It's a fact. Humans need sunlight. The sun is a great source of, not only vitamin D, but also just plain energy to take on every day. I once had a period in which I was at war with the sun, but I've learned to love it and at times even crave it, even more so now that quarantine has made us replace sun rays for blue screen rays. Besides, what is summer without a bit of sun?
We've all been told from a small age that exposure to the sun for prolonged periods of time is unhealthy and can lead to conditions further on, but I know that piece of knowledge is not gonna stop the public entirely. And so, if you're going to do it anyway, I want you to be "safe" about it. I spoke to a dermatologist with this objective in mind, and she just told me to refrain from the topic altogether, seeing as she would never recommend it as it goes against her practice. So please consider that before you make any decision.
With that being said, I looked for another expert on the topic that I know so little about and had a little chat with Camila Gutierrez, a free-spirited girl that runs an Instagram page (@skinbycam) about holistic skincare, beauty and nutrition, and who happens to be the queen of the perfect tan.
Here's what she said:
What are your golden rules for tanning?
My absolute golden rule would be to take care of your gut and your lymph. They’re the ones who ultimately decide how good your skin/tan can be. If you look after them, eating loads of veggies, ferments, fruits, and drinking lots of water, you’ll get better results every time.
What's one thing you can do to help the tanning process that not a lot of people know about?
Definitely doing it progressively instead of all at once. The slower you go, the easier it’ll be for your body to respond to the tan in a non-panicky way. If you suddenly decide to spread out in the sun for an entire day, your body will naturally go into defense mode and try to cure your skin as fast as it can. This means red and flaky skin and a tan that only lasts for a maximum of 2-3 days. Worst part is, the damage is forever. So slow and steady wins the race.
Do you have a tanning ritual that you follow religiously?
I try to always nourish my body a lot the days before and during the ones I'm planning on tanning. I clean up my eating habits and focus on really pretty, colorful veggies, spicey ferments, juicy fruits, and I also drink a ton of water with some lemon and apple cider vinegar in it to aid my lymphatic system. I also moisturize a lot after I tan and obviously try to reapply my sunscreen every once in a while during the day (especially the face one.)
What are your favorite tanning products?
Tan-wise I really like the browning lotion by Maui Babe but lately, I really try to focus more on good sunscreens like the ones from Supergoop and Coola and save the browning lotions just for my legs and very sparingly. I love the Unseen sunscreen by Supergoop for the face and the Body Spray by Coola.
Maui Babe Browning Lotion
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen
Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray
Thank you, Camila, for spreading your love and spirit of nourishment for one's skin.
Don't forget to check out this gem's beautiful and informational Instagram on holistic skincare @skinbycam.
Before we end this, I want to share that I did some research on my own and found some interesting facts about melanin. Melanin is the pigment that determines the color of our skin, eyes, and hair. The creation of melanin is a protective response to sun exposure. This reaction is responsible for giving you a tan. And melanin, as some may think, is not unlimited. Past a certain point, around 2-3 hours, our bodies stop creating melanin, which means that after that much time tanning, our skin will not go any darker no matter what we do. In turn, we would just be putting it in harm's way fruitlessly.
Skin is the biggest organ in our bodies and the one that protects all others from the outside world. Take care of it deeply and don't damage it mindlessly. And I hope this post gave you a bit of perspective on how.