The Sun: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The sun. We wouldn’t have this beautiful world of ours without it, would we? The sun’s light and energy give us the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the weather and the seasons we enjoy. But it can also bring drought, famine and destroy fields, farms and forests. Our human bodies have had a similar “love/hate” relationship with the sun and its rays for as long was we’ve been on the planet. Basically, a little sun = good. Too much = bad.
- Vitamin D — essential for bone health and key to our muscle, nerve and immune system functions; but 15 minutes a day of exposure is all that our bodies need to keep production at a healthy level
- Mood enhancer — many people suffer from seasonal depression and low energy; doctors recommend increased exposure to natural light as the best cure
- Better sleep — exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning is a proven way to wake up the body and mind (and to keep the body’s natural sleep rhythms on track for improved night-time sleep)
- Tan lines — purely an aesthetic complaint — but who hasn’t stressed over how your tan lines don’t match up with the lines of your new sundress; or realized how goofy your “farmer’s tan” looks just as you take off your shirt to impress your new girlfriend with your beach volleyball moves?
- Freckles — sure Grandpa called them “angel kisses” and sure, some people look great with them. But for me, they lost their charm as soon as my middle school friends started pointing out how much I look like the “Wendy’s” girl. Or when I noticed that the freckles surrounding my lip make for a not-so-great moustache.
- Age spots, sun damage and wrinkles — just one more thing making you look way older than you actually feel….
- too much unprotected time in the sun can quickly cause severe sun burn and/or dehydration and heat stroke
- Skin cancer — this sobering fact from the American Academy of Dermatology: “On average, one American dies from melanoma [skin cancer] every hour. In 2015, it is estimated that 9,940 deaths will be attributed to melanoma — 6,640 men and 3,300 women”And this fact on tanning from skincancer.org: “More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking”
Practice Safe Sun Exposure
So although the sun has it’s pluses and minuses. It’s always best to practice safe sun exposure – always apply sunscreen and limit your time in the sun, especially during peak hours.
Summer’s here and many people who concerned about the health risks of tanning are turning their backs on the sun and tanning beds and picking up a bottle of self tanning lotion. Whether you’re using the Moisture Tan Self Tanner or the Self Tanner with Bronzer, follow these simple self tanner tips to a perfect, glowing, fake bake tan.
The Best Way to Apply Sunless Tanner
1. Take a shower or bath. While you are in there do the following:
- Exfoliate. (Recommended but not necessary) The chemicals in self tanner react with amino acids in the upper layers of your skin. By removing the uppermost layer (which would’ve sloughed off on its own soon anyway) you’re ensuring that the tan develops in a fresh layer that’s going to be around longer. Also dry skin tends to absorb more color, increasing the likelihood of an uneven tan. Exfoliating will scrub off that dry skin. Just be sure to exfoliate thoroughly, because the spots you miss will tan differently.
- Shave. This will make for a smoother tan, and it’s better to do before you apply self tanner rather than after. If you shave after the application, you risk creating splotches. If, however, you have sensitive skin you may want to avoid shaving before you apply the self tanner, or else your skin will get irritated.
2. Dry Off. It’s important that while you’re applying self tanner, your skin is completely dry. If you’re going to be in the bathroom, wait for any humidity from the shower or bath to subside. Make sure it’s cool enough wherever you are so that you don’t sweat for the next few hours.
3. Do some Prep Work. Massaging lotion into trouble spots (knees, elbows, feet hands, knuckles) before applying tanner may help to keep those spots from getting too dark.
4. Ready set apply. Use rubber gloves or if no gloves are used wash hands every five minutes including scrubbing under nails. Spread the tanner over your skin in circular motions, making sure not to miss any spots.
- Around the feet spread the tanner from your legs onto your ankles and the tops of your feet, and use as little as possible in this area. Don’t apply any to your toes, heels, or sides of your feet.
- Apply the tanner sparingly on your face and neck because that skin will darken easily. Don’t forget behind your ears and the back of your neck, especially if you have short hair.
- While most people don’t have tanned underarms, avoiding this area can be difficult, so it’s better to apply self tanner there and lightly wipe with a damp washcloth about five minutes later.
5. Lighten the Trouble spots. After you’re done with the tanner, apply regular lotion to the tops of your feet and blend into your ankle, sides of feet, and toes. Apply a small amount to your knees, especially just below the knee. Do the same thing to your elbows, especially the part that puckers when your arm is straight. Use a lot of lotion on your hands, and blend into your wrist. Rub your belly button with a cotton swab diped in lotion. This will prevent these spots from getting too dark.
6. Wait. Avoid contact with anything or anyone for the first 10 minutes. Don’t get dressed until dry (5-15 min) If that’s not convenient, put on loose articles of clothing. Avoid contact with water or doing anything that’ll make you sweat for the first 2 hours. Try to wait 8 hours before showering or bathing again.
Self Tanner Tips
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10 Reasons to Use A Self Tanner Instead Of Tanning
Your mother always said “be sure to put on your sunscreen!” Maybe these 10 people should have listened… Long after the sunburn is gone, these embarrassing tan lines will stay!
View the 10 Most Embarrassing Tan Lines of All Time
Instead of dealing with embarrassing tan lines and painful sunburns… next time pick up a bottle of Moisture tan self tanning lotion. Voted the best self tanner… and best way to get a natural looking tan without the burn!