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Find out What Skin Tone you Have
The first thing you have to check for before you attempt to lay out in the sun and get a sunburn or tan is to see what skin tone you have. A good way to determine that factor would be to go off of what eye colour and natural hair colour that you have. If you have dark brown or black hair and brown eyes, you likely have a darker skin tone which means you have a high amount of melanin in your skin and you will tan easily and most likely not burn. If you have medium brown hair and green eyes, your skin tone is medium to fair and you will likely burn at first, but the burn will eventually develop into a tan. If you have light blond or red hair and have attributes such as blue eyes and even freckles you should not allow yourself to be over exposed to the sun. Fair toned people will likely burn and never develop a suntan, this is due to the lack of melanin in their skin.
Choose a Location to Receive Ultraviolet Rays
If you are able to tan and not burn, you need to choose a location as to where you will get your sun exposure. Exposure to ultra violet rays could involve visiting a tanning salon and receiving your exposure that way. Typically at first, one should only visit the tanning salon and use a tanning bed or stand up unit for 8 to 10 minutes at a time. Over the course of a few visits you can increase your time to 15 to 20 minutes, maxing out at 30 minutes after you have established a good base tan after 10 to 15 visits. If you choose to lay out in a swimming costume in full sun, you should always wear a SPF or sun block even if you have dark toned skin. The sunshine can be hot and it is hard to know when you have had enough sun exposure before the sunburn automatically turns into a burn and causes skin damage. No longer than 15 minutes in direct sunlight should be acceptable at a time until a base tan is established and even then it should be no more than 30 minutes per day even with SPF coverage.
Moisturise to Generate your Tan
It is important to moisturise your skin so that you keep your skin from flaking and drying out. If you have a sunburn, moisturising your skin will help it develop into a tan much quicker and easier. Be sure to avoid using a moisturiser that contains any kind of mineral oil before tanning, as this will inhibit the tanning process. Use an all natural water based moisturiser a few minutes before you tan. Immediately after you tan, apply another moisturising treatment and cover all areas of your body thoroughly with a thick layer of lotion but blend completely. Avoid showering for up to two hours after you lay out in the rays, this will help preserve your sensitive skin and prevent irritation. Moisturise daily throughout the life of your tan.