When the summer comes around, most of us want beautiful, radiantly bronze skin that will linger into the cooler months. Unfortunately, tanning can do a significant amount of damage to your skin, leading to short-term discomfort like burns and dryness, long-term degeneration due to premature aging, and even life-threatening conditions like skin cancer. Tambi Renee founded Body Glo Mobile Airbrush Tanning to give those who want that bronzed look an alternative to tanning beds or lying out on the beach. Here, Tambi Renee offers some of her tips on how to avoid beach tanning, and how to tan safely if you do decide to lay out in the sun.
Avoid Beach and Bed Tanning
Regardless of how careful you are, UV rays will damage your skin if you spend a significant amount of time out in the sun. While you can cut down on exposure with safer tanning practices, beach and bed tanning will never be as safe as airbrush tanning. “Home tanning” has gotten a bad reputation with good reason, as the results are often streaky, uneven, and unnatural-looking. Professional airbrush tanning, on the other hand, offers completely different results, allowing you to look like you just returned from a tropical vacation – without all of the accompanying damage to your skin cells.
Practice General Skin Wellness
If you do decide to tan with UV rays, start off by keeping your skin healthy in general, which will help it repair itself faster if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Moisturize and exfoliate regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy foods to help maintain your skin’s natural oils and protect it against the elements.
Plan Your Tan
Spend time outside during the times of day when the sun isn’t at its absolute strongest. In general, avoid extended periods of sunning between 10am and 4pm. Not only will your skin thank you for it, but you may also be able to avoid some of the beach rush that often leads to crowding and traffic.
Protect Your Eyes, Face, and Lips
Invest in a good pair of UV-blocking sunglasses, as well as a broad-brimmed hat to keep the sun off of your face and neck. UV rays can easily damage your eyes, leading to pain and eventual vision loss, meaning that safe tanning isn’t just about your skin. While you may not think to put sunscreen on your lips, remember that the skin on your lips can burn and become damaged too, so use a high-SPF lip balm whenever you leave the house.
Stick to the Shade
A beach umbrella just might be your best friend. A large umbrella can help shield you from the sun’s rays, allowing you to enjoy the beach and still soak up some sun without being in the sun’s direct line of fire. Beach pavilions and shady areas can serve the same purpose if you don’t feel like lugging around a beach umbrella.
Wear High-SPF Sunscreen
Even with super high-SPF sunscreen, you will still tan. Avoid tanning oils at all cost and, instead, go for waterproof sunscreens that are chemical-free and easy on the skin. Do your first application 30 minutes before you arrive at the beach, not after you get there. Make sure to reapply the sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’ve been swimming or sweating.
Limit Your Exposure
Just a short amount of time outside will cause you to tan, so avoid spending all day outside if you can. Frequent, extended exposure to the sun will only heighten your chances of developing skin problems like premature aging and cancer.
Take Care of Your Skin Afterwards
After you leave the beach, moisturize and apply an after-skin product, such as aloe vera, to cool your skin and help rejuvenate it. Your skin will likely have some healing to do and these additional nutrients and moisturizers can help bring it back to full health as soon as possible.
Seek Out Alternatives
In the end, it’s impossible to have a “safe tan.” While you can make your tanning practices safer, any exposure to UV rays puts you at risk for developing skin illnesses and may cause your skin to look worse rather than more vibrant over time. If at all possible, avoid tanning in the sun and seek out an alternative like airbrush tanning instead.
Tambi Renee founded Body Glo Mobile Airbrush Tanning to give those who want that bronzed look an alternative to tanning beds or lying out on the beach. She offers some of her tips on how to avoid beach tanning, and how to tan safely if you do decide to lay out in the sun.