Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Tan without Burning {In Arizona}

I have successfully survived a sun filled pool week in Arizona without even a whisper of a sunburn. This is absolutely a first for me. Past Arizona trips have landed me at the computer with my mother scrolling through Google images of skin cancer. While that didn't make me suddenly decide that I should never lay in the sun again, it had a brief impact. Actually it wasn't until this summer that I decided burning just wasn't worth it.

So after one week of not getting a sun burn in the fiery oven that is Arizona but instead getting brushed with a bronzed sun kiss, I am obviously an expert in the field. So here I will present you with a comprehensive guide to tanning without burning (in Arizona).

(What's that you say, Summer is basically over everywhere, why do you need this guide? Maybe you don't this year, but go ahead a pin it for next year! You'll be glad you did.)


This guide will provide with two relatively fool-proof options. Take your pick. We'll start numerically with
Option 1

001 Gather up all the items you'll need for a safe burn-less day at the pool. Here are some suggestions: a book, magazine or whatever else will keep you occupied, sunscreen, water, and sunglasses. (See *note* at the bottom for a guide in choosing the best sunscreen)

002 Slip into your favorite bathing suit and cover-up to protect yourself from the sun on your journey to the pool.

003 Now curl up on the couch with your book and your sunglasses in the comfort of the air conditioning as the warm sun spills in through the window until the cover of nightfall when you can safely swim without threat of the leering sun. Then tomorrow go get a spray tan and call it good.

Sunburn is to option 1 as pregnancy is to abstinence: It's just not going to happen! But you can always try...

Option 2

001 After changing into your bathing suit of choice (preferably one suited for optimal tan lines), grab your favorite sunscreen. (See *note* at the bottom for how to choose the best sunscreen.)

002 Using a substantial amount of sunscreen (probably more than you think you need. Too many people don't use enough. Ever had a splotchy burn??), slather every inch of skin. Even spots that you think will be covered by your swim suit because we all know, swim suits don't stay put.

003 Grab your materials from option 1,

It's super important that you stay hydrated when you spend a lot of time in the sun. And in Arizona be careful not to leave your book in the sun too long because it will melt the binding and fall apart. 

You might also want to grab a hat of some sort for extra face, head and neck protection. If you don't have a hat handy, improvise!
Why yes, this is an infant's inner tube
004 This is the most important step, second only to putting on the sunscreen. Set a timer on your phone for 60 minutes/1 hour. I know that your sunscreen bottle might say that you're cool for up to 80 minutes but why even risk the extra 20 minutes if it means a burn that keeps you inside tomorrow? 

BUT WAIT! Don't even think about putting one foot into the sun or the water until your sunscreen has soaked in. Give yourself 10 minutes...minimum.

Waiting sucks!
005 Now that you've waited the 10 minute minimum go hop in the pool! Yay! The smartest way to beat the heat and still get tan is to busy yourself doing something else besides feeling the sweat  build up behind your knees. I'd recommend lounging on the top step of the pool and reading a book.

Or even taking a nap or talking on the phone in one of these fancy pool loungers that allows you to sit partly in the water but not be totally immersed.
Goofy grin, party of one
Or, you know, actually swimming works too..

Don't forget to get out, dry off and reapply your sunscreen when your timer goes off! And enjoy your fabulous sun-filled pool day!

*Note* How to choose the best sunscreen
  • Use a minimum of SPF 15. SPF is the amount of UVB protection and the higher SPF is only a slight improvement. (SPF 15 blocks 93% while SPF 30 blocks 97%)
  • Get something with UVA and UVB protection
  • For UVA protection look for something with at least one of the following ingredients: camsuleavobenzone,oxybenzonetitanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide.
  • You'll probably want something that is both sweat and water resistant. 
  • And for your comfort, a non-greasy formula (but let's be honest. It's all greasy)

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