The lithe body dream we all aspire to, some with more success than others! But by following this program, anyone can tan evenly and above all safely.
Before you spread your towel on the sand and lie down to bask in the glorious sunshine, take a long, hard look at your body. See anything that shouldn’t be there such as patches of dry skin, or cellulite? During winter it’s easy to turn a blind eye to these problems but in summer, if you’re striving for a smooth, even, healthy looking tan, something will have to be done about such skin problems.
Cellulite, most often found on the hips, thighs and buttocks, can be discouraged by massaging affected areas daily with a loofah (A rough bath sponge, made from the dried inner part of a tropical fruit) during a bath. Follow this up with an anti cellulite oil massaged into skin and get some regular exercise; walking, swimming or cycling are good choices. The body shop chain has a selection of excellent natural loofahs and anti-cellulite oil. A loofah mitt, used with a good exfoliate, will also take care of day, flaky skin and removes the rough edges from elbows and feet.
If you don’t polish up these rough edges before you stretch out in the sun, you’ll end up with a patchy tan – and that is not what you’re after.
In the past year or so there have been many pre-tan accelerators released on the market. These accelerators should be applied to the body three to four days prior to exposure, although many companies suggest three weeks before exposure for an optimum tan. They are said to speed up the melanin production of the skin, therefore giving more protection in the first few days of tanning. But they are definitely not sunscreens and should not be used as such. Always apply a sunscreen as well before going out in the sun. Several pre-tan accelerators you might try.
Gone are the days of lathering on lots of oil and baking your body in the sun. To protect your skin from premature aging, wrinkles and skin cancer, it is very important to take extreme care while exposing your whole body to the sun.
* Sunscreens won’t stop you getting a tan, but they will slow down the rate at which you tan and help filter harmful rays.
* A sunscreen will not protect you all day. If you normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun and you use a Sun Protection Factor of 15, you can be guaranteed only 150 minutes of protection before you begin to burn. Re-applying your sunscreen will not give you any more protection for 72 hours after this exposure.
* Your sunscreen can fall by up to 50 percent after swimming, so always re-apply your sunscreen when you get out of the water.
* UVB and UVA rays can penetrate cloud and still burn your skin.
* UVB rays are the strongest burning rays, so go out in the sun before 10am and after 2pm, if you don’t want to fry.
* Even if you are under an umbrella or have a hat on you will get the reflection of UVB rays from the sand and the water, so make sure you wear a sunscreen.
The right sunscreen
All sunscreen are categorized as high, maximum and moderate.
* Moderate is the SPF between 4-8 for people who burn or tan moderately.
* High includes SPF between 8-15 for anyone who burns easily and tans slightly.
* Maximum is the SPF of 15 + for anyone who burns but never tans.
* Board spectrum sun lotions screen all the UVA and UVB rays.
Protecting your children
* By allowing your children to go out in the sun without any protection you are increasing the risk of them getting a melanoma skin cancer, later in life or of aging prematurely.
* Make sure your children wear a sunscreen, T-shirt and a hat whenever they are out in the sun and don’t allow them to be exposed for too long. There are many good sunscreens for children; you may choice any one of them.
One of the least lovely aspects of the sun is its magical ability to conjure cracks and blisters where there were once smooth, clear lips. It can also create lines around eyes and mouth, which tend to turn into deep crevices before too long. Use a total sun block or an SPC 15 + on your face and neck areas at all times if you don’t want to pay the high price of neglect. Keep lips smooth and crack free with special lip sunscreens.
* If you have read this far and finally decided the sun is just not for you, why not try a fake tan? Today there are some excellent ones on the market which won’t make you look like a carrot gone wrong.
* Before you do anything, you still have to prepare your skin, whether you are going out in the sun or not. Start by exfoliating all over with a loofah mitt and an exfoliate cream. Avoid heavy scrubs which can often be much too abrasive and irritating. Once you think your skin is silky smooth all over, you are ready to apply you tan. Here are some tips.
* Many fake tans are in cream or lotion form and don’t show their true colors until hours after application. Test some first on a patch of skin on your hand, dry and leave until color forms.
* Now you know what to expect, apply to the body in smooth, easy motions with either your fingers or a sea sponge, for an even, all-over finish. Allow the lotion or cream to dry completely before putting on clothes or hopping into bed. This will ensure it doesn’t rub off on clothes or become a streaky mess.
* Always wash your hands well under hot water, with a scrubbing brush and soap, paying special attention to the skin between fingers.
* If you decide you want to go darker still, apply one or two extra coats, allowing each one to dry between applications.
*Take special care of hands and feet, so they don’t look streaky or blotchy, and also keens and the backs of knees. Get someone to do your back for you.
* If you just want to give your face some color, try one of the many tinted foundation moisturizers, available in market.
* Take the best tints for legs or for filling in strap marks and so on. It is like a colored water lotion, which tints the skin immediately on application and easily hides white strap marks or colors legs instantly. The color builds up after several applications. Always leave to dry between applications, and use a natural sea sponge, not fingers, for a smooth finish.