Skin can become dry and damaged from ultraviolet light, bathing, wind, and other factors. Dry, flaking skin reflects light, and reduces the tanning effect. Because moist skin tans better, use quality lotion before, during, and after tanning. Lotion puts back into your skin the moisture and nutrients that tanning and other external elements can take out. Lotions can help speed up the tanning process and repair dry or damaged skin at the same time.
Although they may seem like an unnecessary nuisance, the goggles you wear while tanning are very important to eye care and health. Your eyelids alone offer almost no protection against ultraviolet light. Not using proper eye protection may result in short term effects such as tired, itchy eyes, headaches, loss of night vision, and could eventually lead to cataracts. Don’t take chances with your eyes. Wear goggles every time you tan for absolute protection.
Burning is not Necessary to Tan
A common myth many people believe is that you have to burn before you can tan. The fact is that every time you burn you damage your skin. A burn is your skin’s way of telling you that you have been overexposed to the sun. Build up your tan slowly without burning, giving pigment a chance to develop, increasing your protection from UV light. It may take longer, but you reduce the risk of damaging your skin.
Swimming & Bathing
If you are an avid swimmer or shower often, you may have noticed that you do not tan well, or have trouble holding a tan. This is because bathing dries out your skin and robs it of essential nutrient and moisture. Try not to bathe 2 to 3 hours before your tanning session. Avoid bathing immediately after tanning because the tanning process continues for some time, and the skin does not get a chance to thicken to protect the lower layers. Every time you bathe or swim you wash away some of the top dead layers of skin. Also, chlorine and other chemicals in swimming pools eat away at your skin causing you to fry out, peel, and flake. Be sure to use a quality moisturizer after you bathe or swim.
Take it Easy
Many people believe that by tanning every day for 30 minutes they’ll get a dark tan. However, too much exposure may actually result in a less satisfactory tan, because the more you tan the thicker the top layer of your skin becomes, making it more difficult for UV light to stimulate melanin production. Your skin can only reach a certain degree of darkness, and overdoing it may damage your skin and increase the change of premature aging. Two to three sessions a week is enough to build a tan. Remember, a half hour session is like a full day of sunshine at the beach.