Hello lovelies! It’s summer soon and the other day I was scrolling through Instagram when I found a post about how to perfectly and safely tan, and unfortunately a few of the steps mentioned wasn’t correct at all. In fact, some of the instructions mentioned could potentially be dangerous. Being shocked that they would even post something like that I read through the comments, and to my horror, not a single one had pointed out what I had noticed. Just a bunch of “thank you so much, this was very useful”. I then felt like I had to correct what I had read since the things mentioned are probably very common mistakes that most people do, and decided I would do it here. So here you go, a “common mistakes” guide on how to safely tan during the summer if that’s what you’re looking for.
Common mistake number 1: Thinking wearing black while tanning will attract light
Well, I don’t know if this is a common mistake, but one of the first things that caught my attention on the Instagram post was that she had written something like “wear a bikini, preferably black because dark colors attract the sun”. It hurt just to write that sentence, let me tell you why:
- One cannot attract the sun. If that would happen we would all be doomed, which you hopefully understand. I think what she meant was that the color black attracts the light, which brings me to my next statement…
- The color black doesn’t attract light, it absorbs it. That means that the light that is already going in the direction of the bikini is just absorbed, instead of reflected away, resulting in warmth because light equals heat. However…
- Even if the black color could attract light it wouldn’t matter because then the bikini would get all the light, not your skin around it which wouldn’t make you tan at all.
Okay now that I got that out of my system, I would just like to say that she got at least one thing correct in my point of view. It’s good to wear a bikini when you’re trying to tan so you don’t end up with one of those tan lines where half your body is paler than the other. Unless, you know, that’s what you’re looking for.
Common mistake number 2: Tanning between 10am and 2pm
The other thing that caught my attention was that she wrote that between 10am and 2pm is a good time to tan because that’s when the sun is at its brightest. By all means, and I’m really empathizing this, do not go out and tan during 10am and 2pm. Seriously, not only is it the brightest time of the day, the sun is also at it’s strongest meaning you probably won’t get tan, just sunburnt. Since sunburns cause a series of bad things, one of them skin mutation like cancer, I wouldn’t call it safe tanning. If you’re really looking to tan safely I would suggest you avoid these times altogether, and to minimize damage: one hour in the sun is a safe amount of time.
Common mistake number 3: Not wearing sunscreen because it “blocks the tan”
The third and last thing that the Instagram post was wrong about, and this is the most important one, was that you should skip the sunscreen since it’s blocking you from getting a tan. Well, in short, sunscreen is a product that allows some UV rays to penetrate to the skins surface which means that most harmful UV rays will be blocked. That’s why no, it does not block you from getting a tan. So please folks, always apply sunscreen, especially before tanning. My suggestion is that you should reapply it every two hours and depending on your skin-tone use a sunscreen with an SPF that blocks out most UV rays. With other words, if you’re on the fairer side you should get a sunscreen with a higher SPF, and if you have darker skin you can use an lower SPF. However, remember that every skin-tone can get sun-burnt so be careful.
Stay safe this summer,