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For many people soaking up the sun on a hot summer’s day is the epitome of paradise. Add a beach, some music, a magazine and a cold beverage to the mix and you will never want to leave. However, outdoor tanning has always been frowned upon by the local health authorities, even more so now than ever before. Outdoor tanning can provide you with a good healthy dose of Vitamin D, but it can also damage your skin, cause premature aging and even put you at risk for skin cancer. This is why it is so critical so limit your outdoor tanning sessions and be sun smart this sunny season.

Be Outdoor Tanning Sun Smart

Outdoor tanning can be enjoyed anywhere there is sun. It is also an excellent way to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Many people love drifting off in the hot summer sun with a good book and a cool glass of water beside them. Deciding upon bedrooms can wait when the sun is out and about to enjoy. However, outdoor tanning is best enjoyed in short bursts.

Outdoor tanning can provide you with a beautiful sun kissed body. However, there is a very fine line between ‘sun kissed’ and ‘sunburned’ and the harsh reality is that it can be impossible to know when you have crossed this line. Sunburns usually don’t show up right away. You may realize that your day out in the sun is evident in your red body after you have come home, showered and are relaxing on the couch. Not only are sunburns bad for your skin, but they also hurt. You may find it difficult to move in certain directions, to shower, to change your clothes and to sleep when nursing a sun burn.

The best protection against sun burns when outdoor tanning or enjoying the sun in general is sun screen. Sun screen comes in a lotion, spray, mist or even gel that you apply to your body in large doses. Although it will not stop you from getting burned it can add some level of protection from the elements. Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF. A sunscreen with an SPF 50 is much more protective than a sunscreen with SPF 8.

Top off your sunscreen with sun protective clothing such as a hat, sunglasses, shirt and shorts. Although this may defeat the purpose of outdoor tanning in general, you will also avoid any unwanted red and white lines on your body or wrinkles later on in life.

Tanning – Toxic or Tranquil?

Authorities suggest that sunburns are actually your skin cells in trauma. One sun burn can escalate into skin cancer which can travel throughout your body. If you have a tendency to burn or have a lot of moles and other skin blemishes, be sure to avoid the sun and wear sun screen and protection as often as possible Be sure to also get your moles checked out by a doctor at least once a year.

Experts warn that there is nothing healthy about a tan. However, this does not mean you need to avoid all outdoor action during the summer. It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy many beachside activities including outdoor tanning as long as you are careful about it.

When it comes to enjoying outdoor tanning, moderation is critical. Enjoy the sun in small amounts and always wear protective clothing and sun screen. Be sure to drink plenty of water and cool down when you are outdoor tanning to avoid any overheating. Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. A day in the sun can result in a night full of sun stroke, vomiting and fever. And there is nothing ‘tranquil’ about that.

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