We all want that summer glow and bronzed look, especially as we get ready to sport flattering plus size bathing suits while we lounge by the pool or hang out at the beach with friends. However, that effortless glow and tan may come at a cost with high risks. It’s no surprise that while time outdoors and in the sun can be beneficial for people in terms of delivering the ever-so-important Vitamin D, sun exposure can also be dangerous and cause serious injury.
So, while you may just be lying outside hoping to catch a few extra rays, you may be causing more harm than good and, chances are, you may not see the damaging effects right away or even the next day.
One of the dangers of prolonged sun exposure — the kind you get from lying outside and tanning — is skin cancer caused by UV rays. And it’s one of the most common and dangerous forms of cancer today. Even if your skin doesn’t burn and you tan easily, you and your skin are still at risk.
While it may seem that your summer tanning plans and sun-kissed skin goals are ruined, we have some good news: You can still get an effortlessly beautiful tan that looks great in your fun beach outfits while being safe and reducing your exposure to harmful rays. And we are going to show you just how you can go about getting that tan in the safest ways possible.
What Is the Safest Way to Tan?
If you’re looking for a way to tan that eliminates any risk associated with sun exposure, the safest method is to use sunless tanning or self-tanning products. These products will give your skin a bronzed look instantly or gradually over time without having to step a foot outside.
There are many kinds of sunless tanning products like lotions, sprays, gels, foams and more, which means you can easily find a product that fits seamlessly into your routine which will look natural on your skin’s unique texture.
You may be wondering if there are any drawbacks to sunless tanning products like these, and the answer is: yes. Unfortunately, while these products will give you a tan, they will not protect your skin from sun exposure — and neither will a “base tan,” which is a common misconception. Even if you have a faux glow, you will still need to SPF up — experts recommend SPF 30 or higher.
Another potential drawback is the inconsistency in color and texture that these tans could show through on your skin. Some products may come through as being too dark, orange or even muddy while others could give you a subtle glow. It all depends on the product, and it may take some getting used to and experimenting. Regardless, this is the only way to get a full tan without damaging your skin.
How Can I Tan Safely in the Sun?
Unfortunately, there are no ways to tan safely in the sun. However, there are some measures you can take to limit your risk and exposure to harmful rays. If you apply these approaches to your next outing, you could greatly reduce your risks of getting sun damage while also being able to get a little bit of color.
#1. Get to Know Your Skin’s Limits
If you insist on tanning, it’s critical for you to understand how your skin responds to prolonged sun exposure. Do you burn easily or do you bronze? Knowing when your skin has had too much sun could save you from getting burned, which doubles your risk of getting skin cancer.
#2. Lather On the SPF
If you are planning on getting some sun, make sure you lather up your entire body with at least SPF 30. You will also need to make sure that you are reapplying sunscreen throughout the day. Check the bottle of the sunscreen you are using to determine how long you will need to reapply it. While SPF blocks the sun’s harmful rays from penetrating your skin, you will still get a bronzed look over a longer period if you use sunscreen.
#3. Limit Prolonged Exposure on One Side of Your Body
If you want to tan your legs, so you lie out in the sun for two hours, you are obviously going to damage your skin. You can mitigate this by frequently changing the position you’re lying or sitting in so that all parts of your body are getting equal amounts of sun while also limiting prolonged exposure to a certain area.
#4. Wear Protective Clothing
When you are sunbathing, it’s important to know your limits. If you know for a fact that you start to burn after 15 minutes in the sun, you will need to stop your exposure a little bit before that, as the sun can still be harmful even before you burn. If your shoulders are the first to burn in the sun, pack cute tunic tops that you can throw on to protect your most sensitive areas from burning.
#5. Pack Protective Accessories
Your face can be very sensitive to the sun — especially if you have an extensive skin care routine, as many ingredients can make your skin even more prone to sun damage and burn. To protect your face, wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats if you are planning on tanning or spending time in the sun. This will also help you slow any premature aging that the sun could cause.
When it comes to the sun, we advise to play it as safe as possible and go for a sunless tanning glow while also continuing to lather on the sunscreen! But if you must tan, do it safely with these tips!