true that wearing a high SPF sunscreen will prevent tanning, a low SPF of 10 or 15 will allow you to tan without burning. It will give your skin time to adjust to sun exposure while you’re melanin production is ramping up.
  • It’s best to sun tan during the sun’s peak hours – The sun’s peak hours vary slightly depending upon your location and the time of year. You should become acquainted with the peak hours where you are, and avoid sunbathing during this time. Some people mistakenly believe that because the sun is the most intense during this time, it’s the best time to tan. The truth is that it makes you more prone to burning, even if you already have a tan, increases your risk of developing skin cancer, and you’re more likely to have unpleasant, and potentially dangerous, symptoms of overexposure. Sunbathing while it is sunny, but not during the most intense hours, is a much safer and pleasant way to get a tan.
  • You don’t have to wear sunglasses as long as you keep your eyes closed while you’re lying on your back – This is one of the most dangerous and common sun tanning myths out there. Many people think of sunglasses as a fashion statement, not protective gear, but they serve a purpose far more important than making you look like a movie star. They protect your eyes from UV damage that can lead to all sorts of eye problems, including the development of cataracts, and visual disturbances like night blindness, becoming color blind, and in the most extreme cases, complete blindness. Your eyelids only block a small fraction of the UV rays you’re exposed to. The skin is thin, nearly transparent on some people, and closing your eyes is absolutely not a replacement for the protection offered by sunglasses. If you’re worried about the lines caused from wearing sunglasses, remember that it’s a very small price to pay compared to irreversible sight damage. You can minimize lines by choosing shades that are smaller, and you can always use bronzers and other cosmetics to help minimize the contrast.
  • Tanning oils are a waste of money – While tanning lotions and oils are not totally necessary, they’re certainly beneficial. The ingredients in these products are specially formulated to help your skin stay hydrated and healthy while you sun tan. Your hydrated skin will be primed to absorb the sun’s rays, helping you to tan more quickly. Many of these products also contain accelerators that encourage your skin’s melanin production when you’re exposed to the sun, which means you’ll obtain color at a much faster rate than you would without them.

4. A Step by Step Process for Building the Perfect Tan

  • Shower, shave, and exfoliate before you sunbathe – Clean, smooth skin is the perfect clean slate for establishing a beautiful tan. It will help ensure an even color, and will allow your skin to absorb tanning oils and moisturizers, both of which will help you tan.
  • Wear SPF 10-15 sunscreen the first few times you tan – An SPF this low will not keep you from tanning, but it can help prevent painful burns. This will help you establish a base tan without turning into a lobster. Once your skin starts to get tan, you can stop using sunscreen and switch to tanning lotion.
  • Slather on a high quality tanning oil or lotion an hour or two before you go outside – Once you’ve established a base tan you can ditch the SPF sunscreen and switch to a high quality tanning oil or lotion. These products serve two purposes, they keep your skin hydrated while you sunbathe, and they accelerate the tanning process.
  • Start slowly and work your way up – Take your skin tone and propensity to burn into consideration when you choose how long to sunbathe. If you have fair skin, your first session should be under ten minutes. If you have an olive complexion, you can start with fifteen minutes. If you burn, decrease the time by half for your next session. If you don’t notice any difference in color, you can increase your time by five minutes. Five minute incremental increases are the best way to go until you discover your optimum sunbathing time.

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