In the last installation of this article we talked about what a sunburn was and what to do to help your skin deal with the damage. If you haven’t read that article yet, click here to read it first.
Now that you’re all caught up let’s talk about why our skin peels and/or tans. We already know that a sunburn is your skin’s inflammatory response to damage caused by too much exposure to UV radiation. The reason that UV radiation is so bad is because it can damage your skin’s DNA and cause your skin cells to do all sorts of bad things, including turning cancerous. Ya, that’s bad news!
If you have light skin, then your skin will start to produce melanin. This is so that in the future your skin will be able to absorb this UV radiation before it can damage your DNA. This is what gives you that golden tan you’re looking for. If you have dark skin, then your skin is producing melanin even without this stimulus.
If your DNA has already been damaged then your skin cells will commit cellular suicide in order to prevent from becoming cancerous. This is called Apoptosis. This is what peeling is. (Ya, kinda freaks me out, too.)
I know what you’re thinking. How are you supposed to get the proper amount of sun exposure that you need to produce Vitamin D and stay healthy, without burning? Ok, so maybe you weren’t thinking that. But I’m going to address it anyhow because a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to:
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe Asthma in children
Before going out you’ll want to moisturize your skin. Hydrated, nourished skin tans better. Use a natural moisturizer like White Petal Aloe Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. Be sure to drink lots of water also. Moisturizers can’t lock any water in if there’s no water in your skin in the first place.
Next, you’ll want to apply sunscreen. Your skin can be damaged even if you don’t burn. Think of SPF as a multiplier. If your skin can handle 10min of sun and you use SPF 10, then your skin will be able to handle 100min of sun. How strong of an SPF you apply depends on how fair your skin is. The lighter your skin the higher the SPF. Everyone should use an SPF of at least 15 no matter your skin color. In fact, according to New York dermatologist Anne Chappas you should wear an SPF 50 for any outdoor activities.
It is important to move. Like a rotisserie chicken in the oven you’ll want to expose as much area to the sun as possible to get a more even tan. For best results, tan naked and be sure to expose areas that never see much sun, like your underarms.
Finally, limit your exposure. Your skin will darken for up to 48hrs after sun exposure so you don’t need to stay out until you see your tan. You’ll run the risk of burning and peeling. Depending on your complexion start with 15-60min of exposure. Gradually increase exposure by 5-10min at a time.
If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals. Also please, please, please share or comment on this article. Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.