Hey guys, it’s Winnie (: and as promised, my Summer Tips, Tricks, and Techniques (TTT) start today! It’s finally summer and I know most of you are just waiting for that perfect day to hit the beach and TAN (: But we all run into problems, and one of them is keeping that tan until school starts (so you can say you went to Hawaii and got that sun-kissed skin ;D).
In order to understand how to prolong the life of your awesome tan, you’ll need to understand..well, TANNING:
We all have pigments in our skin, and one of them is called melanin. The darkness of your skin has to do with how much melanin is in your skin cells (melanin is produced by special cells called melanocytes). When your skin is exposed to the sun for a long period of time, such as tanning, your melanocytes are stimulated by ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) to produce more melanin, which darkens skin. After the melanin is in the skin cells, it remains until the cells fall off and are replaced.
The longevity of your tan really depends on how you treat your skin. The skin cells you touch are not actually alive. They’re layers and layers of dead cells on top of a living layer. The living layer is where the new cells are created, and as new cells are created the old ones are pushed up and die. It’s a glorious cycle (: More cells are produced, more are scraped off. The living layer is where the melanin is produced, so your tan remains until that layer of cells is scraped off the top. It takes about 35 days for a cell to travel from that inner layer to the outer (and then scraped off). That’s how long it would take for your tan to fade if you didn’t continue your sun exposure.
In order to keep that tan going until school starts again:
-try tanning in the last few weeks before school starts so it stays a little longer, rather than tanning in June and watching it fade in July
-AVOID TANNING BEDS. It pretty obvious (and expensive), but you’re just asking for cancer (and funny moles here and there). If you want to go tanning, go to the beach! Or lay on your lawn (: Just please, anything BUT the tanning beds. Also, you’re equally as likely to burn indoors as you can outdoors in the sun. Plus, sunlight boosts your mood and triggers your I’m-super-happy chemicals (:
-keep your skin hydrated and moisturized daily to prevent it from peeling
-include lots of vitamin A in your diet (carrots, milk, eggs, apricots, spinach, all the red and yellow vegetables and fruits) to nourish your skin after sunbathing
-stay out of the sun between 10am and 2pm (local time) because that’s when the sun’s rays are the strongest (thus, making you burn easier)
-be gentle to your skin; try not to scratch, rub, or purposely try to remove your skin cells (bye bye tan…)
-make sure you wear sunscreen (not sunblock since you won’t really tan, but sunblock is better for your skin since it protects against UVA and UVB rays) at least 20 minutes before you go outside. Sunscreen will still give you a tan, but creates a barrier against the sun and lowers/slows your risk of getting burned (but does not protect you from all UV rays). If you have a pale complexion, shoot for a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 in your sunscreen. People with darker skin can get away with SPF 15, but all of our bodies are different so I would say the minimum is SPF 30.
-check your area’s UV index for the day you go out and tan (ideally, make sure it’s under 5). The higher the number, the greater the exposure to UVA and UVB rays. If you stay in the sun too long, you will burn and peel rather than tan.
-don’t tan for more than 25-30 minutes. You may not seem tan, but you’ll have some colour (and your skin will thank you).
Now don’t get me wrong, tanning sure looks good (: but it’s basically a visible sign that your skin is damaged from exposure. So sunbathe in moderation (:
Happy Summer ^^
Style, sense, and swag,