There's nothing that lifts your spirits like spending time in the sunshine and a certain amount of exposure to the sun is actually good for our bodies. However, it is important that you take special care of your skin against the dangers of suntanning. The secret is to give your skin the protection it needs, while you gradually develop a light attractive color.
The Right Product:
There is a wide range of sun creams, lotions and blocks available, and it is vital to use the right one because burning ages your skin and increases your chances of skin cancer. Play safe by following our two-step plan:
Step 1: Know Your SPFs:
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The higher the number of the SPF, the more protection the product will give you from the burning ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. For instance, an SPF 2 will let you stay out in the sun for twice as long as you usually could before burning, whereas an SPF 8 will let you stay out eight times as long.
Step 2: Go By Skin Type:
To choose an SPF you need to know how vulnerable your skin is to the sun's UVB rays. Dermatologists divide skins into six types, each needing a different level of protection, so you can ensure your skin is always well protected, wherever you travel.
Skin-Type I: Always burns, never tans, Fair-skinned, usually with freckles. Red or blonde hair. Typical Irish or Anglo-Saxon skin type.
UK / North Europe: Use total sunblock, or keep out of the sun.
USA / Tropics / Africa: Use total sunblock.
Mediterranean: Use total sunblock.
Skin Type 2: Burns easily and tans with difficulty. Fair hair and pale skin. Typical North European skin type.
UK / North Europe: Start with SPF 20 and use a sunblock on delicate areas. Progress gradually to SPF 15.
USA / Tropics / Africa: Start with sunblock and progress gradually to SPF 20.
Mediterranean: Start with SPF 20, use sunblock on delicate areas, progress gradually to SPF 15.
Skin-type 3: Sometimes burns but tans well. Light brown hair and medium skin tone. Again, a typical North European skin type.
UK / North Europe: Start with SPF 10 and progress to SPF 8.
USA / Tropics / Africa: Start with SPF 20, moving to SPF 15, then to SPF 10.
Mediterranean: Start with SPF 15, moving to SPF 10.
Skin-type 4: Occasionally burns but tans easily. Usually with brown hair and eyes, and olive skin. This is the typical Mediterranean skin type.
UK / North Europe: Start with SPF 8, moving to SPF 6.
USA / Tropics / Africa: Start with SPF 15, moving to SPF 8.
Mediterranean: Start with SPF 10, moving to SPF 6.
Skin-type 5: Hardly ever burns and tans very easily. Dark eyes, dark hair and olive skin. A typical Middle Eastern or Asian skin type.
UK / North Europe: Use SPF 6 throughout.
USA / Tropics / Africa: Start with SPF 8 and move to SPF 6.
Mediterranean: Start with SPF 8 and move to SPF 6.
Skin-type 6: Almost never burns. Has dark hair, eyes and skin. Typical African or Afro-Caribbean skin type.
UK / North Europe: No sunscreen needed.
USA / Tropics / Africa: Start with SPF 8 moving to SPF 6.
Mediterranean: Use SPF 6 throughout.
Safe Tan, Fake Tan Plans