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How to tan safely (and avoid the burn)

We know we shouldn’t, but for those of us who still love to get a bit of a golden color, it’s about knowing how to do it while minimizing the damage. NEWBY HANDS shares how to tan

Sunbathers by a swimming pool in Capri, Italy, August 1974
Photography Slim Aarons/Getty Images

Be prepared

Pre-planning is key to ensuring that skin is healthy, primed and protected before you even get on the plane. Exfoliate no more than once a week pre-trip and during your vacation – you want to remove the dead surface cells, not the new healthy ones underneath. Boost your skin’s protection from within by taking an antioxidant supplement or a targeted skin protection/repair supplement like Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Skin Food Supplement, plus omega oils to build a healthy skin barrier (the stronger the barrier, the less dry the skin). Upping your antioxidant skincare (use morning and evening) also helps, as it creates a reservoir of protection in the skin; Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is my go-to, and Natura Bissé’s excellent C+C Vitamin Body Cream is specifically for pre-sun use.

Apply at the right time

Dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe gave me the best advice for keeping skin safer in the sun: liberally apply sun care cream top to toe before you leave your room. Stand naked in the bathroom and slather on your SPF30 to ensure you don’t miss any skin – including the ‘seams’ by your bathing suit that invariably burn – so you’re protected the instant you walk outside. Don’t wait until you see a bit of redness to put on your SPF – the damage is already done.

Keep cool

Heat causes skin damage, so take a swim or sit in the shade every 30 minutes to let your skin cool down. It’s also good to take a cool shower at the end of the day, and keeping skincare in the minibar fridge is an added benefit.

Use aftersun

More than just another product to pack, aftersuns are crammed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and they have significant hydration benefits, too. So see them as souped-up skincare and use every evening on vacation as well as back at home.

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