As I have recently returned from my holiday nicely tanned and feeling refreshed. A tan for me is not easy to achieve as I am fairly fair skinned, which also brings with it health issues if I get too much sun. However, I do love the feeling of being tanned though, so I take some safe steps towards building up a gradual tan which will help many of us fair skinned lovelies to achieve a healthy tan in a safe way.
It may be an obvious suggestion, but keeping care of our skin is of the uppermost importance when starting to build your tan. Burning your skin is not only painful, but it can destroy your chances of tanning in the future. One of the best ways to avoid burning is to prepare your skin for a day in the sun and this starts in the shower.
I am the worst person for applying makes up and beauty products on holiday, once my routine is broken I just forget my usual beauty regime, but the one item I never forget is my exfoliating sponge. As I am a bit lazy when it comes to buying exfoliating creams, I would rather save my money, shame on me. So, I take the easy route and buy sponges that unclog my pores and remove dead skin. However you decide to do it, exfoliating is the first step towards a natural sun kissed glow.
The one thing exfoliating does do however, is leave your skin very dry. Once you have dried off, apply a medium amount of moisturiser to not only combat the dry skin, but also to keep your skin supple in the harsh sunshine. I prefer thicker creams, such as coco butter or Hawaiian tropic.
Pick the right sun lotion factor
The most common mistake when sunbathing is getting the wrong factor lotion or simply not wearing any at all. There seems to be a myth out there that sun tan lotion will stop you from achieving a tan at all. In fact it is the complete opposite. Sun tan lotion promotes tanning in a safe and healthy way. The only issue is that it will take longer to achieve an all over natural tan, but as with all beauty issues, the slower the better.
The factor you choose will depend upon where you are going. Australia in the height of summer will obviously need a higher factor than the UK, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to wear any lotion at all in the UK. I am in the sun on the way to and from work, sitting in the park at lunch and the beer garden in the evenings. That equates to a lot of sun, around 4-5 hours worth and thus requires sun tan lotion. In the UK I stick to factor 15 – 25 depending upon the heat. Abroad I will up it to 30 – 50.
Oh and don’t forget that it should be applied regularly, especially after swimming – I have made this mistake before and the results aren’t pretty!
Purposefully sunbathing can let you down
I used to be obsessed with getting a tan in the summer. I felt pasty and unattractive without one. Silly I know, but this is not just me, there are hundred of us out there feeling the same way. It was because of this that I used to sit for hours in the sun, waiting to tan and expecting quick results. They didn’t appear, which left me feeling sad. At the end of the day, you are on holiday, or maybe it’s the weekend, why spend it waiting to get brown? You will achieve the same results wandering around cities, shopping all day, or simply enjoying a family BBQ.
The other reason to not sit in the sun all day is sun stroke. Trust me, this is not something that you want to have to face. I have only experienced this a couple of times in my life and it is not fun. Shivers, sickness, headaches and fatigue are all symptoms, which will ruin any holiday. To avoid this, spend time in the shade also, drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol) and wear sun tan lotion. If you do feel you have sun stroke then go to bed – it’s as simple as that! Water and sleep are the best cure, along with some painkillers.
Finally, if you want a quick fix tan, then opt for the fake version. I had a spray tan before my holiday, which meant I arrived with a healthy glow and built up my natural tan gradually.