Going on holiday is a very popular and families will fork out hundreds of pounds just to enjoy a few weeks of the same sun’s rays somewhere else on the planet. Did you know that the average family of four in the UK spends £860 per person per year on holidays? Think about how many Freddo Frogs that could buy you (not enough, if you ask me), or even how many Habbo credits that could buy you (all to be donated to the Habbox Articles Department, obviously). And the most popular place to go away for your holiday is the seaside. Britain is surrounded by sea (because.. well, y’know… we’re an island..) but the seaside can be a difficult place at the best of times.
Still, “surviving the sun” is an odd thing to think about. We sit in it all year round, it’s our number one life source (as in, we die without it ) and we never normally pay much attention to its existence until it’s covered by cloud or ridiculously bright. Yet it can also be extremely dangerous when you don’t know how to deal with it. Sunburn every now and then can be more than itchy and annoying in the long term as the number of skin cancer cases continues to rise, for example a newborn boy born in 2010 has a 1.8% chance of developing skin cancer (source). Still, a natural tan in the UK is a coveted thing, but can be more difficult than expected…
1. Lather up! Or should you…? The first questions you should be asking yourself should involve sunscreen. On the one hand, you’ll want to take as much Factor 50 as you can to keep yourself healthy and burn-free. But on the other hand, you want people to know that you’ve been away; you want to be able to revel in the glory of your tan to your neighbours (who only went to the Lake District, suckers) and friends whilst remaining completely truthful for once when you say “oh it’s all natural!”. But should you value health or aesthetic? I can’t help you too much there but I would urge you to think about that statistic for developing skin cancer mentioned earlier.
Has that changed your mind? Probably not. So the question now is: what’s the best way to tan? And how can you get the best results in the length of time you have? Unfortunately, the majority of you are living in the UK along with me and our skin rarely gets to see natural daylight that hasn’t been partially blocked by miserable grey cloud, which leaves our skin a beautiful shade of pasty white, so we must achieve the best tan possible because it will start to fade the second we enter the UK again. Well, this might sound odd, but one of the best ways to tan is to use sunscreen. Granted, you’ll need a low (but not too low!) SPF Factor of around 20 – 30. If your skin burns the beautiful tanned skin you’ve been working on for the last three weeks will be damaged and flake off, revealing your normal pale skin underneath.
2. Moisturise me! (I was going to add in a picture of Cassandra from Doctor Who here for comic effect but decided not to because she’s creepy and if you don’t watch the show you’d be very confused.) Keep yourself fully hydrated and keep moisturising your skin to keep it healthy to produce the best tanning effects. Healthier skin will always tan faster and will be less susceptible to problems later. You should be moisturising your skin as often as you can.
3. Be patient! You should build your tan up over time. No one can go from looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost to Katie Price overnight. Start off spending a maximum of half an hour out in the sun and then gradually stay out for longer each time. If your first tanning session involves blasting your skin for four hours, you may want to start worrying about your long-term health…
Also, you’ll need to be patient after you’ve finished tanning for the day. You may not notice any effects at first but tanning continues for up to a few hours after you’ve been out in the sun, so don’t sit out waiting for a change in colour!
4. Look after yourself! Maybe tanning isn’t the best option for you. Only you can know how well you tan or how easily you burn. If you burn easily and don’t even have the tanning results to show for it, maybe you should keep away from the sun and tanning beds. If you really want that summery glow, you could always look into tanning/bronzing products that just give the illusion of a tan. Or perhaps you’d do better to accept your skin and celebrate it; I look terrible tanned but luckily don’t tan easily at all.
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