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Summer means plenty of sunshine and nothing beats that natural golden glow everyone is dreaming of getting on their vacation. Whether you lay on the beach or your backyard, outdoor sunbathing is not risk-free and you need to know how to protect yourself when you stay under the sun with your skin exposed. Follow these 10 sunbathing tips to avoid sunburn and keep your skin fresh and healthy this season.
Using the right sunscreen is essential for keeping your skin protected. Try using sunscreen labeled as “broad spectrum” with sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 at least. These are strong enough to protect you from UVA and UVB rays, but not so strong that you won’t get a tan at all. If you have extremely fair skin, get some recommendations in your local drugstore. The lighter the skin, the higher SPF you should use.
Extra Tip: Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun, so that you allow it to absorb properly.
Some oils like coconut, avocado, or carrot contain naturally occurring SPF, which can boost your SPF protection and keep your skin hydrated. Be sure not to use these as a replacement for your sunscreen, though.
Change the position every 10-15 minutes. This way you avoid burning one part of your body and get an even tan on both sides sooner.
To get a healthy and glowing tan, do not overexpose your skin to UV rays. Divide your time under the sun evenly and tan in small doses (ideally within 30 minutes on each side of your body). In summer, UV strength is the strongest (and the most dangerous) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and sunbathing during this period of the day is not recommended.
To achieve a healthy tan, don’t forget to protect your face. The skin around your eyes is super-sensitive to UV rays. Wear a hat and protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses. However, make sure you won’t fall asleep with your sunglasses on because your tan might quickly get from perfect beauty to summer disaster.
Hydration is everything. And no... Margarita doesn’t count. When you prep for the beach, don’t forget to pack some fresh water.
If you decide to stay on the sun for a longer, remember to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours or after you go into the water. Even though many sunscreens are water-resistant, your body needs a regular dose for even protection.
If you want to boost your skin’s ability to tan, we recommend you eat sun-friendly foods that contain lycopene - an antioxidant that helps you to protect the skin against UV rays and boost your sun protection by an amazing 33%. Some of the best sources (according to a small 2011 study) are tomato, orange, watermelon, and vegetables.
Tanning beds are still a BIG NO! No matter you read in any advertisement, tanning beds and booths don’t count as a legit sunbathing. Indoor tanning exposes your body to high levels of UVA rays and may result in rapid skin aging and increase your risk of skin cancer by 75%.
If you want to keep your perfect tan longer you also need to take care of your skin after the sunbathing. Remember to shower off the remaining sunscreen and sea salt after you come home from the beach. Use hydrating body lotion and apply calming natural oils that will help your skin to recover faster.