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Want to get an awesome tan this summer, what's the best way?

nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey all,

I just moved to Cali and really want a great tan this summer. I have light skin and want something that looks healthy and natural. Any advice on safe, effective and low cost tanning is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

nakirush on

Posts

  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Don't be under the sun between 11AM and 3PM.

    Don't be under the sun without lotion. Get one that covers across the entire spectrum.

    Don't be under the sun for more than an hour at a time.

    Basically the main thing you have to know is that if you do it too fast you will hate yourself, and shed like a motherfucker too.

    (Last thing: stay hydrated.)

    Perpetual on
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    So is tanning under the sun safe? I wasn't sure if I should just tan naturally or go to a salon.

    nakirush on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    A tan is damaged skin. A tan is not "healthy". Anything over 30spf is wasted money. The words waterproof and all-day and any other awesome adjective is bullshit, the FDA doesn't really regulate the sunscreen industry (like, at all).
    Apply every two hours.

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  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    No, a tan is increased melanin production induced by increased UV exposure. It is a natural adaption, it is not unhealthy. What is unhealthy is giving onesself repeated radiation burns via the sun or any other mechanism.
    Start out with 20 minutes, then you can start increasing the exposure levels. If you burn, cut back.
    Use sunscreen if you don't want to fry. California sun can get intense.
    Enjoy your tan.

    Trillian on

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  • rizriz Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    An "awesome tan" is one you apply out of a bottle, or get sprayed on, if you really can't go without the look of one.

    There's no such thing as a safe tan.

    riz on
  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I've heard good things about mid-range priced rub-on tans ... it'll take repeated applications, but I hear it looks completely natural, plus it's 99.9% cancer free!

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  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I normally get a tan by sunbathing and avoiding the water on my body, I am not sure of the amount of time necessary for your type of skin, but normally 30 minutes is enough for me.

    The thing is that normal skin produces a subtance called melanina (Spanish), which protects the body from UV light, this is what causes tanning in your skin.

    Keep in mind that for some people it is not recommended to sunbathe without commercial blockers, specially those living in high industrialized countries, and that caucausians are more exposed to skin cancer.

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  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    If there was no such thing as a safe tan we wouldn't get them.
    We would still have fur.


    As for spray on tans, we don't know what the effects of those are, either.
    Anything lipid-based that you smear on the skin is going to get absorbed somewhat into the bloodstream. The effects of tan in a can have not been researched over decades as they haven't existed that long. Though they are likely safe, as is everything in small doses, using it all-over repeatedly is probably not the ideal solution.
    Personally they give me a chemical burn.

    Statistically, if you don't cook your ass in the sun over decades you stand a much greater chance of dying of something other than skin cancer.

    Trillian on

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  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    riz wrote: »
    There's no such thing as a safe tan.

    You're quite wrong about that.

    Perpetual on
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    There are plenty of ways to get a healthy tan. Most importantly, it's not about spending all day outside sunbathing, it's about being outside with your shirt off for a bit every day. A bit here, a bit there and you'll turn golden in a month or two.

    NotYou on
  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    If you moved there, you shouldn't have to really try getting a tan. Just by living in the coast and doing a lot of outdoor activities, you will get a slow gradual good lookin' tan.

    I live in the coast. In Mexico. And I'm naturally milky white.

    Satsumomo on
  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    NotYou wrote: »
    There are plenty of ways to get a healthy tan. Most importantly, it's not about spending all day outside sunbathing, it's about being outside with your shirt off for a bit every day. A bit here, a bit there and you'll turn golden in a month or two.

    Tanning is not an incremental process. It is an adaptive process. What this means is that "a bit here, a bit there" will only get you "a bit tanned".

    Perpetual on
  • KrubicksCubeKrubicksCube Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Right, well since people have all mentioned the health risks of frolicking in the sun...put on some decently powerful sunscreen and frolick in the sun?

    I found the times I've been the most tan in my life have been from just going swimming a lot or playing catch or something. And it will obviously look the most natural.

    Yeah, the sun can be dangerous but just don't stress it too much. A sunburn or two isn't going to flip the cancer on switch.

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  • RaneadosRaneados police apologist you shouldn't have been there, obviouslyRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    no tanning is safe, all tanning damages your skin

    edit: safe meaning not hurting your skin

    whether it's enough to actually cause problems is something you have to go with

    cancer? probably not with most moderate tanning

    wrinkles, aging, and rough skin? yeah probably from tan/burn 1


    go with cremes, all the tan, none of the cancer or aging skin

    Raneados on
  • Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Tanning ages your skin and really isn't worth it in the long run.

    I know a lady that thinks a tan looks nice. She's in her late 30's and looks like she is in her mid 40 because of it.

    It really isn't worth it in the long term.

    Blake T on
  • SporkAndrewSporkAndrew Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    A tan is damaged skin. A tan is not "healthy". Anything over 30spf is wasted money. The words waterproof and all-day and any other awesome adjective is bullshit, the FDA doesn't really regulate the sunscreen industry (like, at all).
    Apply every two hours.

    I disagree about anything over 30spf being wasted money, but maybe it's because being in the UK the industry is regulated and the number actually means something. I have to use 50spf sunblock as I've burned through well-applied 30spf on numerous occasions.

    I have to be really careful as according to doctors I've spoken to I have a "light" sun allergy.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    A tan is damaged skin. A tan is not "healthy". Anything over 30spf is wasted money. The words waterproof and all-day and any other awesome adjective is bullshit, the FDA doesn't really regulate the sunscreen industry (like, at all).
    Apply every two hours.

    I disagree about anything over 30spf being wasted money, but maybe it's because being in the UK the industry is regulated and the number actually means something. I have to use 50spf sunblock as I've burned through well-applied 30spf on numerous occasions.

    I have to be really careful as according to doctors I've spoken to I have a "light" sun allergy.

    That depends entirely on other factors, but what I was getting at is that:
    SPF 100 blocks 99% of UVB rays
    SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays and
    SPF 30 blocks 96.7% of UVB rays

    UVB causes burns, UVA damages the skin giving it that leathery look. Make sure you protect from both.

    Improvolone on
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  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I had pretty good results with a lotion style product. I found I could darken my skin several shades and it would look pretty natural, but any attempt to get a really tan look started to show it was artificial. But really, just a few shades darker looks much better than that bleached white lolsubmarinelol look I was sporting.

    Regina Fong on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Right, well since people have all mentioned the health risks of frolicking in the sun...put on some decently powerful sunscreen and frolick in the sun?

    I found the times I've been the most tan in my life have been from just going swimming a lot or playing catch or something. And it will obviously look the most natural.

    Yeah, the sun can be dangerous but just don't stress it too much. A sunburn or two isn't going to flip the cancer on switch.
    Sunburn — the skin reddening caused by overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation — may seem like just a temporary irritation, but sunburns can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. Children are especially at risk: One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life. Don’t get burned.
    A history of sunburns. Every time you get sunburned, you damage your skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. After a sunburn, your body works to repair the damage. Having multiple blistering sunburns as a child or teenager increases your risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. Sunburns in adulthood also are a risk factor.

    While we do need sunlight to synthesize vitamin D and stave off depression, a healthy amount of sunlight exposure will not give you a tan.

    The only safe tan comes in a bottle, sorry.

    Regina Fong on
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    If you're dedicated to tanning, do water-based activities. I used to sail, and the light reflecting off the water increases the amount hitting you and you'll tan faster. Having a life jacket on will give you pretty weird tan lines, though.

    I tan incredibly quickly, though, due to my complexion - I don't even try to tan, yet my day to day outside activities can cause a noticeable effect after just one sunny weekend. If you burn before you tan, it might be that your skin isn't up to it and you'll have to just stay out of the sun to avoid painful burning.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    That depends entirely on other factors, but what I was getting at is that:
    SPF 100 blocks 99% of UVB rays
    SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays and
    SPF 30 blocks 96.7% of UVB rays

    UVB causes burns, UVA damages the skin giving it that leathery look. Make sure you protect from both.

    Well, not exactly; the SPF is literally a factor. SPF 30 means that you need to be exposed to 30 times the amount of solar radiation than you normally would in order to burn. SPF 50 is fifty times the amount of sun, etc.

    Sunscreens function by either blocking the sun (titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) or turning into a different compound (all organic and most other sunscreens). Percentages are an odd way of looking at it because it ignores the element of time -- a 4% difference may be significant if you're in the sun for hours, and most people have anecdotes about putting on a low SPF and then burning anyway.

    But the UVB/UVA point is dead-on; you want to protect your skin from both, especially if you're trying to get a darker look.

    As for actually getting the darker look, in my experience the *best* tan is a gradual tan acquired by going outside a lot and still wearing sunscreen. I run and bike in the morning (about an hour) and despite the sun being low I still end up with a tan shortly after Spring hits (and I'm not fully covered). Obviously to avoid "farmer tans" you want to be outside in a tanktop or shirtless, which is why hitting the beach or doing exercise is a good way to do it. I don't want to be chicken-wing dark (or chicken-wing saggy/wrinkly) so I put on sunscreen. I still get pretty tan, though.

    Fake suntans, such as bronzers and lotions, are not a good way to get tan unless you want to be dark for a special event. They last about 2 weeks and then need to be reapplied, and while a good lotion tan will look pretty natural if applied well, they just dye the top layers of skin. So when you naturally exfoliate your skin over time, that color comes off with it.

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  • FiziksFiziks Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Just do outdoor activities and wear sunscreen. You don't want the tan that says I'm brown for brown's sake.

    Fiziks on
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  • rizriz Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    riz wrote: »
    There's no such thing as a safe tan.

    You're quite wrong about that.

    Unless we're getting into semantics (i.e., a fake tan may be safe), not really, no.

    Also, making some text red isn't generally regarded as "opposing facts."

    riz on
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Wow, lots of responses! Thanks everybody.

    Are any of you familiar with Mystic Tan? I've heard conflicting reviews about it.

    nakirush on
  • KrubicksCubeKrubicksCube Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    When people say you can't get ultra brown (safely) from being outside just hanging out...they're mostly right. So if you ARE aiming to get ultra brown my sister used a fake tanning thing that when used in moderation looks (surprisingly) alright. If you're interested I'll see if I can find the name.

    I've been back home for a few days after being in the UK and I've already gained some color just from going swimming a few times and wearing sunscreen. So, depends how dark you want it.

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  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I think being concerned about tanning is probably the wrong way to think about this. Want to look like you spend some time outdoors under the sun? Then do that, and wear appropriate sun protection while you're doing it.

    Also don't do tanning beds

    Corvus on
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  • NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    My advice.... start sunbathing....



    Naked.

    Nylonathetep on
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