16 Tips to Get a Perfect Tan Without Burning on Holiday
What is the best way to tan?
This is probably one of the most researched questions before the summer season. Well, how to get a perfect tan is in fact an art and a serious job. If no attention is paid (and no sunscreen is applied) you might end up ruining your skin with a very bad sunburn and skin damage. And we really don't want that.
Why does our skin get tan?
Unfortunately, when our skin turns brown, it means that it had been damaged by UV rays. I know that when our skin turns brown we see ourselves prettier, but you have to keep in mind that this is a sign that our skin may potentially get skin cancer and melanoma.
That is why, it is essential that we take care of it, and NEVER expose our skin to the sun without protecting it with a very good and strong sunscreen.
What do I know about the perfect tan?
I grew up basically 200 mt from the beach in a little town named Muggia, near the beautiful city of Trieste, on the northeast side of Italy.
So I have always been very tan during the summer months. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to be tanned for the whole summer when you live in the Uk (I have been living in London since 2013), and you have only a couple of weeks to go to the beach.
That is why I decided to share all my secrets of getting a fabulous tan while on holiday, even if you have only a couple of weeks available.
Tips: As soon as you book your next adventure, make sure to buy good travel insurance in case you need to “unfortunately” delay, extend or cancel your trip. I recommend SafetyWing. A great insurance company to cover everything about your travel.
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Read 16 Tips to get a perfect tan without burning on Holiday
1. Eat food with betacarotene before and while on holiday:
Betacarotene is very good for vision and it is an extraordinary antioxidant. It can increase your skin health thanks to Vitamine A. So before and while on holiday, eat carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, spinach, kale and fruits like apricots and cantaloupe to avoid skin damage.
2. Eat food rich in lycopene:
A study found that lycopene protects the skin against UV rays. You can find it in tomatoes, watermelon, red oranges, guava, apricots, pink grapefruits and rosehip. Looks like a good fruit salad for breakfast will help you with your tan.
3. Prepare your skin by spending some time in the sun before departure:
Avoid going on holiday completely pale from the winter. If you have a chance, spend some hours in a park or in your garden wearing a bathing suit and preparing your skin. Don't forget to apply good 50 SPF sunscreen.
Can you still tan with sunscreen?
The answer is absolutely YES!
Unfortunately, a lot of people think that sunscreen will prevent your skin to tan, but that is just a myth.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (they surely know better about it than anyone else) says that 3% of UVB rays (those ones that make our skin turn brown) can enter our skin with a sunscreen of SPF 30 and a 2% with a sunscreen with SPF 50.
The America Academy of Dermatology recommends we always use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or better a higher one (I always use an SPF 50 because I love my skin and I want to protect it).
SPF: sun protection factor.
4. Always apply an excellent sunscreen of minimum SPF 30 every couple of hours:
A high SPF doesn't mean you won't get tan as many people think. It actually protects you from sun damage. I always use sunscreen with SPF 50 made with aloe vera, and I get very dark anyway.
It is very important to apply your sunscreen every couple of hours, to make sure to protect our skin from skin cancers and melanoma.
5. Add on top of it oils that naturally occur SPF:
Many oils naturally have SPF factor, and they can help your skin against sun damage:
This doesn't mean you can use only the oil instead of sunscreen. Their SPF protection is too low and you will end up full of wrinkles and permanent skin damage like skin spots.
A good way to use these oils is by adding them on top of your sunscreen to protect your skin and most important, hydrate it at the same time.
6. Choose the right sunscreen for your skin:
Are you from North Europe and get quickly red and sunburn? Get an SPF 50 sunscreen with aloe vera, not less.
Have you got olive skin? Lucky you, use a good sunscreen anyway, not less than SPF 30. I always advise an SPF 50 regardless. Prudence is never enough when we talk about our health.
My father got skin cancer on his back a couple of years ago because he always applied only once his sunscreen and used to spend hours under the sun. They removed it fully (thank god) but now he cannot get tan anymore and has to stay in the shadow even at the beach because the risk of the skin cancer coming back is very high.
7. Apply sunscreen after swimming:
Not every sunscreen is waterproof. For example, tanning oils are not. So make sure to reapply sunscreen every time you get out of the water. And even if the product you bought says that it is waterproof, apply it again anyway. Protecting your skin from skin cancer is a priority.
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8. Avoid sunbath from 12 pm to 4 pm:
The hours between 12 pm and 4 pm are the worst hours to sunbathe, and you can really risk getting a sunburn.
Do you want to ruin your holiday and end up losing skin like e snake? Or end up at the end of your holiday with a face full of wrinkles and look five years older? I don't think so, so stay in the shadow. Go to a beach bar/restaurant, have lunch, get a couple of wine spritzers, take a nap under a tree and relax.
9. In the first days of the holiday, don't spend more than 3/4 hours under the sun:
Your skin needs the get used to the sun, so try to spend only a few hours sunbathing per day. You can always spend the rest of the day under a beach umbrella and relax.
Can you get sunburned on a cloudy day?
Getting a sunburn on a cloudy day is quite difficult because the clouds reduce some of the UV rays, but unfortunately, they don't reduce them all, so always wear a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin.
10. Remember that you get tan even standing under a beach umbrella:
That is absolutely true. You can get a tan even standing under a beach umbrella (the cotton ones). So always apply sunscreen.
Many people think that if they stay under the umbrella, they won't get tan. Trust me, you can. Unless it is one of the prominent and thick leaves ones, in that case, no, you won't get tan.
11. Change position frequently:
Set up an alarm if it helps. Turning every 30 minutes will help you to get a more equal tan in every part of your body, avoiding that ugly front side brown and white back. Also, don't forget to lift your arms to get an equal tan on your arms.
12. Wear a strapless top:
I love strapless tops. Otherwise, just remove the top laces so you won't end up with white lines on the top of your body. In this way, when you will wear a sleeveless dress or top, you will look perfectly tan without any swimsuit marks.
13. You get tanner when you swim, or just walk in the shallow:
The reflection of the sun in the water makes you get tanner. So go for a walk in the shallow, swim (it also keeps you fit while on holiday) or do snorkelling.
While swimming, remember to alternate your style, a bit of freestyle and a bit of backstroke to get a more uniform tan. And also train all your body muscles.
14. Avoid falling asleep while at the beach:
Falling asleep while sunbathing is pretty common and likely to happen. You feel the warmth in your body and the noise of the waves crashing against the beach. Maybe you just had lunch and you feel sleepy and you think: what can goes wrong if you take a short nap?
Well, you might end up sleeping more than you thought, probably during the hottest hours of the day, ending up with a terrible sunburn. Half of your body could turn red while the other half of it will still remain white. Great idea, taking a nap, wasn't it?
So please, set up an alarm, make sure to turn every 30 mins and avoid spending time under the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
15. Drink plenty of water:
And I mean water, not beer or anything else with alcohol inside. Keeping yourself hydrated is very important. Your skin and all your body need as much water as you can, to protect yourself from the warmth of the sun.