Now that summer is officially here, it’s only natural to want that sun-kissed, glowy look to your skin. But with all the research out there about how damaging a tan can be for your skin, how do you reconcile your desire for a tan worthy of a Hawaiian Tropic commercial with your need to protect against wrinkles, sunspots and potential skin cancer?
Fake it ’till you make it, that’s how. Once you establish a flawless sunless tanning routine, you’ll never need to risk a blistering burn or other sun damage ever again. Your dermatologist will be proud!
Build color without the UV rays
Finding the product that works best with your skin is crucial to being satisfied with a sunless tan. If you pick too light a color or too streaky a lotion, you may become frustrated with the results and head to the beach or pool and succumb to the sun’s damaging rays.
Read up on sunless tanning techniques and don’t be afraid to try out a bunch of sunless tanning sprays, foams and lotions until you find one you love. Buy from a drugstore with a liberal return policy so you can return the ones that didn’t work and get your money back.
Protection from damage
It’s important to remember that just because your skin looks tan, it doesn’t actually have a higher level of melanin to protect it from UV damage. When your skin is naturally tan or dark, you are less likely to get burned because the melanin blocks some of the rays that burn. However, with a sunless (fake) tan you can still easily burn to a crisp.
Plus, remember – no tan is a safe tan. Even if you never burn, UV rays can cause skin aging like wrinkles, lines and sun spots, and skin cancer. A (real) tan is actually the body’s response to damaged DNA in the skin cells.
Always slather on sunblock with SPF 30 or more, cover up with clothing and seek shade if you’re outdoors.
Fill in the gaps
Of course, you are bound to notice a few splotches from your sunless tan – after all, we’re only human! Invest in a temporary (read: washes off in the shower) tanning lotion that you can slather on before a night out to cover up any still-pale patches of skin. Miracle Skin Transformer nourishes skin and evens skin tone with light tanning pigment (and it has SPF 20!).
Also, remember that bronzer is your friend! Just as you dust this powder on your face to give it a sunkissed glow, remember you can dust it on your decollete, shoulders, arms and anywhere else you want a nice sunny glow.