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Many women, and even some men, will do roughly anything to get that perfect tan. But, with so much current research into skin cancer and other problems associated with overexposure to the sun, many are wondering how to still get that great tan, while avoiding the potential side effects of sunbathing.

Safe Tanning Tip #1

Even though you are looking to get a tan, you should still wear sun block. With a sun block with a low SPF, your body can still catch some of the sun's rays, but you are less likely to get burned. Remember, a tan is essentially your body's way of protecting itself from the harmful effects of the sun. The more you can slow down this process, the less your skin will receive long-term damage from sunbathing.

Safe Tanning Tip #2

Similarly, you should gradually build up the time you spend in the sun. Many people are tempted to intentionally burn themselves right away, believing this provides a good "base" for the tan. Sunburns are a sign of skin damage and can lead to serious skin complications. Instead, the tan should be slowly built up to lessen the potential damage.

Safe Tanning Tip #3

You should apply your sun block to your body before you head out to the sun. Applying sun block first helps ensure that you get cover your entire body, guaranteeing that all of your skin is protected. And don't forget to apply sun block to your lips! Lips can become easily burned or dried out, which is both unhealthy for your skin and unattractive.

Safe Tanning Tip #4

The sun is at its hottest between noon and 3:00. Avoid sunbathing at this time. The added intensity of the sun does not improve the look of your tan. Instead, it increases you likelihood of becoming burned and, consequently, experiencing skin damage. During this time of the day, it is most terrific to stay in a shaded area and to wear protective clothing.

Safe Tanning Tip #5

Spending time in the water increases your chances of getting sunburned. The sun's rays reflect from the water and are basically magnified onto your body. Getting a sunburn while in the water can happen with little to know warning signs. Where a sun block, even if it is a low SPF, every time you are in water. Make sure the sun block is water resistant, as well, and reapply it as often as the product recommends. This is normally at least every 2-3 hours.

Safe Tanning Tip #6

Hats and shirts do provide an extra layer of protection to your skin. Be sure to wear these when not sunbathing in order to protect your skin from excessive amounts of sun. This is particularly important if you will be spending a great deal of time outdoors, such as playing sports or gardening.

Safe Tanning Tip #7

If you do play a lot of sports or if you work outdoors and sweat a great deal, be sure to wear a sun block that is specially formulated for such activities. Waterproof sun blocks are ideal for those who are active during the day outdoors.

Safe Tanning Tip #8

People with fair skin need to be especially cautious when exposing their skin to the sun for long periods of time. The same is true for people who burn easily or who have a history of tanning poorly. People with freckles or a great number of moles should also take extra precautions when spending time in the sun. People who fit under any of these categories are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer. Similarly, children under the age of 16 and individuals with a family history of skin cancer should avoid exposing their skin to excessive amounts of sun.

Safe Tanning Tip #9

If you have sensitive skin, make sure to purchase a sun block that will not irritate your skin. There are hypoallergenic sun block's available. If you are not sure where to look or what you need for your skin, ask the pharmacist and she will be glad to help.

A deep, brown tan can be very attractive and provide what appears to be a healthy glow. Be sure to follow a few simple guidelines to ensure that the glow is, indeed, healthy" and not damaged skin crying for help.