Many people are surprised to hear that i’m born and raised on the seaside because of my pale tan. I’ve spent my whole life wondering why I can’t get that lovely, bronze summer tan easily and without burning my skin. Even though it gets pretty annoying being frequently teased about my tan, my number one priority always is healthy skin. Bearing that in mind, I did some research on tanning and here is what you need to know on that topic! Ready to lay down and pro-actively tan in the Mediterranean? Then take care of your skin!
Responsible tanning: Use the Fitzpatrick scale of skin phototypes
This is a scale that was invented in 1975 by an American dermatologist, Thomas B. Fitzpatrick. The scale is used to show how various skin types behave while being exposed to the sun. There are six types and it depends on your type for how long you can stay in the sun without protection before you get sunburns.
- Type I (scores 0–6) always burns, never tans (palest; freckles)
- Type II (scores 7–13) usually burns, tans minimally (light colored but darker than fair)
- Type III (scores 14–20) sometimes mild burn, tans uniformly (golden honey or olive)
- Type IV (scores 21–27) burns minimally, always tans well (moderate brown)
- Type V (scores 28–34) very rarely burns, tans very easily (dark brown)
- Type VI (scores 35–36) never burns (deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown)
Now that you are more familiar with your skin phototype, it might be more understandable why you don’t tan easily, if you are like me! Just like the other things in life, even tanning isn’t a reason for competition, so next time when you find yourself feeling envy for someone else’s tan, remember that their skin type might be totally different from yours. Instead of insisting on unachievable beauty standards, people should educate and inform themselves on this important health topic.
Responsible tanning 101: Using SPF is obligatory!
You probably notice that in the last couple of years talking about SPF has increased. Nowadays people are more than ever aware of negative effects that sun has on our skin. Today we know that applying SPF, especially on our face, should be our daily routine even when it isn’t summer. Since our today’s focus is tanning on the vacation, let’s see how to protect our skin on the beach!
10 tips for responsible tanning
- Apply your SPF cream before putting on your swimsuit. This will help you to spread your cream evenly so you don’t have to worry about sunburns when your swimsuit moves.
- Apply generous amount of cream but still don’t put it too much. Squeeze enough cream to cover your middle and index finger and that’s the right amount of product to spread on your face. Two or three spoons of product is enough to apply evenly on your entire body. Don’t forget to cover all your body parts.
- My advice is to buy SPF cream that is waterproof and that has both UVB and UVA protection mark on its packaging.
- Make sure to check expiry date on your product. The cream can loose its effects when opened longer than twelve months ago. On the other hand, when you use your SPF cream regularly and you apply right amount, there is no chance to waste any product due to expiration!
- Put your SPF before going for a swim. Even when you are in the water, there is a risk of sunburn.
- Reapply cream after swimming if you don’t sit in the shadow. General rule is to reapply your SPF every two hours.
- It’s super important to cling to your SPF during your whole vacation. Even when you start getting that bronze tan, keep protecting your skin.
- It’s also very important to avoid sunbathing when UV radiation is the strongest and that is between 10am and 4pm.
- Protect your head and face by wearing hat and sunglasses. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water.
- Just forget about going to solarium, please.
I may not be a right person to give advices on achieving a beautiful bronze tan. I am sure though that if you follow these tips, you will avoid sunburns! Your priority should be protecting your skin. If you are naturally prone to getting some tan, this is a way to do it responsibly. Forget about that old myth that if you wear SPF you can’t get any tan. The point is: don’t force yourself to achieve that sun-kissed look at all costs!