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Posted: June 08, 2017

9 tips for improving your summer tan

Mario Tama/Getty Images

By Joshua Trudell, Rare.us

1. Tan in limited doses

While it’s tempting to want to turn your look from ghostly to glowing overnight, trying to make it happen too quickly will only make your glow be that of a sunburn. Tan in small doses for 30-60 minutes a day. This will let your body produce enough melanin to help you in the next session.

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2. Tanning beds are not the best options

Tanning beds are a mixed bag for tanning. When used carefully, they can provide base layers that could help you prevent sunburns later. But they still pump out the same cancer-causing UV rays. Use the controls carefully to minimize damage.

>> Related: Despite their popularity, tanning beds are still among the top cancer-causing substances

3. Exfoliation

Getting rid of the dead cells on your skin can help prepare it to get a better tan. It will also last longer and help your tan be more even. Exfoliation can also improve your skin tone, remove oil and pore-clogging dirt and even prevent acne.

4. Protect your eyes and head

It’s counterproductive to an even tan, but sunglasses and hats will help protect some of your most sun-sensitive skin. Too much sun can strain the eyes, leading to long-term complications. Sunburned scalps, ears and noses and some of the most painful. Go for a hat that has a wide brim all the way around -- baseball caps will leave lines across your skull.

5. Eat sun-friendly foods

Tomatoes, green tea, fish and orange and red fruits contain lycopene, which can increase your sun protection. When skin is exposed to sunlight, it causes free radicals to form. Free radicals damage skin cells and cells that produce collagen and elastin. The antioxidants in lycopene can help defuse these free radicals.

6. Use the right sunscreen

While it’s easy to just grab the highest SPF number on the shelf, that’s not always the best approach. Make sure you look for sunscreen that is labeled “broad-spectrum” or has the UVA logo plus the word “high.” The difference between SPFs after a certain point is minimal -- SPF30 filters 97 percent of the sun’s rays, while SPF50 filters 98 percent. Make sure to reapply regularly.

>> Related: Remember the ABCs of sun protection before you head outside this summer

7. Use natural oils

There are many natural products that can help you enhance your tan. Apply one of them, then wash it off with soap and water when you’re done. Some examples are coconut oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil, wheat-germ oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil and green tea extract.

8. Try supplements instead of “tan-accelerating” creams

Doctors have said nothing you apply to your skin can improve the production of melanin (skin’s protective dark pigment). However, taking a daily beta-caretene supplement (or eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day) will help protect against sunburn.

>> Related: Here are the 19 best sunscreens for kids, according to experts

9. Own a faux glow

Fake tan sprays don’t offer any sun protection, but they can help you stop burning by not making you feel as nervous for the first day at the beach. Treat yourself to a spray tan before your first swimsuit day of the season if you’re self-conscious -- but do your best to get the coloring just right before it’s all over you.


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