Drawing the Line: How to Avoid Tan Lines

If you’re going somewhere that requires packing a bikini and board shorts, it goes without saying that you should pack your sunscreen to keep those pesky UV rays at bay. Nobody wants to invite premature wrinkles, sun spots or even worse, skin cancer, but there’s also a more immediately visible effect to think about: tan lines. And while you will undoubtedly look amazing in those on trend swimwear, the tan lines might just look odd next week with normal everyday outfits. Here are some tips on how to apply sunscreen the right way so that your skin stays healthy and well protected sans weird stripes.

1 Pick the right sunscreen

If you’re planning on being in the direct sun, you’ll need at least an SPF30 sunscreen and it’s best to pick one that is labelled ‘broad spectrum’, which means it shields from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays is what causes wrinkles, skin cancer and other signs of aging while UVB causes the more immediate effect like sunburns (and yes, tan lines).

2 Apply it well

To make sure you’re well protected from the rays, it’s highly recommended that you apply sunscreen generously all over your body and let it dry before you get into your swimwear and head into the sun. That way, your skin can absorb it before the sun, sweat and moisture gets to it.

3 Reapply, reapply and reapply

Since sweat, sunlight, and moisture take effect on the skin and the layer of sunscreen that’s been applied, you’ll need to refresh that protection by reapplying every two hours. While it’s best to repeat the first step, which is to strip down and reapply the sunscreen over the whole body, at the very least frequently reapply at the exposed areas.

4 Extra coverage

After you’ve stocked up on bottles of sunscreen so you won’t run out on your trip, be sure to pack some chic cover-ups to further protect you while you’re having fun in the sun. From flowy slip on kaftans to sarongs, having clothing as coverage means you don’t need to reapply sunscreen on those covered areas. Top it off with a chic stray hat et voila! Beach chic!