Nobody wants a two-tone, zebra crossing-like tan in summer. It’s the century of the selfie, and no self-respecting Instagrammer will don two or more shades on their skin. If you’re tanning, make it even and, if you’re staying out of the sun or away from a sunbed, keep it real and even, too.
Tanning has been a sunshine staple for millions and, while baking on the beach or a deck chair is the ultimate in personal indulgence, it’s got to be done safely while in pursuit of an even, all over tan.
- Advertisement -
Beauty therapist Anri Greeff of Perfect Balance in Sunninghill said that it is possible to get close to an all over tan without shedding your kit poolside. There are some natural tools available but, she notes, it does not replace sunscreen at all nor negates the importance of UV protection.
An all over tan does not mean that you have to wear the same bikini or board shorts day in and day out during summer to match the inevitable skin shading that occurs. Going for skin-gold evenly requires some TLC and forward thinking.
When you’re not in beach clobber, you can still tan through your clothes, and even get sunburnt said dermatologist Dr. Lushen Pillay. He recommends seeking out clothes that indicate an SPF of UV protection factor and, he said, the higher the number, the better. But, he warned: “It’s not a license to spend forever in the sun, you can still get burnt and damage your skin.”
Thus, tan lines are also a consequence of your garb. Strappy tops are the obvious culprits along with tee shirt sleeves. Your underwear can also give you a solid set of bra straps, back patterns and bottom tan shading when spending a lot of time in sunshine, even through your jeans.
Greeff recommends wearing lightly coloured clothing that reflects the UV rays away from your body and opting for more loose fitting clothes. She said: “Keep it even, go loose, go natural and if you are serious about avoiding tan lines you can also ditch underwear. Tight clothing and darker colours can not only make you hotter and uncomfortable, but it can give you an uneven tan.”
But when you do get tan lines, Greeff said, there are a few remedies that could do the trick, though time consuming. She said: “Gently exfoliating and scrubbing your skin in the parts where tan lines are most visible will also speed up the process of lightening dark areas of your skin, evening it all out. But the emphasis is on gentle.” Moisturise afterwards with a good quality vitamin E cream.
ALSO READ: What dark-skinned people need to know about skin cancer
Using a lemon juice and honey mixture also has the potential to do the trick, but it must not be used if you are sunburnt in any way. Greeff said: “Applying the mixture can make your tan lines less obvious. And it’s simple enough to mix equal parts of honey and lemon juice together, apply to the tan-lined area and leave it to rest on your skin for about half an hour. Remove, wash your skin, and voila!” She added that honey is also a good natural moisturiser.
Dr. Pillay said that honey and lemon juice work as a lightening agent but, he warned: “Do not use too much, use a little bit at a time.” He also warned against using coconut oil in any manner or form. He said: “Coconut oil on your skin acts as a magnifying glass and can cause sunburn as well as facilitate the development of skin cancer as a consequence of concentrated UV rays.”
For sunburn, Aloe Vera will cool you down. For everything else, said Greeff and Dr. Pillay in unison, use a high protection factor sunscreen.