Good Sun Habits to Make You Feel Good About Your Tan
The mediocrity of these spring-like temperatures won’t last forever. Pretty soon we’ll be pulling off the sweater-vests, grabbing our swimming suits and climbing over each other en route to the beach. The first thing everyone is going to want to do is plop down on the sand and get a tan that will make them forget about the cooped up months of winter – when even the light of the microwave began to look welcoming.
In all the excitement of getting onto the beach and into the sun, people forget about the danger they are submitting themselves to – the powerful rays of the sun which, even hidden by clouds, can turn a day of fun into a day of pain. Sun burns don’t just burn the skin; they age it, turning our smooth complexions into rough leather. Years of unhealthy sun exposure can also greatly enhance our risk of getting skin cancer.
When it comes to your skin and the sun – one can never be too careful. Allure magazine shares a few common, and possibly serious, mistakes people make when it comes to getting their tan on:
If you don’t apply the right amount of sunscreen, you’re not getting the protection you need. Dermatologist Jeannette Graf recommends using a nickel-size amount for your face and two shot glasses’ worth on your body. If you’re going to spend a lot of time outside, slather it on everywhere—even if you plan on wearing a bathing suit or clothes—and do so at least 20 minutes before you leave, so it has time to sink in. “If you wait until you get to the beach to apply it, your skin will be vulnerable while it penetrates,” Graf says.
The lips get more sun exposure than any other area on the face. And if you’re in the habit of slicking on lip gloss before hitting the pool, “it’s like putting baby oil on your body and lying out in the sun,” Graf says. “You can burn your lips.” If you plan on being outside, make sure your gloss has an SPF of 20, and put it on after you’ve covered your lips with a sunscreen lip balm. (We like Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50.) Then, don’t forget to reapply regularly. “We speak, we eat, we drink, we lick our lips—it’s constantly coming off,” Graf says. “You should put it on whenever you can.”
At Dental Health and Wellness Boston, we also suggest a high SPF in lip balm which can help ward off lip cancer – we can even screen for lip and other oral cancers. If the sun has already begun to visibly age the skin around your face, have you considered anti-aging cosmetic dentistry? And what’s the use of tanning if your teeth are the same color as your skin? Dr. Jill Smith and her staff can provide you with a professional tooth whitening experience, using such techniques as Britesmile and KöR, that will leave all your friends’ smiles in the sand.
Not sure where to start? Sign up for a free consultation where Dr. Jill Smith can personalize your whitening plan of attack.
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