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Do not be afraid to tan

When it comes to tanning and sun, authorities relayed by the press seek above all to scare you.

The aim is it only ruin your holiday? Give you a guilty conscience? To persuade you to spread you sticky and toxic cream? To stay indoors during the best hours of the day?

Or are they trying simply to make you spend your money on self-tanners, sunscreen, sunglasses, after-sun lotion etc. I need regular.

Officially, there is of course the fight against the epidemic of skin cancer. But we have already revealed the truth about it.

If it is very important to avoid sunburn, while adapting gradually, the sun has, apart from this risk, as virtues for your health.

The best you can do, therefore, is to enjoy the good weather to get out, following the safety recommendations below. If you can, go to the beach, the mountains, a river or countryside.

As long as you keep your common sense, you can enjoy the benefits of the sun on your skin, your mood and your health.

Gradual adaptation

The only real advice to give on the sun is simply common sense: do you adapt gradually.

It's just like running or any other activity, if for forty years, you have never left your couch, you do not run a marathon!

Our natural way of life is to live outside, and therefore be exposed to the sun, according to seasonal fluctuations; our skin is able to adapt, clarifying when we run out of the sun, to let the UVB rays (ultraviolet B). When UVB strikes the surface of your skin, your skin converts a cholesterol derivative in precious vitamin D3.

Have optimal stores of vitamin D has countless benefits. In particular, this causes a significant decrease in the risk of cancer, including cancer of the skin.

Conversely, if the sunlight is strong, our skin turns brown in order to limit the entry of UVB.

However, if you live for weeks indoors, or in a little sunny area, then you'll need to adjust gradually to take the sun.

The brutal and excessive sun exposure provides no health benefit. It leads as you know from sunburn, which are an inflammatory reaction of the skin to excessive ultraviolet radiation.

The right pace to suit

If you do not have the habit of sun, first you expose by sessions of 10 to 20 minutes, depending on location and sunshine (cloud or not), at least 40% of your skin.

If you are white skin, your goal is that your skin takes on a faint pink color.

Stop just before:

  • your skin becomes warm or hot to the touch;
  • you feel uncomfortable when you touch the skin when rubbed or your clothes.


The difficulty is that these symptoms are not immediately visible. They appear in the following sun exposure hours, and the pain becomes maximum within 24 hours.

This is why the best, initially, is simply to measure the time you expose yourself. If you take a sun bath on a day of blue sky without a cloud, between 11 hours and 16 hours, do not expose you 10 minutes on the stomach, then 10 minutes on the back.

Your aim is to avoid burns, blisters, peeling skin.

Like normal burns, sunburns are classified into three levels: burns first, second and third degree. The first degree burns can be treated at home (see below). Those of the third degree cause blisters, sores that can become infected, fever, chills, and must seek medical attention immediately.

A beautiful tan is a sign of a good vitamin D levels

Early exposure to the sun, when your skin starts to turn pink, you reach the point of balance: your body can not produce more vitamin D. You and manufacture up to 20,000 IU (international units) vitamin D daily, and safe because you have a biological feedback control system that prevents it from reaching the overdose.

And expose yourself every day, you can gradually increase your exposure time. Moderate tanning is the visible natural that your vitamin D levels is optimal sign.

People who have very dark skin can ultimately spend hours in the sun without fear of burning.

But for most of us, in Europe, the maximum exposure time, after much used, is about an hour, after which it must protect themselves by putting in the shade. Also note that the skin on our face is very thin, so fragile, and it is important to wear a hat to avoid damaging it. The hat will also limit the risk of sunstroke.

Against UVA UVB

The sun's ultraviolet rays reach us in two main forms:

Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays that are considered bad for health because they penetrate deep into the skin and cause DNA mutations and the formation of aggressive free radicals. Sunscreens block UVB and pass good UVA factors of cancer, unless they contain a specific anti-UVA ingredient. Therefore, sunscreen can prevent you from burning without protect against cancer. In addition, it is possible that UVA might still be benefits for our health, that have not yet been identified by science.

Ultraviolet B (UVB) are ultraviolet vouchers, which help the skin to make vitamin D. But they can also give a tan and sunburn faster than UVA. Sunlight is especially rich in UVB in the middle of the day, that is to say precisely when the experts tell you not to expose yourself!

However, one inside the other, the benefits of a reasonable UVB exposure outweigh the potential harmful effects of UVA. In other words, the anti-cancer vitamin D produced under the effect of sun effects exceed the pro-cancer effects of UVA.

Plants and sunlight

That said, your skin like many plants, and you can always increase your comfort and beautify your skin with natural products.

Before exposure: eat fresh vegetables and small colorful fruits more antioxidants you consume, the more your skin will adapt quickly to the sun. You will reduce your risk of burn by eating vegetables and fruits rich in carotenoids, red orange pigments that you find in apricots, carrots, but green vegetables. Vitamin C fight free radicals and inflammation caused by the sun's rays; astaxanthin is probably the most powerful pigment to make you a "sunscreen" interior that also will help you tan evenly;

Before, during and after the exhibition regularly drink pure water, sugar, dyes, etc. Your skin needs to be well hydrated when exposed to the sun, it dries out without you even noticing you. It becomes much more fragile;


In case of burns: Apply gel or raw aloe vera gel on your skin to minimize the damage and aling. Aloe vera is a natural protective skin care par excellence. In many places, such as the Mediterranean coast, you find aloe vera growing in the wild. With a knife, you can take a piece of foil (if you can call these kinds of sheet wide, flat and hard tentacles ...), open it in two, in the thickness direction, and rub the gel directly aloe vera on your skin. The best leaves are thicker. If you live in the south, to grow in your garden will offer an excellent natural aid kit.

Again, try to avoid burns but come back to us after the summer with the finest can tan!

Thank you to Jean-Marc Dupuis for this nice article!

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