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beauty articles

Welcome the sun without damaging your skin

Rule number one: be gentle with your skin. Give it time to ease itself into these higher UV days. Going to the park or beach and roasting yourself into a bright pink beetroot on the first hot weekend is an obvious no no. If you're a back yard bikini sun baker keep it down to no more than 15 minutes a day in direct sunlight. That way you'll build up a tan slowly and get your dose of Vitamin D. Sun worshipping is ok in moderate amounts. The sun is the greatest source of Vitamin D and it's vital we get enough of it as it regulates calcium metabolism and bone health, but it also regulates cell growth. That means it's good at preventing cancer. So it's a case of balance really. Just enough sunshine a day will keep the skin doctor away!

Rule number two: wear a good natural sunscreen. What you need is a good UV blocker to prevent the sun's rays penetrating the inner skin layers, damaging collagen and elastin fibers. Beware of the sunscreens laden with chemicals as these have been found to actually absorb UV rays, neutralizing them into the skin tissue. Natural sun creams block UV rays, are less irritating and are not toxic for the body. Some good natural sunscreens are: SPF30 Sun Cream by Badger, Day Solution SPF 15 by Green People and SPF20 Baby and Child Sun Spray by Lavera.

Rule number three: nourish, nourish, nourish. Avoid premature aging by using a quality natural after sun lotion, rich body butter and intense night creams. If you feed your skin with moisturisers that are packed with nutrients and minerals it will reward you with a softness and suppleness sun bakers everywhere will be jealous of. Some of the best anti-aging organic creams are: Energy Sensation Moisturiser from LaveréFrankincense Nourishing Cream by Neal's Yard Remedies and Regenerative Night Cream by Madara.

Rule number four: if you can't make it, fake it. If your 15 minute quota of Vitamin D boosting, anti-cell damaging sunshine is not enough to give you the desired tanned glow you desire, fake it. There are some excellent fake tanning creams made with natural ingredients out there. The vegan Self Tan Lotion by Green People is great. As is the Self Tanning Spray by Lavera. Follow with Flower Dust Shimmering Lotion by Madara for a beautiful sheen on top of your freshly tanned skin.

Article by Nicki Ferguson. Updated July 2010.