Damage Control: 6 Ways to a Healthy Summer Glow

| Women's Health

The allure of a sexy summer tan is something that most of us just can't resist, and with spring finally coming to an end, spending a little time in the sun sounds like a dream come true! Unfortunately, research from the Skin Cancer Foundation reveals that the rate of melanoma in women has increased exponentially in recent years, due to negligence and overexposure to the sun. So before you hit the beach or whisk those kiddos off to the pool, make sure you are taking the necessary precautions! Take a look at these tips for a healthy summer glow, and we will have you feeling gorgeous in no time!

Self tanning

>> Read more: 6 Foods That Will Keep Your Summer Glow

Exfoliate your skin. Before you curl up in your lawn chair with a good book, take a couple minutes to exfoliate your skin. Medical Daily suggests that exfoliating will remove all of those dead skin cells, which, in turn, will get rid of any excess dirt or oil clogging your pores and help keep your skin acne-free. Scrubs with ingredients like sugar, oatmeal and salt are a fantastic, soothing way to shed those dead cells. The benefit: With all that dry skin out of the way, your tan will last longer and appear more even and smooth!

Wear sunscreen. Yes, ladies, this one is a must! Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen will not act as an all-out barrier between you and that sexy summer glow. Sunscreen is essential in protecting you from UVA and UVB rays, so make sure that you are applying a lotion of SPF 15 or higher every 90 minutes or so to keep your skin safe. Trust us, looking like a lobster is not going to give you the self-esteem boost you crave! You can learn more about decoding SPF numbers by clicking here!

>> Read more: 4 Natural Alternatives to Sunscreen

Stick to a self-tanner. Avoiding the sun altogether will spare you any risk of skin damage. Stores are now virtually overflowing with self-tanners, bronzers and lotions that can give you that sexy tanned skin you've been craving all winter. Just remember that applying evenly and regularly is a must! You can check out our favorite glow-getting sunless tanning tips here!

sunscreen

Overexposure is not the answer. Spending the whole afternoon in the sun in the hopes of achieving the perfect tan can lead to severe consequences. Keep in mind that the perfect glow can be accomplished in an hour or less a day! In 30 to 60 minutes under the sun, your body will produce adequate melanin to support and nurture your skin in preparation for your next tanning session. If you are spending hours in the sun, you may walk away looking like a bronzed goddess, but chances are you are going to be more than a little burned!

Avoid the heat. Not only can humidity ruin a perfectly nice tanning session, but laying out during the hottest part of the day increases your risk of skin damage exponentially. Stick to more shaded areas, or at the very least limit your time in the sun, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. UV rays are at their strongest during this time, so lounging under a cabana or an umbrella is probably your best bet!

Style it up. Our faces in particular are extra sensitive to the sun. Burning around the eyes, nose, and ears is especially common, even when we lather up with the proper sunscreen! To protect that delicate skin, we highly recommend a pair of classy sunglasses and a sun hat with a two- to three-inch brim. You can check out our favorite shades by clicking here!

tanning friends

>> Read more: The Best Face Sunscreens for Everyday Use

According to the American Melanoma Foundation (AMF), more than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed every year in over 2 million people in the United States. By taking simple precautions, you can go a long way in guaranteeing that you do not become a statistic! You can learn more about how to protect your perfect tan by checking out our sources: Medical DailyAmerican Melanoma Foundation (AMF), Skin Cancer Foundation, Woman's Day.