We all love how the sun feels, and there’s really nothing better than getting a little sun-kissed glow in the summertime. But if you’re not careful, too much sun can lead to premature ageing, wrinkles, and skin cancer. So how do you get a good dose of vitamin D without experiencing those damaging effects? Check out these seven tips to tan better (and safer) during the summer.

Avoid the Pre-Tan

Many people head to the tanning bed before the summer starts. However, this is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Tanning beds emit massive amounts of UVA – which is very bad for your skin. The Melanoma Research Foundation has also warned sun-lovers that using tanning beds before the age of 30 comes with an increased risk of developing melanoma by a whopping 75%! So avoid sunbeds as much as possible to reduce your risk of cancer.

Use Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

All because it says SPF, doesn’t mean it protects you from skin cancer or early sun damage. Sunscreen that does not contain “broad-spectrum” in the label will only prevent sunburns. What you need is one that protects from both UVA and UVB radiation, with a minimum SPF factor of 30 to ensure you’re getting adequate protection from skin cancer.

Apply Sunscreen Frequently

The rule of thumb is to use two tablespoons of SPF 30 or higher and to apply it half-an-hour before going outside and then every two hours thereafter. When it comes to your face, your skin is more delicate in this area, so sunscreen should be applied liberally. For best results, we recommend using a dermatologist-approved sunscreen or facial moisturizing creams that contain SPF that are specifically tailored to your skin type.

Take Breaks

It’s important to know when you’ve had too much sun. Typically, two to three hours is all you need to get a nice tan without damaging your skin. To get a healthier and long-lasting tan, you should consider dividing up your time so you can get a more even tan and reduce your chances of getting an unsightly burn.

Eat These Foods

There are a number of foods that can help better protect your skin when you’re out in the sun. Dark chocolate, for instance, is filled with flavonoids which can defend against sunburn. Antioxidants found in fatty fish and vegetables like tomatoes can also reduce inflammation and help protect your skin against UV rays.

Don’t Forget These Areas

It’s not uncommon to forget specific areas when you apply sunscreen. Spots like your ears, eyelids, underarms, and feet are most often missed. So try to remember to lather up everywhere.

Give Your Skin Time to Repair

Your skin needs time to repair itself before you head back outdoors for more sun. We recommend letting your skin rest for two to three days after a tanning session for optimal results. A visit to a skin care clinic is also helpful at least every couple months so your skin care specialist can check your skin for any signs of damage and give you a nourishing skin treatment to keep your skin looking young and radiant.

Don’t put your skin at risk, make sure to follow these tips to tan better during the summer. And when your skin is in need of treatment, come visit The Ottawa Skin Clinic to help keep your skin looking young and fresh.