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Beauty Blooper: The Sun of a Beach Ruined My Party

This one's for all of you who out there who love the beach and think that because you have a mid-summer base tan, you can cut corners with your sunscreen. Think again! Just last summer, towards the end of July, I had a really big party to attend. I decided to spend the day at the beach so that I could beef up my tan and have a fresh sun-kissed look for the evening.

I figured that by using an SPF 15, I'd be well protected. Like I said, I had a pretty nice base tan already and I was sure that as long as I reapplied every few hours, I'd be golden! I even bought a self-tanning oil with SPF 15 because I wanted to my skin to be feel extra-soft and moisturized.

I was sorely mistaken! And boy, do I mean sorely. My entire body was sensitive and sunburned to the max. How could this have happened? The bottle said that I would be protected 15 times longer in the sun than if I wasn't wearing anything at all. It should be needless to say, my night was ruined. I couldn't go to the party—I couldn't even put on a bra. I spent the night in an oatmeal bath drinking water and taking aspirin. So what's the lesson learned? Make sure that you are wearing adequate sunscreen and that you steer clear of oil if your body can't handle it—otherwise, you're only asking for trouble.


Trixie441 Trixie441 10 years
I was suntanning with SPF 30 only for a few hours and I hurt...oh did it hurt...and of course you don't see how red you are until you get HOME!! LOL
kelli07 kelli07 10 years
This takes me back to my sunscreen free childhood. I am compulsively worried about burning due to those experiences....
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
Ouch. I use spf 30, minimum and I've never had a sunburn. But African Americans can get sunburned. My mother once had a horrible one on her chest.
hazelprincesse hazelprincesse 10 years
I'm one of those girls you see with very fair skin, not a hint of a tan. That's because most of my childhood summers were chock-full of sunburns JUST like the ones Bella described. Even if I wore the highest SPF sunscreen I could find and reapplied it every hour at least, I still suffered sunburns. As an adult, I've given up on ever having a tan. I'd rather be unfashionably pale than suffer through sunburns.
pollypo pollypo 10 years
I don't know a lot about SPFs, but nowadays 15 sounds like 4 did back in the day. I finally stopped tanning (maybe 5 years ago - I'm in my early 30s), b/c I was seeing what it does to my skin in terms of discoloration/lines, so I end up under the umbrella most of the time at the beach. Vanity is a strong motivator! Too bad most people, me included, look better with a tan. I should try to master self-tanning, but I've never had much success.
Seraphim Seraphim 10 years
i don't even know why they still sell spf 15!!! and i'm all about a healthy glow but these girls that are WAY TO TAN's exactly that UNATURAL...and to be honest i think it looks extrmemly unhealthy... lather up ladies! :)
nikkipez nikkipez 10 years
isnt spf higher than 30 pointless? i read this somewhere...b/c by the time you are in the sun long enough for the 45 or 60 spf to be used you just need to reapply anyway...something like that if that makes any curious if this is true or not
KrisSugar KrisSugar 10 years
Gosh Bella, I would have done the same thing as you, and have, although I have never had that bad of a result. I'm sure my skin was damaged in some way. If I were you I certainly wouldn't buy that brand of sunscreen anymore, no matter what SPF!
Rachiepop Rachiepop 10 years
Eww I hate sunburn. I had the 2nd worse case I've ever had at the beginning of this Summer. I didn't reapply the sun screen enough while I was at the pool. When I got home, my face, shoulders, neck, arms, and back were fried. It took nearly a week to get rid of it, and that was even with applying super strong aloe on a repetitive daily basis. I couldn't wear bra straps for 4 days and I couldn't sleep for 3. It was a nightmare. The worst I have was when I was about 13, and my arms got extra crispy, then I got a massive case of poison ivy on the sunburn. It was murder because it'd hurt not to itch, but it hurt worst to itch.
marinap marinap 10 years
Tanoderm 3 is terrific. It actually helps extend the life of your tan. So your tan doesn't fade as fast, you stay golden, and you don't turn to leather. It even has peptides to restore collagen depletion and repair sun damage. Love it!
lucyS lucyS 10 years
I never head to the beach in anything other than an SPF 30 or higher. I too had the mother of all burns after applying an SPF 15. Never again.
SWD SWD 10 years
I forgot to mention, it only takes abou 20 minutes for me turn burn, I burn far too easily.
SWD SWD 10 years
SPF 15? That is the bare minimm of sun protection you should wear! I wear SPF 60 when I am in the sun for long periods of time, and SPF 45 when normal amounts of time. It's better to have wonderful, slightly less tan skin for a long time, than good tan skin for a short time.
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
i almost did this today! i went to the pool here for 1.5 hours (in Florida in the middle of the day) and thought I might go a littler lighter on the SPF since I am going away for the weekend and I am super super pale. then, I realized how miserable I'd be if I burned and loaded up on SPF 30, reapplying like mad. So glad I did...this is a great reminder.
queencessjosie queencessjosie 10 years
I would suggest that before heading out into the sun, you put on an SPF 30 sunscreen maybe an hour or two before you leave. That way you'll have longer lasting protection, but just enough to still get some more color in.
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