Hot days, cool nights are my kind of summer. With the sun beaming, and the warmth on my skin – this is the prime season for sporting the perfect summer glow. But before slipping into your bikini and sunbathing, follow these five tips for a healthy, safe summer tan.
Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliation is the primer for achieving the best possible tan outdoors. Its purpose is to remove the dead skin cells from the uppermost layer of the skin, allowing for fresh skin to resurface. In the process of removing dead skin cells, you naturally even your skin tone, remove impurities such as dirt and oil within pores, and prevent acne. This step preps your skin for a clean slate to tan without any buildup.
Product Recommendation: Trader Joe’s Lavender Sea Salt Body Scrub is my weekly indulgence, and perfect for a pre-tan exfoliation. Recreate a luxury spa experience right at home at an affordable $6 price point, and leave your skin feeling moisturized and impeccably soft. Exfoliate the night before, and hydrate to lock in moisture.
Moisturize and Quench Your Skin
Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize! Tanning on dry, flaky skin is pointless. If your skin isn’t moisturized, it will be harder to develop a tan and maintain it. If you’re asking why… this is because our skin naturally flakes off. If you’re tanning with dry skin, your tan will more likely flake off with the skin, resulting in an uneven tan. Moisturize the night before you tan, ideally after exfoliation, and again, after you go tanning.
Product Recommendation: My favorite body cream to use as a moisturizer is Bath & Body Works Aromotherapy Eucalyptus Basil Body Cream. Perfect for post-exfoliation, this ultra-rich, ultra-pampering body cream deeply nourishes your skin with protective 24-hour moisturize. Bonus? Its aromatherapy blend of essential oils soothes mind, body and mood, promoting stress relief for a night’s beauty rest for the day to come.
For pre-sunscreen and post-tanning moisturizer, I recommend Our Shea-Bar’s Sapphire Whipped Shea Butter Infused with Coconut Oil. This made-to-order shea butter mix has essential oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and peppermint oil. Packed with Vitamin E, coconut oil repairs wear and tear of skin, and its anti-aging properties is rich in proteins. Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, olive oil acts as a moisturizer for dry skin, regenerating skin tissues and cell degeneration. Commonly used as massage oils for the skin, peppermint oil aids in reducing skin irritations and skin brightness. Together, these essential oils hydrates and locks in moisture lost in the tanning process.
Unlike common misconceptions, the perfect sun-kissed glow can still be achieved with sunscreen. Sun protection factor, otherwise known as SPF, helps extend the time of sun exposure without suffering additional skin damage. Remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go in the sun, and reapply 1 1/2 – 2 hours after you have been exposed to the sun. Use at least SFF 30, and for sensitive and fair skin, consider SPF 50.
Product Recommendation: Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector™ Water-Light Lotion For Face & Body is a dream. With SPF 30, this sunscreen transforms to a unique, water-like texture on skin with antioxidant Vitamin E to protect the skin. Fragrance-free and paraben-free, this is ideal for sensitive skin!
The secret to a healthy, summer glow is gradual, never overexposed. A whole day under the sun may give you a tan look, but leave you with a sunburn and skin dehydration. Dividing your time under the sun evenly reduces overexposure and sunburn, allowing your skin to achieve a glowing tan in small doses.
Wear Your Shades and Top It Off
Accessories are your best friend. Summer must-haves for safe tanning are shades and a hat. The skin around your eyes are delicate to UV rays, and the best protection for your eyes are sunglasses that are labeled “UV absorption up to 400nm” or “Meets ANSI UV Requirements.” These labels indicate protection from 99 percent of UV rays. Just remember, don’t fall asleep with them on and top off with a hat for additional protection!
Enjoy a fabulous weekend in the sun this summer with these five safe summer tanning tips, and you will be well on your way to the perfect sun-kissed look. Consider tanning between 11am and 3pm, and always moisturize your skin before and after to lock hydration. Cheers!