Summer is here. Say hello to blue skies. Sunglasses. Shorts. Flip-flops. Bathing suits. Ponytails. Summer dresses. Sandals. And a tan.
First, let me say a tan is not a good thing. It’s a burn. It means the sun has had its way with you. It means your skin has been damaged (even if it’s a slight tan). It means your skin just got a whole lot older.
So the best thing you can do for your skin is to NOT TAN. But despite slathering your skin with copious amounts of sunscreen, sometimes a tan is just inevitable.
In that case, it’s better to get a sexy tan than a ‘dirty’ tan.
You know you got a dirty tan with it’s dark, dull and patchy. Not attractive. A real spoiler.
A sexy tan on the other hand, makes you look like a freaking Goddess. It’s golden. It glows. It’s even. It makes eyeballs turn.
So how do you make sure your tan is sexy and not dirty?
1. Drink a glass of carrot juice before you step out.
This is a trick used by Brazilians (who have the world’s best tans). Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene (which gives them the orange colour).
This beta-carotene also gives skin a slight golden glow and improves the tan. What’s more, beta-carotene is also a great anti-aging and anti-acne ingredient, and it even protects against sun damage!
So start downing a glass a carrot juice daily when summer begins.
2. Bathe in oats.
If you’ve got a sunburn (red, raw, painful tan), add a cup of oats to your bathing water. The water should turn slightly milky.
The oats ease the painful sting of the tan, soothe and calm skin and quickly reduce any redness and swelling.
3. Scrub your body.
The best way to lighten, even out and enhance a tan is to exfoliate your skin. You can either use a loofah or rub a body scrub all over your body in gentle circular motions paying extra attention to dry parts like shoulders, knees, elbows and ankles. Do this soon after getting a tan for best results.
Tip: Make a homemade scrub by mixing a heaped spoon of sugar with some yogurt. The glycolic acid in the sugar will gently peel away the dead skin, while the lactic acid in the yogurt will soften and even it out, making your skin super smooth and radiant.
Caution: Do not scrub your body if you have a sunburn. It will only make matters worse. Instead, go to step 5.
4. Follow your Grandma’s recipe.
Make a paste of gram flour (besan), yogurt, a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi) and rosewater and scrub your body with this mixture. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes, let it dry, and then rinse it off.
Why does this work so well?
The besan exfoliates skin removing dead skin cells.
The lactic acid in the yogurt soothes and evens out your skin.
The rosewater reduces any redness and swelling.
The turmeric powder (haldi) adds a healthy glow
5. Moisturize like there’s no tomorrow.
A tan needs truckloads of moisturizer to look fabulous. If you get a tan and leave your skin dry, it will look uneven, dehydrated and cracked – the last thing you want is for your skin to look like the desert.
So apply moisturizer like it’s going out of style. More the better.
6. Choose between Aloe Vera Gel or Cocoa Butter.
The best thing you can do is moisturize your skin after a tan. But the ingredients in the moisturizer also make a world of a difference.
Aloe Gel and Cocoa Butter are simply amazing for suntans. Both these ingredients instantly calm and soothe your skin and convert a dark, dull tan into a radiant golden one. Perfect!
I prefer slathering on aloe gel during the day if very hot and sultry. But if your skin is peeling, cocoa butter may work better as it’s creamier and more nourishing. It really depends on what you prefer.
Tip: To keep your tan uniform and luminous, don’t just moisturize immediately after you tan, but also continue moisturizing for a few days after to maintain it.