We all love the sun. It’s nature’s very own dose of happiness, proven to boost our serotonin levels and eliminate feelings of depression and anxiety. It also provides us with vitamin D, necessary for the health of our bones, teeth and skin.
However, we can’t fail to recognise the harmful effects that the sun can have on our skin. Regardless of whether we choose to spend time soaking up the rays or not, there are things we must do so that our skin is protected from premature ageing and skin cancer risks.
Why you should always avoid sunbeds
There may be plenty of tanning salons out there claiming that they can give you a ‘healthy’ tan but they’re wrong. Unlike the sun, sunbeds give off huge amounts of UVA and no UVB (the UV that stimulates vitamin D) and can, therefore, increase the chance of skin cancer by a staggering 75%.
Malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is now the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among women in their 20’s thanks to the trend of ‘binge tanning’ that has led to powerful sun beds. Many people are becoming as addicted to tanning salons as others do to alcohol or drugs, with many people reporting that having a tan improved their mood.
Many health experts are therefore promoting the use of fake tanning products that remove any risk of potentially life-threatening UV rays.
Self-tanning products are becoming better and better every year. Long gone are the days of terracotta tones that would stain your clothes and your bedsheets. Now, tanning products are designed to work with your skin tone so that the end result is a natural fake tan.
The key to a perfectly applied fake tan is body prep. No matter which product you choose, if you start to apply it on skin that you’ve failed to properly exfoliate then, it won’t only turn out patchy, but it won’t last half as long. Scrub your skin and then leave it clear of any other products a day before you’re planning to tan.
On the day of tanning, the only areas that should need a little moisturiser are your elbows and your knees. Of course, you should always avoid tanning with bare hands and instead invest in a good quality application mitt that ensures an even, streak-free finish. Another good tip is to blow dry all of the areas where you’ve applied the fake tan to speed up the tanning process and avoid any risk of streaks or smudges.
Unfortunately, applying your tan is only the first step. Maintenance is an important part of making sure that your tan remains natural looking. Gradual self-tanning lotion applied every few days can help to lengthen the amount of time your tan looks natural, which is exactly what you’ll need in the summer when you’ll be going bare legged.