While many people advocate that there is no such thing as a perfect tan, we all want it – the perfect tan – that bronzed, sun-kissed look that radiates from your skin, leaving you looking fabulous. However more often than not, we end up going about it in the wrong way, wanting results too quickly and burning and damaging our skin in the process. There are ways to get a great tan without burning your skin – it just takes a bit of time, patience and some common sense.
The first thing to remember is that a good tan doesn’t happen overnight – trying to get a tan quickly leads to burning of the skin and this is to be avoided at all costs. Not only is it unsightly and very painful, but extremely dangerous and can have devastating long-term effects, such as skin cancer.
1. Always use sun protection- The myth that sun protection stops you from tanning is just that – a myth. Sun protection prevents you from burning, which is exactly what you are looking for. By protecting your skin from burning, you are giving it a better chance of producing melanin, which is the the pigment produced by your skin that gives it a tanned colour. So slather on that sun protection at intervals throughout the day, especially if you are in and out of the water, as it tends to wash and prevent your skin from being burnt.
2. Take it slow- Build up your tan gradually, this way you will develop a smooth, overall tan without burning. While it is advisable to not spend time in the sun every day, time your exposure – spend no more than 15-20 minutes in the sun every day or 2-3 minutes on a sunbed if you are using a salon to build your tan. Monitor your skin regularly to make sure you are not burning and as soon as you start to feel your skin burning, get out of the sun immediately. It is also very important to let your skin rest after being in the sun, as the melamine in skin cells take time to develop and a break from the sun will enhance the development of your tan.
3. Hydrate and Moisturize- It is vital that you drink plenty of water whilst you are in the sun, as you will lose moisture continuously throughout the day. Hydrating yourself and your skin not only prevents dehydration, which is uncomfortable and can be dangerous, it also helps with the regeneration of new skin cells and extends the life of your tan. Always use a good moisturizer once out of the sun, as this replenishes the skin’s moisture and helps skin regrowth.
Of course, the best way to get a great tan without the worry of burning or long-term effects such as skin cancer is to avoid the sun altogether and simply use a tanning lotion or self-tan spray. Find a good product that is easy to apply and get that sun-kissed bronzed look without damaging your skin.