It’s that time of the year when we exchange staying indoors for busy, hot beaches; when we stop drinking hot tea for iced coffee and when we pack our boots and bring out our strappy sandals.

 

Sunkissed, glowy skin is a year-round staple but in summer, most of us try to accessorise our beach dresses with a tan. We know by now that the sun can have detrimental effects on our skin, so how can we make sure that we maintain a flawless tan while protecting our skin?

 

Before going out in the sun:

 

  1. Exfoliate: Shedding those dead skin cells is the number one step you should consider in order to obtain a uniform tan. Make sure to wait a few days between exfoliation and sun exposure as skin is more sensitive and vulnerable to UV rays.
  2. Hydration: It’s equally important to hydrate internally and externally. Drink lots of water and make sure to apply rich moisturizing creams like Hyaluronic acid.
  3. Antioxidant properties: Eating food rich in antioxidant properties like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, squash, broccoli, mangos, apricots, kale, peas, tomatoes and melon can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

 

After sun exposure:

 

  1. Apply aloe vera: Aloe vera has cooling and moisturising effects that can feel incredibly soothing after a day out in the sun. It is also anti-inflammatory, reducing effects of sunburn.
  2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: There are plenty of hydrating products on the market, but nothing will beat drinking lots of water
  3. Moisturizer: Apply a thicker, creamier formula that will soothe your skin. Look for products containing ceramides, lanolines and oat. Vitamin C can also be a powerful anti-oxidant and can help with inflammation.
  4. Avoid acids and physical exfoliators: This may seem obvious, but avoid products with gritty textures, as it can be too abrasive for sun-damaged skin. Ingredients like retinoic acid, AHAs, glycolic acids, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and other acne-fighting products that can dry out the skin.

 

Alternatives:

 

  1. Tanning beds: These may seem like a quick and easy way to get sun kissed skin, but the research is clear: tanning beds are carcinogenic and much worse than the sun. Using tanning booths frequently may lead to wrinkles; loss of firmness and sagging; uneven skin tone and a rough, leathery texture to the skin.
  2. Self-tanning: If you’re looking to use self-tanning products to achieve your summer glow, remember to exfoliate. Dry your skin and apply in sections. Don’t forget to wash your hands after applying the self-tanner to each section of your body to avoid orange-coloured palms. Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed to get the best results.

 

Remember – whichever route you decide to achieve your tan, you should always apply sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 or higher, has UVA/UVB protection and is water resistant.

 

Ingredients that cannot be used when tanning or fake tanning

 

  1. Retinol: This vitamin A derivative is universally hailed as an anti-aging superstar, thanks to its tiny molecular structure and antioxidant and exfoliating properties. But this ingredient also leads to a rise in sun sensitivity since it is extremely unstable and easily degraded to biologically inactive after exposure to light and air
  2. Hydroquinone: hydroquinone is typically relied on when looking to refine age spots, hormonally induced pigmentation or melasma and acne or pimple marks. However, this product makes the skin more susceptible to skin damage.
  3. Citrus oils: These products are phototoxic, which means that when exposed to ultraviolet light, these oils can cause redness, inflammation and discoloration on your skin.

 

🌸Stay Healthy, Stay Beautiful🌸

Information sources

  1. Preventive Medicine Reports, June 2016, pages 139–144
  2. Clinics in Dermatology, May-June 2015, pages 387–392
  3. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, June 2013, pages 12222–12248
  4. Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, July 2011, pages 1129–1136
  5. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, July 2011, pages 453–458
  6. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, July 2011, pages 1539–1546
  7. Dermatologic Clinics, April 2009, pages 149–154
  8. International Journal of Epidemiology, December 2006, pages 1514–1521
  9. https://ciinmagazine.com/beauty/ciin25061803-prep-skin-before-sun-exposure/
  10. https://www.nylon.com/articles/after-sun-skin-care
  11. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/apply-self-tanner
  12. https://www.dermstore.com/blog/ingredients-to-avoid-in-skin-care/
  13. https://www.paulaschoice-eu.com/tips-for-perfect-self-tanning