Slimmer – Magazine

SunTan Savvy
How to Bronze not Burn

by Lia Schorr

TIME. MONEY. ENERGY. GREAT amounts of each are spent in the quest for "timeless" skin. So concerned are we about maintaining a youthful complexion that we try just about anything: lotions, potions, creams, vitamins, diets, facials, et al.

We get an A for effort when it comes to experimenting with routines and products that we hope will slow down the aging processes. But there's one area where all the facts are in, where adhering to certain rules guarantees that the skin will be given a fair chance as it moves through time's natural processes. That, of course, is tanning. Here are the unfiltered facts.

  • Exposure to sun is the number one cause of premature aging of the skin, as well as a proven promoter of skin cancer. It's as simple as that.
  • While moderate doses of sun supply the body with vitamin D (the "sunshine" vitamin), too much sun robs the body of the all-important vitamin B complex.
  • The skin remembers. Each and every exposure to ultraviolet rays takes its toll; in most cases it takes years before the damage becomes evident. By that time, of course, no amount of attention is going to right the wrongs.
  • Sun puts the skin on the defensive. Tanning is really a retaliation process. Melanin is produced to "shield" the underlayers of delicate skin from the harmful rays of the sun. There are approximately 60,000 melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) per square inch of skin. Basic skin color is generally a good indicator of melanin-producing potential. Dark-skinned people, for instance, are less susceptible to the sun's damaging rays than are fair-skinned types.
  • Tans, literally speaking, don't fade. What happens is that the pigmented layers of skin peel off.
  • Too much sun causes the blood vessels to dilate, which in turn causes the painful redness of sunburn. At the same time, the sun literally burns the delicate protein collagen fibres of ile skin.

Even though we know these facts, tanning is part of the American Way. It stands for a glamorous, leisurely good time. (A century ago, the reverse was true. Only peasants had tanned skin: individuals of the upper class sported lily-white complexions.) Now we look to the sun to give us a “healthy" glow.

All things considered, a slowly acquired tan is far less harmful than a two-day blitz in the sun. Rome wasn't built in a day, a slimmer figure isn't realized—and maintained after a week of careful eating and a "sensible" tan does not result from a weekend of nonstop sunning. Remember:

  • The sun is most intense between 11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. If you must "bathe" in the rays, try to do so outside of these hours.
  • Water and sand boost the burning potential of the sun.
  • While clouds seem to mask the sun, they don't absorb ultraviolet rays. Don't be fooled.
  • Sunblock preparations usually have very little staying power.

Tips For Great Summer Lips

Lips burn more easily than other skin. And saliva on the lips can intensify the burning effects of the sun. When you burn your lips, they turn red, blood vessels swell, and fragile tissue breaks. Fluid is released from the damaged cells and inflamed blood vessels. In some cases, the fluid forms in blisters on the surface.

Lips cannot normally thicken so they damage easily. Over the years, too much exposure to the sun without protection can cause dangerous destruction of the lip skin sometimes leading to serious disorders like cancer of the lips.Sunlight also has an aging effect and accounts for wrinkled lips and fine lines around the mouth.

So whenever you are out in the sun, you should coat your lips with a medicated emollient sunscreen formula. A salve or warry balm that is especially formulated to seal moisture into the lips unique tissue is best so the PABÁ sunscreen won't be quickly licked off.

They wash off easily in water-or perspiration. Look for sunscreen preparations that contain PABA, zinc oxide, or titanium oxide. Don't leave home without applying! And remember to reapply often

  • No sun preparation will totally prevent the ultraviolet rays from hitting your skin.
  • A nongreasy product is best. Oily preparations invite burning, itchy rashes and perspiration.
  • Do not use perfume, antibacterial soap, medicated shampoos, antiseptic creams, or highly perfumed hair conditioners. All can harm your skin while you're spending time in the sun.

Sunburn Soothers

  • A cool bath: Mix in three teaspoons of baking soda.
  • A head-to-toe yogurt mask. Leave it on for ten minutes, then shower off with cool water.
  • Baby powder reduces friction between your skin and your clothes.
  • Keep your body well moisturized to inhibit peeling.
  • Don't rub your skin with a loofah or a towel.
  • The summer-right accessories: Large sunglasses (green or gray lenses are most protective), a large hat (to keep the sun and your hair off your face), all-cotton towels (absorbant and non-irritating), small pearl earrings (large metal ones hold heat) and a poolside umbrella.
  • Dehydration is a by-product of too much sunning and warm weather activity. Drink plenty of water when you're spending time in the sun. Alcohol and even fruit juice are too taxing on the system. Your body has to work too hard to digest the sugar.
  • A good professional facial before you embark on a sun-filled escapade is recommended for its nourishing and deep-cleaning benefits. Plus, a good skin-care specialist can recommend a personalized course of action.