It’s summer time, and with beaches, hiking, traveling and just being out and about, it can be easy to get sun burnt. You forget to put sunscreen on, forget to reapply, the sunscreen doesn’t work, sweat, swimming, or just too many hours, whatever it is, you end up red as a lobster.
Last weekend I went to Fire Island, New York, part of the National Seashore administered by the National Parks Service.
We started out with a brief early morning ferry ride and sit on the beach (still all before 11am). I put sunscreen on my face in the morning, then reapplied to my face and put some on my shoulders and back while getting on the ferry. At 11am, we had a tour of the “Sunken Forest,” theoretically shaded, though the first hour of the tour was in the sun.
After the “Sunken Forest” tour, we walked along the beach to a lunch spot where we sat in the shade. Sitting there in the shade, the a pinkish hue began to rise on my skin. A sure sign not only did I need more sunscreen, but I was already potentially burned.
After lunch, I added more sunscreen, changed into a bikini, and headed out to beach once again. Another couple of hours enjoying the sand, water, sun, and people watching. Then something told me, I’d had enough sun for the day.
I headed back on the ferry, staying in the enclosed part of the boat to avoid any more sun.
By the time I got home around 9pm, I was red! red! red!
Yes, utterly and totally sun burnt, with multiple white lines crossing my shoulders, neck, and back to prove just how sun burnt I had gotten.
But yet, by the next morning, then redness had already started to shift to a bronzish color. And by 9pm of the day after my excursion to Fire Island, you couldn’t even tell I had been sunburned–just a perfect tan color (but with stupid lingering tan lines.)
Did I mention that I didn’t peel a bit?
So, how did I do it?
How I went from being sun burnt to tan in less than 24 hours
There are 3 main factors that I see impact how my skin responds to sun exposure, and how quickly it can fade and even replace the redness with pure tan.
1. Eat Real Food. By choosing a low-inflammation diet and consuming lots of antioxidant-rich foods, not only does my sun tolerance increase, but tanning becomes easier and more likely.
This means cutting out all processed food, grains, sugar, vegetable oils like corn and soy, and other oils that have been heated to the point of oxidation. All of those contribute to inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods and spices would include grass-fed beef, coconut oil, and fresh veggies.
To up my anti-oxidant quotient, I eat leafy greens like kale, berries, and dark chocolate, and drink tea (green, white, oolong). Meanwhile, I supplement my body’s antioxidant production by taking Vitamin C and occasionally fish oil.
For more on this topic, see Wellness Mama’s blog.
2. Apply Orenda Anti-Aging Serum. As soon as I get back from sun exposure and have taken a shower, I apply the Anti-Aging Serum. I don’t know what’s in it or what makes it work, but somehow it does.
I try to do 2 applications the day of the sun exposure, and then another 1-3 the day after, depending on the severity of the sunburn and how quickly its transforming into a tan. It works. For me, frequent application seems to prevent peeling.
3. Start with a Base Tan. To the extent possible, I try to gradually increase my sun exposure each season, or keep up a little bit of tan color on my skin year round. That makes my skin much more resistant to burning, more likely to tan, and less likely to peel the redness only to return to a pale color afterward.
Maintaining a slight tan year round can be difficult, so sometimes I supplement my skin’s production of melanin with a Vitamin D supplement; this can also help to act like a base tan.
I prefer a light tan color all year, plus this makes me less susceptible to burns or sun damage. And it’s good for Vitamin D levels, which are important for immune and brain health.
For more supplement and food ideas, visit Mark’s Daily Apple.
Those are my 3 keys to turning a sunburn into a tan in less than 24 hours. And now I have a good base tan that will serve to protect me through the rest of the summer as I’m out and about or at the beach.
And, in case you’re curious, I’m tossing that bottle of sunscreen. I’m convinced it doesn’t work. Even coconut oil with its natural SPF 4 is a better sun protector.