It seems like forever-ago, that I went off to the sunny Caribbean to chill out, relax and regroup. I am a black woman, but, I was born and raised in this country so the Caribbean sun treats my skin exactly the same way as it does everyone else who has not spent much time in close proximity to the equator, ie harshly! It takes more time for my skin to burn, then a Caucasian person, but burn it does so I pay maximum attention to my sun skincare routine.
My sunny secret is Elemis Tan Accelerator. Yes, a tan accelerator. Yes, I am black and yes, I really use this product. A few intermittent days of 30 degree celsius weather in London are not the same as the relentless heat and humidity experienced in the Caribbean. Don’t get me wrong – I love the sun, I feel a million times better and my skin looks and behaves better in the Caribbean, however, my skin is generally dry like a biscuit. It needs nourishing on a daily basis and before heading to the sun, it needs appropriate preparation to experience it safely. Exfoliation is an important part of my skin preparation routine. The L’Occitane Almond Shower Exfoliator is a great place to start.
For the two weeks prior to my holiday I used Elemis tan accelerator twice a day. I am not an idiot when the sun comes out. The sun is energising… but dangerous. I don’t roam the streets semi-naked during the hours of 10 am and 2pm and I don’t lie down for 16 hours a day turning myself occasionally like a piece of rotisserie chicken. I do go to the beach and swim and hang out and enjoy myself with friends, and I do sit on the veranda eating mangoes, avocados and other deliciousness. I often wear sleeves and a sun hat and I always use sunblock. Even with all those precautions, my skin still tans (beautifully) and I get prickly heat.
I discovered this product quite by accident. A few years ago, I bought an Elemis kit from QVC and this was part of it. Rather then throw away the product I decided to use it… it could do not any harm after all and when I went on holiday a month later… I saw the results. I have been using it ever since. The tan accelerator is brown in colour, which is usual in terms of a body lotion but it does not apply colour to the skin. It is slightly fragranced and in terms of richness it is somewhere between a body lotion and a body cream. I have been using this product prior to sunshine holidays for the past 3 years to great effect. I don’t take it with me when I am on holiday. I use other products as aftersun / body moisturisers. I also don’t use this product on my face although it is safe to do so.
- For me, the benefits of using this product are:
- My skin does not burn during the holiday
- My skin does not peel after the holiday
- I don’t get prickly heat as badly or at all
- My tan lasts for months
Some bloggers have already written about their tanning experiences. Hafsa from Muslimahbeauty has already talked about Tanning for Women of Colour and Epiphanie from Disneyvore.com is working on a tanning project for Asian, mixed heritage and Black women. Whether we soak up the sun to gain more Vitamin D, to balance out uneven skintone pr to gain tan lines it is vital to remember the free radical, collagen and cell damage that the sun can do so whatever the reason and whatever your skintone it is really important to do sun safely.
What’s your sun protection secret?