At the nearest glimpse of sunshine, there is nothing I love more than to get into a bikini and soak up some rays of Summer goodness. Spending time in the sun has been linked to the release of endorphins and supplies our bodies with vitamin D. Although sunshine and vitamin D are so important for our bodies, many people don’t sunbathe with enough caution, continue reading for some tips to help you tan safely and have fun in the sun.

Know your UVs
There are two types of ultraviolet radiation that reach us, UVA and UVB.

UVB plays a major role in the production of vitamin D, which assists the body to absorb calcium, phosphate and strengthens our bones. It is also believed to help prevent chronic diseases and combat infection. It is also responsible for superficial damage (like sunburn) and non-melanoma cancers.

UVA is what you need to be worried about! It penetrates deep into the skin and starts producing melanin (a brown pigment) which although is our body tanning it also indicates our bodies defence system kicking into gear to stop the skin from burning. UVA rays also destroy collagen and elastin supplies which ages the skin at a rapid rate.

So, ensure you always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen while you are out in the sun. If your skin is like mine, you will be able to achieve a light tan slowly whilst wearing sunscreen without rapidly damaging your skin.

Look out for the signs
Turning up to dinner looking like a lobster isn’t a great look and it is very hard to style. Redness is one of the main symptoms that your bodies inflammation response system is on alert and it wants you to get in (and stay in) the shade ASAP.

Itchy tight skin, that unshakeable internal heat, it’s only a matter of time before the peeling begins! I recommend investing in a great after sun product that you can lather yourself post-shower. It not only cools the skin but can also help repair cellular damage. Another favourite of mine is fresh aloe vera, a great succulent to have around the house, simply cut off a stick and apply the gel to affected areas – its mother nature’s very own after sun product.

Know your limit
If it isn’t already obvious to you, your body needs regular breaks from the sun. Personally, I can’t spend a whole day sun worshipping – a timeout in the shade for a nice lunch is a great way to break up the day. It is impossible for you to build a tan in one go as your body has limited melanin stores, so regular breaks – even entire days is always a good idea to give the skin some rest.

Keep the tan lines rolling
If a after sun lotion or aloe vera isn’t needed I would recommend layering on a rich moisturiser after your shower. Not only will it lengthen the life of your natural tan but it will also give the skin the TLC it needs after spending time in the great outdoors.

Happy safe sun time!