What a summer we’ve had so far! One scroll through instagram and you’ll likely be inundated with photos of people showing off their ‘summer glow’. Now we know that instagram isn’t a reliable source of unedited reality! It’s everyone’s best angles and lots of filters! But we also know that many of us strive to get that ‘summer glow’ - a lightly bronzed glow to our skin that exudes health and well being. But how safe are our tanning habits? Is it possible to get a healthy summer glow without putting our skin at risk? We decided to find out more about the best way to get an even tan.
Sun Exposure - The Risks
We all know that donning your bathing suit and heading down to the beach without any SPF protection for a day in the sun is a bad idea. It increases your risk of sun damage which can increase your risk of skin cancer and also can prematurely age your skin. But exposing your skin to the sun, even when it isn’t shining brightly, can also damage your skin.
UVA and UVB Rays - The Difference
The sun gives out two UV rays - UVB is what causes sunburn and UVA penetrates the skin more deeply, but also attacks collagen and elastin, prematurely ageing the skin.
How your skin gets a ‘tan’
Let’s get scientific for a minute and look at what actually happens when your skin tans in the sun. When your skin is exposed to the sun’s UV radiation, it reacts by producing more melanin, the pigment in your skin, to protect your skin cells against further damage. So any change of colour is a sign of burning. Redness and peeling is a sign that your skin has been damaged by the sun, and this can have lasting effects on the skin.
Why it’s not safe to get a tan from the sun’s rays
Tanning in the sun’s rays without any SPF protection leaves your skin open to sun damage and exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays. When your skin burns it changes the DNA of your skin cells. This over time can increase your risk of skin cancers. That’s why you should always apply sunscreen when going out in the sun, even if it doesn’t appear to be that sunny.
Getting a safe, even tan in the sun
Now we aren’t saying to not spend any time in the sun at all. It is summer and for once we are seeing a lot of the sun! But you should make sure you apply sunscreen when you’re in the sun and choose a sun protection cream that will protect your skin effectively.
Understanding SPFs and choosing the right one for your summer glow
The first thing to say about SPFs (sun protection factors) is that they only refer to how long a sunscreen will protect you against UVB rays - that’s those rays that cause sunburn. So an SPF cream that doesn’t also have UVA protection won’t protect your skin from UVA rays that penetrate more deeply.
The number attached to an SPF is how long it protects you for. So if you have very light skin, you may only be able to be in the sun for 5 minutes before burning. An SPF of 15 would give you 15 times as long in the sun before burning.
SPF sunscreens with UVA and UVB protection:
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This luxurious sunscreen for the body is a gel so is absorbed easily into the skin. As well as having SPF15 UVB and UVA protection, it also has active ingredients to help facilitate tanning for a healthy summer glow. It’s a great choice if you’re not a fan of sticky sun creams - it feels amazing!
Bronzing Sun Powderlight bronzing powderMakeup01 Light Bronze: £23.50
This is a great sunscreen for your face and body, particularly if you are fair. It has a unique complex that stimulates melanin synthesis and so protects your skin from the inside out. It also has horse chestnut extract that soothes the skin. It is a cream but it a light feel on your skin so not too heavy on the face.
Your skin is exposed to the sun daily. That’s why products like Guinot Newhite Brightening UV Shield are great. This moisturiser has a built-in SPF 50 protection but also is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins to give you the nourishment and protection you need. It has Vitamin C to help fight against pollutants and to brighten skin.
Anti-Ageing Milk Body Sun Care SPF20Skincare150ml: £36.50
As well as having UVA and UVB protection, this luxurious body milk also has elastprotectin, which helps to firm and protect skin against UVB rays that attack the elastin levels.
Anti Ageing Tinted Face Cream SPF15Tinted SunscreenSkincare50ml: £41.00
An effective protection against UVA and UVB rays this tinted face cream also offers a healthy glow, with ingredients to promote and maintain an even tan.
Faking It - The Best Way To get An Even Tan
When it comes to getting an all over even tan, it is practically impossible to do that with a tan from the sun. This is because you will often get tan lines and the direction of the sun will make a difference but also because your skin will react differently to the sun in different areas. So getting an all over even tan is really unlikely from the sun.
Why you shouldn’t head to the tanning salon
For many years people wanting to get a fake glow have visited the local tanning salon to use tanning beds, often layering themselves in tanning lotions first to get an even tan. Sun beds can be really harmful for your skin and also offer none of the goodness of the sun. They only give out UVA rays, which will burn your skin, but won’t help your body to produce Vitamin D for example. Fake tan, whether a spray tan or a home fake tan, is always a safer way to get that summer glow.
The Three Best Fake Tanning Products - Our verdict
We’ve chosen our three favourite fake tan products. Whether you want an all over glow or just a tan on your face, these products are packed full of goodness and so are a treat for your skin, at the same time as giving you a summer glow.
Lait Hydra Bronze - BodyGradual Moisturizing Tan Lotion Face and BodySkincare200ml: £33.75
We love this gradual tanning moisturiser because it feels amazing on the skin and slowly builds to the desired effect. It not only has fake tanning ingredients that build a natural looking glow but also has a hydrocyte complex which softens and hydrates the skin, leaving your body looking and feeling amazing!
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Using fake tan on your face can feel a bit daunting - imagining streaky lines and uneven patches. This gradual tanning moisturiser for your face builds a slow tan. It smells amazing - which is a massive thumbs up from all of us who have used fake tan products that have an awful smell!
Self Tanner Body LotionSelf tanning body lotionSkincare150ml: £35.25
For a more instant summer glow, this tanning milk also has aloe vera extract to moisturise and mimosa to restore and revitalise skin, providing a summer glow in one application.
Get your Summer Glow The Healthy Way
Getting an even tan doesn’t have to mean exposing your skin to potential damage and problems later on. You can protect your skin and still enjoy a sun kissed look. Shop for your summer glow essential now at Jersey beauty Company:
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