7 tricks and tips for a sexy, safe tan
How to enhance and prolong your tan without damaging your skin
While we typically like to fake (not bake) our tans, there are plenty of reasons why we love the sun. It boosts levels of serotonin (nature’s own Valium, proven to alleviate stress. Not only that but it creates vitamin D which is not bad for bones, teeth and skin. But to avoid premature ageing and skin cancer hazards you have to take care for a safe, sun-kissed glow.
1. Consistently avert sunbeds
Don’t fall for the myth peddled by some salons that they can give you a ‘healthy’ suntan with a sunbed. “It’s the incorrect UV – tanning beds pump out huge amounts of UVA and practically no UVB (which stimulates vitamin D), and can increase your risk of skin cancer by 75%” says Dr Nick Lowe.
2. Apply the right sunblock
Go for SPF30 over SPF50. “It filters 97% of UVB rays, while SPF50 filters 98%. The latter can be chalky you may not reapply it every two hours like you should and can give a false sense of security. If you have really dark skin (south Indian or black), SPF15 is adequate.
3. Understand your tanning time
Your skin reaches a tanning cutoff point when it can’t generate any more melanin, the tanning pigment, so it is pointless to hang by the pool all day. “Everyone has their own melanin cut-off, generally two to three hours or much less if you’ve got fair skin” Dr Nick Lowe. After this you are simply subjecting your skin to the risk of UV damage.
4. Seek some shade
5. Swap ‘tan-accelerating’ creams for nutritional supplements
Skin cancer authority Dr Marko Lens says ‘tan-accelerating’ creme are BS. But taking a day-to-day 25g beta- caretone supplement can. It doesn’t mean you need less sunblock, but it boosts skin’s natural defence against UV by improving its ability to tan.”
Try Imedeen Tan Optimizer pills which prepare the skin for the sun and shield cells from UV induced oxidative stress using a duo of antioxidants.
6. Eat sun-favorable foods
Certain foods are known to raise lycopene, the skin’s own SPF. An antioxidant found in tomatoes, and other red and orange fruit and veg, it can foster your sun protection by a whopping 33%. One of the finest sources is tomato paste –
Dermatologist Dr Samantha Bunting says “I am a big fan of a group of antioxidants called polyphenols. Green tea is a great example. (Fish, rich in omega-3 has anti inflammatory powers also).
While caffeine is believed to help cut your skin cancer risk dark chocolate is packaged with flavonoids that can help protect against sunburn. “It is best taken in an espresso shot right before you hit the beach” she says.
7. Big bikini reveal treat yourself
Remember that fake suntan offers no sun protection, but it can help by still the first day soft panic on vacation you stop burning. Before the big bikini reveal treat yourself to a spray tan, or find the best one to use at home with our round up of the finest fake tans.