Tanning outside is a common way to get that quick, summer glow. By tanning outside, the ultraviolet rays from the sun help to darken your skin. Tanning of all sorts - including outdoors and in tanning beds - has its risks. To get a tan, there are precautions you should take before stepping out into the sun. Even if you are spending just 30 minutes in the sun, you need to take precautions.
Be aware of the risks of tanning. There is no such thing as safe tanning. You can take precautions, but you cannot completely eliminate the risks associated with exposure to ultraviolet rays. Tanning can lead to premature wrinkles, skin damage, painful sun burns and skin cancer.
Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. If you plan on tanning in a pool, while playing sports or if you sweat a lot, use a waterproof sunscreen. Sunscreen loses its effectiveness after 80 minutes. For a 30-minute tanning session you will only need to apply sunscreen once.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV damage.
Get a tan. You can tan by laying poolside, on your patio or at the beach. You can also develop a tan by playing sports or performing yard work.
Dress carefully. Thirty minutes of exposure to the sun will leave you with tan lines. Dress accordingly. If you are completing yard work and do not want to develop a so-called farmer's tan, wear a sleeveless shirt or tube top if you are a female and no shirt if you are a guy.
Use lotion. Following 30 minutes, apply aloe or a moisturizing lotion to your skin. This can help prevent your skin from drying out.
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Michelle Zehr started writing professionally in 2009. She has written on health, fitness, fashion, interior design, home decorating,sports and finance for several websites. Zehr possesses a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in professional writing from Chatham University and a graduate certificate in health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.