Going on spring or summer vacation means finally getting your feet in the water and catching some rays. After a long winter, you can't wait to get some color, but tanning can be inherently dangerous to your skin health. Practice these top tanning tips for an enjoyable vacation and to remain your healthy self:
Spray Tan or Self Tan
Many people want to be tan before they go on vacation, but instead of using tanning beds, try to opt for a spray tan or self tanning lotion.
Opt for a product that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. If you burn easily or take medication that increases the risk of sunburn, you should opt for a higher SPF. When choosing a sunscreen, look for ones that are broad-spectrum, meaning that the product will protect against both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen and reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating, or towel drying. It's important to wear sunscreen even if it is cloudy and overcast. We have researched some of the best adult sunscreens, of which you can read here. For the best child sunscreens, read here.
The FDA has implemented a system to help you decide which type of lens is best to block out harmful UVB and UVA rays:
Cosmetic - provides the least protection and is for those activities conducted in indirect light. Less than 60% of visible light, 70% of UVB rays, and only 20% of UVA rays are blocked.
General Purpose - adequate for most outdoor activities. 60-92% of visible light, 99% of UVB, and 60% of UVA rays are blocked.
Special Purpose - especially useful on tropical beaches and ski slopes. 97% of visible light, 99% of UVB, and 60% of UVA rays are blocked.
Wear Protective Clothing + Hats
There are various types of clothing that you can purchase to protect you from harmful sun rays. It is especially important that children wear protective clothing, since their skin is far more sensitive than adults. Hats are another great option, providing you with a little more eye protection and prevents a scalp sunburn (ouch!).
Use Umbrellas or Tents
Beach umbrellas and beach tents provide a great amount of shade for those that need to limit their sun exposure. Again, these are great options for children that want to play in the sand, but need to limit their sun exposure.
Avoid Mid-Day Sun
Do you know about the shadow rule? If your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are at their strongest and you are more likely to be sunburned. Whenever you realize this, try to get out of the sun or limit your exposure. The sun’s rays are most intense between 10:00am and 3:00pm, so it can be wise to visit the beach in the afternoon.
Your body dehydrates faster when you are in the sun. Remember to drink lots of water and avoid caffeinated drinks if possible. If you are consuming alcohol, limit your intake, or at the least, drink water in between every alcoholic beverage. Warnings signs of dehydration include dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, headache, etc.
Keep your skin healthy this spring and summer by following the simple tips above!