Going to the Beach? Tanning 101

Ariane Jensen

Tanning is one of the most common things to do when near the beach or poolside – you will always see the women with the big hats either under umbrellas and on chairs or people just laying on towels in the sand. The bottoms of their feet covered with white ground-up sea shells. Their skin turning various shades of red or brown. From above, the beach looks like a pointillism piece of artwork.

The best way to tan outdoors involves a couple steps, but becoming the perfect shade of bronze for your liking can be a feat. If you follow these steps and tricks for an even tan, then you can end spring break happily tanned.

Before you even consider tanning, the first thing one should do is begin moisturizing as soon as possible. Soft, supple skin looks better tanned than dry cracked skin. So start moisturizing ASAP!

The night before you head out onto the beach, or to the poolside, hop in the shower and exfoliate your body for an even tan. If you’re tanning with splotches of dead skin, your tan won’t come out even and that’s how many people get those lighter splotches on their bodies a few days later. You can exfoliate with dry brushing, or making your own skin exfoliating scrub. Some of the best ways to create these can be with honey and sugar, or coffee and olive oil. Mix the two ingredients, and rub your body down. Then hop in the shower and rinse off.

Twenty minutes before you walk out onto the beach apply your sunscreen. Most dermatologists suggest at least an SPF 30 sunscreen when going out between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (these are the hours that the sun has the harshest UV rays.) Let your sunscreen set before you set foot on the beach – having sand stick to your sunscreen, or any bodily oil, is not a pleasant sensation. Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen according to what your sunscreen bottle says.

Lastly know that when tanning, it’s important to move around. First start your flips or rotations with 10-15 minute intervals. Then as the day stretches on, you can go from 15 to 30 minute intervals. Just make sure when tanning to expose your underarms only on one side because you really don’t want them to get burnt.

Now that you know how to get the perfect tan, go forth and get defined tan lines! And come back relaxed!