UV Got To Protect Yourself

by Sarah Macdougall on May 21, 2013

sunny wedding tips

It just came to my attention that May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Not to be a downer or anything, but I think it’s kind of important to bring up some of the hazards intense wedding planning can bestow upon you (more specifically, on your skin).

A lot of people like to be tan for the Big Day. And it makes sense! The dress, in most cases, is white, and white pops more on dark things. Color theory. It’s logical. However! As someone who has had a fair amount of sunburns (I accidentally typed “funburns” first, which somehow also seems appropriate), I just want to say that pale chicks can be super hot too. Plus, and I know this might sound counterintuitive, there are over 100 different shades of white, so you’re bound to find one that works for whatever skin tone you have. No joke.

Here’s some food for thought that will help you achieve the goal without frying your skin.

1. Sunscreen takes a few minutes to set in. It’s recommended that you apply it inside and wait ten minutes so you get the most protection from the product. Plus, whenever I reapply sunscreen outside, I tend to get even more burned, because before your skin absorbs it, it’s shiny. Which means it attracts the sun. Which means ow.

2. Check your medication for side effects! I was once involved in an activity that required me to be outside for essentially 13 hours a day for 3 straight months. At this time, I was on a certain medication that did not react well with the sun, but my doctor did not tell me this. So I wound up with second degree sunburns and to this day, when my skin gets even a little darker from everyday normal levels of exposure, you can see the damage. No bueno.

3. If you want that “golden glow”, eat foods that have beta-carotene in them. This is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits, and the body converts it into vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin, among other things. There was a story a long time ago about a girl who drank so much Sunny D that she turned orange. Beta-carotene. Science.

4. If you must be tan for your big day, consider alternatives that won’t harm your skin. I’m by no means a connoisseur of tanning methods, but given the harm that my skin has been exposed to, I’d rather be safe than sorry and go with some sort of spray on something or other (a good one, that wouldn’t run).

5. Watch for freckles or moles that change appearance. If there’s anything out of the ordinary, ask your doctor.

Are you tanning for your wedding?

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