Tanning Lotions and Oils

If you have been in any kind of tanning salon before, you know the realm of products there are to choose from. Sunscreen to tan enhancing oils line the shelves - just waiting for you to pick. But how do you know which one to use?

Sunscreens typically block most of the UV rays absorbed by your skin, or at least some of them, letting you tan gradually and evenly...and a little bit smarter. All sunscreens are labeled with an SPF - or Sun Protection Factor. The number of the SPF is an indicator of how long you can stay in the sun without burning. So, for example, if your wearing an SPF 8 - you multiple 8x10 = 80. You can spend 80 minutes in the sun with a good, solid and even coating of this sunscreen and wont burn. The higher the SPF, the stronger. However, don't forget this is not a fool proof formula. Remember to take a few things in account: the intensity of the sun or bulbs, the time of day you're tanning, etc. If you want to tan, but do want some degree of protection, start with an SPF in the middle - 15, or 20. Based on your results with this, adjust accordingly. You also might need different SPFs for different parts of your body. Many people will need to put a higher SPF on their nose than on any other part of your body.

Tanning oils help to enhance a tan, instead of block it. Typically, tanning oils are recommended for those who already have some kind of a base tan. Oils tend to deepen and darken an established tan - not create one that was not there before. Oils generally offer some small amount of SPF - usually a 2 or 4 level. The benefit of using an oil is continued moisture for your skin while you lay in the UV radiation, and the reflectors in the oil speed up the tanning process and contribute to a deeper color.