How to Get a Healthy Tan

Cynthia Bailey, MD|April 20, 2012

healthy tanningIt's spring and we social media crusaders for healthy skin are busy getting the word out to people about the harmful effects of sun on your skin. Coolibar, my absolutely favorite sun protective clothing company, just posted my beta carotene advice on their blog. I want to send you there to shop for your sun protective wardrobe this season. It's all part of the same message and we want it to reach as many people as possible: get your skin color from a healthy diet and not from the sun! The ashy brown color of a UV, sun-induced tan is out. Scientific studies have shown that you're more attractive with the golden glow that comes from eating veggies rich in beta carotene. Keeping the sun off your skin enhances your looks: not just because sun causes wrinkles, skin cancers (which are not cute), and age spots, but because the color is ashy. Warm is in and beta carotene gives your skin a warm hue. Keeping the sun off your skin as the weather calls you outside takes a premeditated plan. It is also a shopping opportunity. 

You need:

  1. Great cover clothing in fabric that blocks the sun. I get mine at Coolibar because they have the best fabric technology and their garments' protection lasts. They're also cute, functional, and pack well.
  2. A full-brim hat, meaning the brim must be at least 3 inches. It needs to cover the top of your head too. (Skin cancers on the scalp are no fun, trust me!)
  3. UV protective sun glasses
  4. A great collection of sunscreen. (I'm amassing the best collection on my website as we speak so, stay tuned.) Pick your products for your skin type, their function, and your personal product preferences. You need to buy new sunscreen every year because it expires and you don't know how you abused last years product. (Did you let it cook in a hot car?) You need water-resistant if your wet or sweaty, non-migrating if stinging in your eyes is an issue, oil-free if your acne prone, good under makeup or the right skin feel for everyday use, protection for your lips, etc. Your products need to be broad spectrum and, I believe, they should contain 5% or more zinc oxide. I'm working on creating the best collection to fit all your needs and I should have that done in a week or so.

So, time to go shopping! Cruise over to Coolibar and pick out a few items to wear over your tank tops and bathing suits. I just packed a nice bunch of functional coverups for my upcoming trip and, every week, I wear my swim tights and rash guard to swim laps - Coolibar sun protective clothing rocks! Create a collection of functional hats that will serve you well this season. Stock up on sunscreen for every need you'll have this year. For a refresher on the "how-to's", "whys," and "wherefores" of sun protection, read some of my advice below, and happy spring!

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