Swimsuit season is coming! How to safely get bronze skin?

Article

11. 05. 2024

Beautiful, tanned skin is many women’s summer dream, but achieving it in a healthy and natural way is not always easy. Constant exposure to the sun is not good for the body and can even lead to cancer. When tanning, we should therefore follow a few simple rules that can helps us to prevent health complications.  Dermatologist MUDr. Helena Michalíková from Dermatovenerology Centre at the Canadian Medical clinic Pankrác House in Prague 4 advises us on how to put those rules into practice.

Invest in sunscreen and emulsions

Starting in spring, but mainly in summer, we definitely should not forget to use sunscreen. The sun’s rays affect human skin even when it’s cloudy, so it is important that we protect ourselves at all times. The sun’s effects are strongest between 11:00 and 15:00, so we should avoid being in direct sunlight during that timeframe. “Unless it’s raining or a storm is raging, we always recommend that everyone should apply sunscreen before leaving home. There is a full range of products available these days, including sprays and emulsions. Customers can thus choose the product that best suits them. The most appropriate method is to apply sunscreen several times a day, even if we’re using a waterproof product,” explains MUDr. Helena Michalíková, dermatologist.

Headwear is essential

The most delicate skin is on the neck and around the eyes, and it is very sensitive to solar radiation. A hat, cap and sunglasses are thus not only stylish in summer, but also practical. Wearing these accessories is the easiest way to prevent sunburn and the complications associated with it.

Don’t underestimate hydration

Solar radiation contributes to dehydration of the body, so fluid intake is just as important as using moisturising creams and oils. During the day, a person should ideally drink 1.5 to 3 litres of water. When doing physical activity in the sun, the minimum amount rises to 2.5 litres per day. However, we should not take these limits as a rule, but rather as a recommendation, as it depends on the particular person’s body composition.

Take your phototype into consideration and don’t forget after-sun care

When tanning, think about your phototype, which has a significant influence on your skin’s resistance to sunlight. The more melanin your skin contains, the better the tan you will get. In the Czech Republic, we most commonly see people with phototypes II and III – and skin of these types does not burn easily, it is still necessary to protect it from the sun. “We often see that people who tan well think they don’t have to protect themselves from the sun’s rays. However, the opposite is true. Protection against sunlight should become a routine practice in summer. The sun is responsible for many skin diseases, but it only takes a few seconds to apply sunscreen. This step should not be underestimated,” says MUDr. Helena Michalíková.

Take care of your skin also after tanning

Exposure to sunlight should not be the final step in the tanning process. Aftercare is also important. Every evening after tanning, the skin should be treated with cocoa butter or with healing and soothing creams containing, for example, aloe vera extract. This evening ritual is not only pleasant, but also lubricates and cools the skin, and even makes a tan last longer.  “All of the regenerative processes take place at night, when the skin restores itself. Therefore, it is appropriate to apply a moisturising cream over the whole body before going to bed. Patients can find help with choosing a suitable after-sun cream or treating irritated skin at specialised dermatology centres, which we definitely recommend visiting, especially for people with lighter skin,” says MUDr. Michalíková.

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