We all know the dangers of getting too much sun and I wrote about both how to get rid of a sunburn as well as the danger of getting too much sun but today I wanted to live out a bit of a dream and write about how to get your best suntan ever.
Why get the best suntan possible? Well as Chris Stephens, the DJ on on the television show Northern Exposure once said
“Sometimes you have to do something bad – just to know you’re alive.”
My Suntan History
Back when I was 15 to 20 I tried every Summer to get the greatest suntan ever and I used to tell my buddy Darin White and I would one day write a book about how to get the best suntan. Well this is not a book but it is an opportunity to spill everything I ever learned over the years about how to get the best suntan. I believe that there are 10 steps and then I will end with a bunch of tips of what I think are important tips on how to get the best tan this summer that you have ever had. Here are the 10 steps first that you will need to do in the first place to get a good tan.
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Lufa and exfoliate
Exfoliating your skin is a very good idea. When you are getting a suntan the color that you get is a result of the skin reacting to the sun. If you have dead skin on top of your good skin then it will be blocking the sun. When exfoliating your skin be sure not to scrub hard, you may want to get the dead skin off but you do not want to hurt your good skin underneath so be sure to just lightly scrub your skin.
Lather on the suntan lotion
I know that you may think that using suntan lotion may be against the idea of getting a dark tan it is really a requirement. First of all choose a suntan lotion that has a lot of moisturizer in it. What I would recommend if you want to get a dark tan is to make sure that you have about a SPF factor of 8 or 10 and make sure that you spread it all over, do not miss any spots. The good thing about wearing a suntan lotion is that it allows your body to gradually get a tan instead of tanning very quickly and then getting a burn. You want to go slow getting a great tan as it will last longer and be easier to get dark without burning. Remember that suntan lotion does not do anything for about a half an hour so you must but the sun tan lotion on a little while before you go out.
Tan for only one to two hours per day
You do not need a lot of hours of sun but it is important if you want a good tan to make sure that you get one to two hours a day EVERY day as the consecutive days are going to give you that good tan not the number of hours in one day. The important thing in your suntanning time is to make sure that you are getting your whole body tanned. Do not miss any spots and make sure that you follow this for at least a few days so that you body can gradually get color.
Tan your whole body
If at all possible get some kind of reflective blanket to lie on when you are suntanning so that your sides as well as the insides and outsides of your legs get a tan. The sun comes from above and the most impressive tan is one that is smooth and even around your whole body. It is easy enough to get your front and back tanned but how about your sides and the back of your arms? When tanning your front have your arms up and your head slightly back so that you can tan under your arms as well as the back of your arms and get your neck tanned as well. When on your stomach keep your arms out as well so that you are tanning the tops of your forearms and shoulders. Flip every 15 minutes to half hour.
Shower after you sun tanning time
Do not over shower. This means that if you have a shower in the morning and then suntan in the afternoon have only a very quick shower to wash off the suntan lotion. If at all possible do not have a shower in the day until after you have had your suntanning time so on the weekends perhaps you can tan in the morning instead of the afternoon. Also when you shower never use soap except on stinky areas such as your underarms I say no soap on your skin as soap will dry you skin and may peel off some of that skin that is getting color.
Moisturize day and night
Moisturizers are very important for keeping your sun healthy. Use a good moisturizer when you get up in the morning as well as after your sun tanning session and then at night before you go to bed. The more moist that your skin is the more radiant is look and feels and the longer that you will be able to keep your tan as your skin will stay alive and healthier for longer.
Drink lots of water
Sun tanning is all about the outer layer of your skin so make sure that skin is healthy. One of the best things that you can do for your skin is to drink a lot of water. Water will keep your body hydrated and therefore will keep your skin hydrated as well. Do not just drink water while you are out in the sun working on that tan but make sure that you start your day with a big glass of water and drink water throughout your day.
Tan for consecutive days
One day of sun will not do a lot and a long day of sun will just lead to a burn. Have you ever noticed that when people go skiing in the winter and get a suntan or sunburn that it goes away in just a couple of days? The important thing to do to get a deep tan and to have it last is to get sun for as many consecutive days as possible. If you tan one day and then again a couple of days later then that first days base tan has been wasted, this is why most people can not get a deep tan, all they do is get sun on the weekends and do not try to get sun during the week.
Never get a sunburn
A sunburn is a condition that will kill the skin cells that you are trying to get color for. Never ever let you skin get burned as you will need to wait for this skin to naturally lose its color and then start your consecutive days of sun again. I have failed at this point time and time again by not being patient about my suntanning and by being careless with my suntan lotion.
Stay away from extra sun
You have a plan that you can follow for getting a suntan and on the weekends what will happen is that you will have plenty of opportunities to get extra sun and these can and will inevitably lead to getting too much sun and a sunburn. The best way to avoid this extra sun is to plan ahead. Have a very strong SPF 30 suntan lotion that you put on often, wear a hat, wear well covering but loose fitting clothes and of course sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Now that you have the 10 point plan to get a good suntan I thought I could get a few tips in that do not really fit into those ten points for suntanning but nonetheless are important anyway.
When tanning cover your head when tanning your back. This is important because when you tan your face it gets enough sun. When you are tanning your back you do not want your face to get yet more sun.
The most sensitive parts of your body are the neck, backs of legs and on the face are the nose, forehead and under the eyes, make sure that you always have a good layer suntan lotion on theses spots so that you can get a tan before these areas would burn.
Watch your waistband. Try to make sure that you legs and waistband are in the same spot in each of your tanning sessions, this way you will have a pronounced tan line and will also be able to tell how tanned you have got. I know some people that will let the waistband move an inch up or down on consecutive days so that they can tell how today is tanning compared to yesterday.
Your full tan will not show up for four hours or more. When you are out in the sun do not get too concerned about how little color you are getting as the bulk of it will show up four to six hours later. As you probably remember from the past if you get a burn that burn will not sometimes show up or will definitely get worse in the evening after you were out.
I hope these tips all help you this year to get your best suntan ever.