It is widely known that too much exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can increase your risk of skin cancer and cause premature signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. That being said, some sun is good for you, providing essential nutrients such as vitamin D. You can take several measures to get a safer, healthier tan. Sun burns are caused from overexposure, are extremely painful and can cause permanent skin damage. The quickest way to get a tan without burning is to lay out in the sun in increments and use the proper products to protect your skin.
Exfoliate before exposing your skin to the sun. Exfoliating sloughs off any dead skin cells that have built up on your skin’s surface, leaving it soft and smooth. Removing this layer will also help you get tan faster, as the sun’s rays do not have to go through an extra layer of dead skin. Exfoliating also helps reduce peeling after tanning.
Use a tanning accelerator. Tanning accelerators react with your skin to increase melanin production; melanin is what makes your skin tan after sun exposure. After exfoliating, apply a tanning accelerator to all areas you intend to expose. You should apply tanning accelerators three to four hours before going out in the sun.
Combine a sunless tan with natural sun for a darker tan in less time. If you want to save your skin some sun damage while darkening your tan, try using a sunless tanner while getting natural sun exposure. Apply a self tanner the night before going out in the sun to start off with a healthy, radiant glow.
Begin with a high SPF. SPF is essential in protecting your skin from the sun, even when you want to get tan. Start by using an SPF of at least 30 to prevent your skin from burning before you have a base tan. After you have developed some color, try going down to SPF 15. It is important to reapply SPF regularly throughout the day and after swimming or sweating.
Move up to tanning oil with SPF after you have a base tan. Once you have established a solid base tan and are less worried about burning, you may want to try switching to a tanning oil. Tanning oils are now made with SPF, so you can protect your skin from sun damage while lying out in the sun.
Apply a tan extender each night after sun exposure to keep your tan longer.
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Sophie Southern has been a freelance writer since 2004. Her writing has been featured in "JPG" magazine and on Zlio.com. Southern holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from the School of Visual Arts.