Home Outdoor Tanning Tips

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Outdoor tanning has its share of health risks.
Outdoor tanning has its share of health risks. (Image: Reading and Tanning image by Wimbledon from Fotolia.com)

Once hot weather arrives, it is common for people to head outside to get some color after a long winter of being indoors. Tanning at home on your deck or in the yard is a popular activity, but you should mind some precautions. Keeping some basic outdoor tanning tips in mind when you head outside will help keep your skin safe.

Moisturize

The drier your skin is, the less melanin it will produce and the harder time you will have achieving the tan you want. Keep your skin moisturized from the outside and the inside if you plant on spending time in the sun. Moisturize the outside daily with a skin moisturizer, and stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day.

No Burning

When your skin burns as a result of too much sun exposure, it causes damage that may lead to premature aging, peeling, blistering and increased risk of skin cancer. According to Purdue University, one sunburn that leads to blistering as a child or adolescent more than doubles your melanoma risk later in life.

Avoid the Strongest Rays

The sun’s rays are at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day. While it may not be possible to avoid the sun altogether during that time frame, try to limit direct exposure, especially between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Seek out some shade and protect your skin with wide-brimmed hats and darker clothing. If you plan to do outdoor tanning at home, select a time outside this range if possible.

Use Sunscreen

Perhaps the most effective protection available other than staying out of the sun is with the application of sunscreen. It is important to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, higher if you are fair-skinned and usually burn easily. Reapply the sunscreen if you sweat or go in the water, and cover all the areas that may be exposed to sun except your mouth and eyes.

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