Every year I head down to Cuba for a week to relax and get some sun, but the latter part doesn’t always turn out to be so great. Since I’m always indoors servicing clients’ computers and programming, I don’t get to see the sun so much for my skin to adapt. Whenever I head down south, my skin burns easily within the first day. The reason why my skin burns under the sun without much effort is not because I’m a social recluse, but due to the lack of melanin present in my skin. Basically, the sun reacts with the melanin (a pigment) in my skin and colours it, you could say. There isn’t any melanin in my skin because my body doesn’t see the need to generate any if I’m not seeing the sun so much throughout the year, so hence the quick burns and no skin colouring.
Luckily for me, one of my clients is a distributor of tanning lotions and equipment in Quebec. I asked a few of the employees that worked there as to what kind of steps I should take to prevent any skin burns, and if they had any sun tan lotions and creams they could recommend for me. Here’s what I learned.
To prevent burns on the first few days down south, you should start tanning a week or two before you depart to get a base of colour on your skin. I suggest hitting up some tanning salons and getting 3-5 tanning sessions a week or two before your departure, each session separated by a full day or two. Trust me, it’s going to be worth spending a few dollars instead of suffering for 3 days being tortured by your burns when you wear clothing (your clothes will irritate your burns like no tomorrow). At the salons, they sell this special cream that can help you “tan better”. They’re known as melanin replenishing creams sold in small packets that should be used all over your body. This way, your body will have something to tan and not burn your skin.
Now, some general advice while you’re on the beach or out walking in hot sunny weather. If you burn easily like I do, you should equip yourself with SPF 30 cream for the first few days and after 3-4 days, you should switch down to SPF 15 and use that for the remainder of your stay. According to my client, this is the safest way to tan and not burn yourself. Don’t expect to get all your “colouring” on the first day, as you’ll easily harm yourself by being hasty. When it comes to tanning, patience is key!
Also, after you take your shower everyday, you should use Aloe Vera and Vitamin E cream to help your body heal itself. The sun damages your skin, so it is essential to use a lotion that helps you recover after tanning.
Just some info I picked up from my client! Hopefully someone out there will benefit with this info. 🙂