Time to build up your tan

It’s the time of year to get your tan topped up, as you step out from the darkness of the winter and embrace the sun-ray filled days, but that means transforming your skin from translucent to sun baked and glowing. There are many people that take sun safety for granted, putting themselves at risk just to get the perfect tan… it’s not worth it ladies! So, here are our top tips to get the best tan, whilst staying safe.

Suncream, sunscreen.

Regardless of your skin type, if you tan easily or if it’s impossible for you to tan, don’t be tempted by the lower SPF values. Anything lower than SPF15 is a complete waste and will only leave your skin damaged when you’re under the impression that it’s glowing. If you have particularly dark skin, then SPF15 will suffice, but we would recommend that most people splash on SPF30 or SPF50 to ensure that most of the UVB rays are filtered out and you can enjoy the beauty of the burning star!

Shade, shade, shade.

Whilst seeking shade may seem like an easy way out and a waste of sunny weather, it’s the best option if you are feeling as though your skin, or indeed your head needs a break from the heat. Taking small breaks from the sun will reduce your risk of UV intensity, sunburn risk, heat stroke and general damage to your overall wellbeing. Shade will also provide speed recovery for your skin, ensuring your tan will be healthier and longer-lasting. If you’re drinking in the sun, take into the account the effects it may be having in your body when you’re lying under the blazing sun; often it has a more detrimental effect and should be considered more often by holiday goers.

Sun-friendly foods, you say?

The power of food never fails to amaze us, with increased interest in what we put in our bodies and how certain foods can help us, it comes as no surprise that some foods can, in fact, impact your sun protection… mind blown, again! Certain foods can increase your lycopene levels, which act as your skin’s own SPF, giving you an extra layer of protection. Tomatoes have the highest amount of lycopene, followed by watermelon, guava and grapefruit (all very sun friendly foods!). You can also find foods that protect against sunburn with their levels of flavonoids (plant pigments containing flavone; a compound that has anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antioxidant and cancer preventative properties), start bulk eating those berries!

It’all about timing.

Did you know that your skin reaches a tanning cut-off point? Your skin can only produce so much melanin, so the many hours you put in tanning by the pool may render themselves redundant after a while. Each person has their own unique cut-off point of how much melanin they can produce, but the general average for most people is two to three hours of sunlight exposure, this can obviously be far less if you are blessed with porcelain skin, so be sure to listen to your body – if it’s too hot and on the cusp of burning, then you’ve had too much sun and are subjecting it to risk of UV damage… no one wants that!

Sunbeds are a no, no.

A healthy tan has never come from a sunbed, so be sure to avoid them. They definitely do more damage than good, with a distinct lack of UVB ( stimulates vitamin D) and a huge amount of UVA, sunbeds can increase your risk of skin cancer by up to 70%.

Fake bake.

If you are wanting to prepare yourself for the first day of tanning, then your best option is to faux your glow and treat yourself to either a spray tan or a simple home fake tan. It never hurt to fake it a little bit!

With these top tips, you can expect your best tanning experience yet, with a healthy blend of sunshine and rest, you will be glowing for weeks!

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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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