Summer may still be a few weeks away, but we’ve had our swimsuits ready for months now. And with all the cute, retro one-pieces and cutout styles on trend, can you blame us? Our only concern now is how we’re going to keep these über-adorable suits from giving us not-so-adorable tan lines. We all reserve the right to wear the swimsuit of our dreams, so check out these anti-tan line tips that will help you get through the summer unscathed (and unburned).
Be Liberal With the Sunscreen
Scrimping on the sunscreen can be bad news for your skin … in more ways than one. In addition to making you more susceptible to sun damage, meager amounts of SPF can also leave room for skin darkening and those terrible lines from racerback and spaghetti-strapped suits. Cover your bases by applying several layers of sunscreen (with an SPF of no less than 30) in small portions on your body, face and neck. If using a cream-based SPF, the portions should be in dime-sized dots, to allow for easier and more even application. Don’t forget to get under the straps of your suit to make sure your skin is covered and protected, even if the suit or straps shift.
Just because you can’t reach certain places on your body, doesn’t mean the sun can’t! Places like the upper back can often be neglected, because we’re not able to get a good enough reach. Ask a friend to help you apply some sunscreen so you don’t end up with weird splotchy tanned spots on your body. Trust us, they won’t look cute with that smokin’ halter dress you’ve been dying to wear.
Reapply, Reapply & Then Reapply Again
This standard skincare rule is especially important for those beach or pool days. You should reapply sunscreen every couple hours to make sure those tan lines don’t creep in without you knowing. If you’re taking a dip in the ocean, shift your reapplication to every time you get out of the water. Despite what you may have heard, sunscreen is not waterproof. There are water-resistant formulas for athletic individuals or those prone to sweating, but you’re not completely covered. So, approach water-resistant SPFs the same way you would a regular sunscreen.
We don’t encourage sunbathing or tanning, but long periods of time in the sun will probably give you some color, even with ample amounts of sunscreen involved. Make sure the color is even by giving both the back and front of your body equal time in the sun. Try to turn over every 20 minutes or so to make sure you even out that tan.
Rock the Cover-Up
A sure-fire way to avoid tan lines (and harmful UVs in general) is throwing on a light cover-up while you’re in the sun. These come highly recommended for those of you with a special event or wedding in the near future. The last thing you want is to have your look ruined because of one day at the beach! And, there are actually some cover-ups that have special sun protection properties in the fabric! We know what you’re thinking: “Wait, how am I supposed to show off my suit if I’m wearing a cover-up?” We understand this concern and recommend trying a sheer design or limiting your bikini exposure to under an hour (plenty of time to show off your suit) and wearing the cover-up for the duration of your sunshine time.