The sun is the leading causes of skin aging, it leaves dark spots, encourages wrinkles, and causes cancer. Enough to make you want to avoid it at all cost, right? Yeah, maybe not. My desire for a rich-even tan during the summer outweighs all that. Here's how I've achieved a super dark tan over my past few weeks of travel, but in the safest (kinda) way possible.
Leading up to my vacation I boosted my omega intake. Omegas are shown to boost your skins natural defenses against the sun. This in combination with sunscreen can help prevent burning.
With only a few shirtless hikes on Runyon under my belt, I headed to St Thomas on a family vacation without a base tan. Generally I like a little colour to prep my skin for the intense island sun, but I just didn't have the time for it. So during my first day in the sun I did the Sun Bum SPF 50 Clear Zinx Oxide on my face and a L'Oreal Quick Dry SPF 30 on my body. I got hardly any colour, but I didn't burn, so that was a plus.
Day 2 I kept the Sun Bum SPF 50 on my face but switched to Kate Somerville Body Glow SPF 20 for body, I had received it a few months prior and was excited to try it. I was even more excited when I realized it had gold shimmer in it, cause nothing says "vacation" like gold shimmer. Now the second day of sun was slightly more booze fueled than the first and I may not have been reapplying my sunscreen correctly. *You should always reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after a lot of time in the water*. Since it's usually only my shoulders that burn, there's where I was reapplying. This vacation was an exception to that, I burned my stomach around where my sternum is, so random, but it got super red. I brought along with Kate Somerville Tan Maximizer, I applied this liberally every evening to calm down the redness. It has that distinct sunscreen smell, which I'm not a very big fan off, but whatever, I needed the hydration.
Day 3 Since I was still feeling a bit burnt, I kept using the Kate Somerville SPF 20 on body and switched to my favorite Jurlique Sun Specialist SPF 40 for my face, it just smells so damn good and feels rich and hydrating. I wear it on the daily even though its designed for beach use, its just so good.
Day 4, I needed a break from the sun and pretty much slept all day, had a quick workout, and bathed in after sun lotion.
Day 5 Still feeling a bit worried about my not yet peeling burn, I bought some Sun Bun SPF 50 for my body so I wouldn't get anymore burnt. My tanning had haulted, but I wasn't peeing yet. I stopped by a shop in St John and got Solar Recovery - Save Your Skin that has a concoction of natural oils to stop burns. The label even said something to the effect of "We don't know how it works, it just does" sounds good to me! My skin looked better over night, it is such a nice light hydrating spray and smells amazing. I'm still spraying it on myself when I get out of the shower every morning.
Day 6 I wasn't about to leave this island without a dark tan, time to call in the big guns! I busted out my absolute favorite Lancaster SPF 6 Tan Deepener, and proceeded to bake in the sun, seriously nothing is better! Without fail it got a beautiful tan and my burn didn't get any worse, woo-hoo!!
I continued using the Solar Recovery Spray to prevent my tan from fading, but I knew my tan would start fading if I didn't find something heavier for hydration so I grabbed the Coola ER+ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion and instantly fell in love. Almost 100% natural ingredients, an emollient formula designed to prolong your tan and reduce inflammation. It's been my body moisturizer since.
The following week I was working in Vegas, my sister was kind enough to get me a cabana at the Caesars Venus Pool for my bday. I laid out for about 4 hours using the Lancaster SPF 6. I would have stayed out longer, but when you're getting free drinks and they're the size of a big gulp, nap time comes a bit sooner than normal.
And the week after that I went in Hawaii for work, I took full advantage of the little sunny free time I had (about 4 hours total in 2 visits) and again used the Lancaster SPF 6. This stuff is legit a tanning miracle, every time I use it I get amazing colour without burning. Only problem with it is the sheer tint is a bit staining on white clothes. Being that I was sporting my white AussieBum booty shorts, it can be a bit of a problem.
In case you couldn't figure it out, here's my formula for tanning. Start off with a high SPF to get your skin use to the sun and gradually lower your protection to get darker once you've built up a tolerance. Always use hydrating and anti-inflammatory after sun products, this will calm down your skin, prevent peeling, and help maintain your tan for a longer period of time. It's been 2 weeks since I've been in the sun and the tan on my body hasn't faded at all. My face does get a little lighter due to all the exfoliants and retinoids I use, but a few drops of the Clarins Radiance Plus Glow Booster helps fix that problem. This is my routine all summer long, then come winter it's time to break out the chemical peels and heavy retinals to get rid of all that sun damage I just caused...