With summer and sunny days around, we’re all tempted to spend some time outside in the sun. Sunshine is good for mental health and gives us the chance to get a nice tan.
However, tanning without any sun protection can be very dangerous for the skin. It is vital to take precautions and know how to prepare your skin for the sun.
What’s happening when you tan?
Tanning is actually a defensive reaction of the skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. To prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating our skin, it produces melanin, a pigment whose function is to absorb the sun’s UV rays. It’s this melanin that makes our skin tan.
Some skins have more melanins than others and are therefore more or less sensitive to the sun. However, no matter your skin colour, you need to prepare your skin for the sun and wear SPF, don’t take any risks! Without protection, the sun can cause skin cancer, sunburns, premature skin ageing etc.
Here are the important steps to prepare your skin for sun exposure.
Keep in mind that your skin regenerates itself every 21 to 28 days, and exfoliating helps you to get rid of dead skin, and helps blood circulation. Tanning on healthy skin allows the tan to stay longer and fade less quickly.
Exfoliating will also help you to get an even tan.
Be very careful, don’t do it more than twice a week for the body and once for the face. Wait 2/3 days before exposure to the sun as it can make the skin more sensitive during this time.
Please only use products specifically designed for facial exfoliation and adapted to your skin type as it can damage the skin.
For your body, you can try this DIY coffee scrub.
It’s essential to moisturize your skin as often as possible. The skin dries out in the sun and makes it more vulnerable to UV rays. Moisturising and nourishing your skin will make it more resistant to the sun’s rays. It will also help rebuild its protective layer.
It’s important to moisturize your skin, but in the sun, this is not enough.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it is an indicator of the level of protection of a sunscreen product. It ranges from 6 to 50+, and the higher it is, the more it protects from ultraviolet rays, sunburn, and skin ageing.⠀
Use sunscreen or products containing SPF on your face and skin daily, the best is to use at least SPF 20.⠀
Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapply every 2 hours if necessary. It is an essential part of your skincare routine!
Know that you’re most likely to expose your skin to the sun daily, so wear SPF every day!
All of this works for the face and body, but be careful of what you put on your face. As it is more sensitive, use a face sunscreen to avoid any break out.
What you eat and drink also helps to prepare your skin for the sun. It’s important to drink a lot to stay hydrated, and to eat well! It will boost your tan from the inside.
After all, having healthy skin helps you get a better tan. Introduce in your meals aliments rich in vitamins A, C and E, but also in beta-carotene. It will stimulate your immune system, prevents skin ageing and regenerates cells.
You can find them in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, squash, broccoli, mangos, apricots, kale, peas, tomatoes, melon, almonds and nuts also provides protection from the sun.
EXPOSURE TO THE SUN
Specifically, after a long time without the sun, expose yourself gradually for your skin to get used to it.
Prefer, many small exposures instead of a long one that can end in a sunburn.
Avoid sun exposure between the peak hours of 10am and 4pm.
Avoid direct sun exposure, you can sunbathe in the shade. 😉
IN CASE OF SUNBURN
After-sun care is also very important. You need to prepare your skin for the sun, before and after exposure.
Use an after-sun care lotion or apply Aloe Vera to soothe and hydrate your skin.
Drink lots of water, throughout the day to rehydrate your body.
If you want to go further and take care of your skin. You can read our natural homemade face masks post. Facemasks have healing properties, accelerate cell renewal, and moisturize your skin.
Hope you’ll find this helpful.