Most people enjoy the way their skin looks with a good tan. However, prolonged exposure to the sun features various risks, from sunburn and premature aging to skin cancer. Even when you are wearing sunscreen, outdoor sunbathing is not 100% risk-free.
The good news, however, is that it is possible to get that radiant, bronzed look without dealing with health complications. All you need to know is how to tan safely. In this guide, we will show you the best way to tan.
10 Tips on How to Tan Safely
1. Avoid Sunbeds
In addition to exposing you to extreme UV rays, tanning beds usually radiate the wrong type of Ultraviolet light. Most tanning beds pump out a large amount of UVA and virtually zero UVB. They can increase skin cancer risk by up to 75%.
Additionally, the UVA produced by tanning beds increases the rate at which your skin ages. You end up getting rough and raggedy-looking skin while you are still young.
The best way to tan safely is via the good, old fashioned sunshine. Unlike tanning beds, natural sun rays contain UVB which gives you a boost in vitamin D.
2. Wear the Right Sunscreen
The key to achieving a healthy glow is finding a safe balance between sun protection and sun exposure. While you can ditch your sun protective clothing when tanning, it is unwise to ditch your SPF. If you walk into the sun wearing virtually zero protection, you will end up damaging your skin. Keep in mind that skin damage can happen even when tanning through the clouds.
A carefully selected sunscreen will help you achieve a gentle and gradual glow. It is generally a good idea to go for SPF30 over SPF50.
SPF30 filters 97% of UVB rays while SPF50 filters 98%. SPF50 tends to give a false sense of security – it can be so chalky that most people ignore reapplying it every 2 hours as they should. For people with very dark skin, SPF15 may be sufficient.
3. Start with a Fake Tan
It is not uncommon for new beachgoers to be worried about looking too pale on their first days at the beach. This often causes them to over-expose themselves to the sun to get the tan as quickly as possible – this puts you at the risk of developing skin problems. Starting with a fake tan is generally a better option.
Start a week ahead by gradually applying tanning lotion or tanning oil every 2 to 3 days. Keep in mind that you will still have to wear sunscreen when heading out to the beach.
4. Your Sunbathing Should be Carefully Timed
To bronze instead of burn, you need to know how to tan safely by ensuring that your sunbathing timing is ideal. Doctors recommend avoiding sunbathing between 10 am and 4 pm, even when it is cloudy outside.
The sun’s rays are generally extremely intense during these times which means the risk of skin damage is higher. If you have to be at the beach between 10 am and 4 pm, be sure to stay in the shade.
Exposing yourself progressively is another key to getting a deep and long-lasting tan. If you expose yourself to the sun for hours the first time you head to the beach, you will most likely end up with a sunburn and your skin will peel. To tan fair skin without burning, try to expose yourself progressively by taking numerous short sessions. Slowly increase the time you spend in the sun per session.
Everyone reaches a melanin plateau. This is the point where the skin is not going to get any tanner and prolonged exposure to the sun will only cause sunburn. For most people, the limit is approximately 2 to 3 hours, and if you are especially very light-skinned, your limit might be lower.
Before you head out to get the suntan on, exfoliating your skin is a good idea. Exfoliating will help you remove dead skin cells from the uppermost skin layer. This will allow fresh skin to appear while evening out the skin tone, removing dirt and oil that clogs the pores and preventing acne.
The lesser the buildup of dead cells on your skin, the shallower the skin layer will be. This makes the natural tan last for a longer period. Getting rid of the dead cells also makes tanning easier since the tan appears and fades evenly.
If you do not have a body scrub, you can make your own at home. You will simply need sugar, oatmeal, and salt. Use this mixture with an exfoliating glove or a loofah pad before grabbing your beach chair and heading outside.
6. Change the Position Often
The best way to tan involves turning often. Maintaining the same position makes it impossible for you to have an even overall tan.
Ideally, you should lay on your back for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. After, turn on your beach blanket and lay on your stomach for another 20 to 30 minutes.
When turning around, do not forget your arms need to move around too. For example, when you are tanning your front, be sure to have both arms up. When you turn on your stomach, keep the arms out as well.
7. Eat Sun-Friendly Foods
When learning how to tan safely, one thing that most people forget is that their diet is an important part of the tanning process. Certain foods are known to help with increasing lycopene, the skin’s own Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Some antioxidants usually present in tomatoes can increase your skin’s sun protection by over 33%.
Carrots are known to encourage melanin production by stimulating the melanocytes – these are the cells responsible for melanin production. The production is, however, activated via exposure to the sun. Since carrots, like tomatoes, increase protection against harmful sun rays, they make tanning much safer. As an added advantage, carrots give their users a better skin tone.
Strawberries, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, and other foods rich in Vitamin C are great when it comes to maintaining that perfect tan you get at the beach. This is because Vitamin C helps slow down the free radicals that often cause premature skin aging.
Omega-3 fatty acids – usually present in nuts and oily fish – are also an ideal meal for those trying to tan. The fatty acids improve the elasticity of skin cell membranes and also balance the hormones responsible for hydration and fat deposits in the dermis. This makes it possible for you to achieve an even tan.
Dark Chocolate features flavonoids that can help protect your skin against sunburn. Caffeine is thought to help with reducing skin cancer – taking an espresso shot right before heading to the beach is generally a good idea.
Do not forget to drink a lot of water. Your skin must stay hydrated throughout the tanning period.
8. Cover Up
Ensuring that your skin is always protected is the only way to tan safely. If you have to be out during the hottest parts of the day, covering up can serve as an added protection. UV protective clothing has a lot of benefits to offer.
Wear a wide-breamed sun hat to protect your face. Ensure that your scalp, nose, forehead, eyes, and ears are all properly covered.
If you do not have a wide-breamed hat, a good alternative would be a shade cap. Since the shade caps have some fabric that drapes down to the back and the sides, they feature protection for the neck as well.
Polarized sunglasses capable of protecting you against the UVB and UVA rays are a good idea too. Keep in mind that the skin around the eyes, including the eyes themselves, are extremely delicate to the UV rays. If you fail to protect this skin properly, you may end up with eye diseases, including eye cancer, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.
It is also a good idea to wear clothes that cover up the arms and legs. Also, consider covering up the chest and the back. These are usually the areas that most beachgoers over-expose to UV rays. They are also the most common places for melanoma to form.
9. Nurture Your Skin with Quality Skin Care Products
Safe suntanning is not just about what you do in the sun. It is also about how you take care of your skin daily. Hence, nurturing your skin with the best skin care products can help you achieve a good tan more quickly.
Some natural oils can help you achieve a deeper tan while ensuring that your skin is protected. The best oils to use when tanning include coconut oil, hazelnut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil.
These oils are capable of helping you get a golden glow while improving your skin’s elasticity and keeping the skin moisturized. Some natural oils – for example, olive oil – contain vitamin E that helps heal any skin damage quickly.
Be sure to use glycerin while sunbathing. Glycerin draws water up from the deeper skin layers, giving you a soft and supper feel. Lavender water helps soothe the redness that can result from spending time in the sun.
When choosing your skincare products, be sure to avoid synthetic fragrances and other chemicals that will only dry your skin. In addition to irritating your skin, these products will increase the risk of skin damage.
10. Shower and Moisturize After Sitting in the Sun
Taking a shower or a bath, either cold or hot, is always a good idea after spending time at the beach. This will help you remove the salt, oils, and sand from the skin, leaving it looking silky.
After showering, be sure to moisturize. If you forget to moisturize, your bronze may become irregular and patchy. To overcome any chance of burning, you can use a cooling cream. Alternatively, consider using an Aloe Vera lotion – this will be both calm and soothing to the skin.
Q: Is It Possible to Tan Safely?
Anyone can tan safely. What you will need to do is focus on maintaining a proper balance between sun exposure and protection against harmful rays. Be sure to wear sunscreen, avoid being in the sun when the sun rays are most intense (between 10 am and 4 pm), and use a hat and sunglasses to further protect your eyes and face. Eating sun-friendly foods can help increase skin protection against the sun, minimizing the possibility of getting sunburns.
Q: What Is the Healthiest Way to Get A Tan?
The best way to tan is via natural sunbathing. While tanning beds are often advertised as being ideal for tanning, they are not. They usually deliver high doses of the dangerous UVA rays and zero UVB – this can increase sin cancer risk by up to 75%. By exposing yourself to healthy doses of natural sun rays, you should be able to get a good tan without developing skin problems.
Q: Is There A Way to Tan Without Damaging Skin?
Yes, you can tan without damaging your skin. You will need to ensure you are wearing the right sun protection on your skin and you are out when the rays are less intense. Be sure to limit your sessions in the sun to an average of 2 to 3 hours. Most people reach a melanin production plateau after 3 hours – staying outside for more than 3 hours will only cause skin damage.
Globo Surf Overview
While you may enjoy relaxing in the sun and the look of your tanned skin, you have to keep in mind that sun rays do feature various health risks. The best way to tan involves taking precautions to avoid health risks while getting a good tan.
In this article, we have shown you how to tan safely. The key takeaway from the tips outlined above is that you have to protect your skin every time you are outside. Hence, never forget to apply sunscreen and to only be out when the sun rays are not too intense.