Why enclose yourself in a tomb-like tanning bed when you can get the same effect (actually, a better one) merely by stepping outside? While you can tan anywhere outdoors, head to a secluded spot so you can get a little naked (or at least remove your top) to avoid funky tan lines. Ideally, this will be someplace in the wild, where you can enjoy a heaping dose of nature while you laze -- much more relaxing than a chaise in your backyard.
To safely tan outside, experts say you should first exfoliate your skin to remove dead cells, even out your skin tone and remove dirt and oils that can clog pores. Next, lather on sunscreen. (Yes, you can still get a tan with sunscreen.) Put an initial layer on 15 to 30 minutes before you head outside, then apply a second layer within 30 minutes of sun exposure.
Instead of an all-day tan-athon, aim for about one hour of sunning per day over a longer period – your tan will last longer if you do. Also, wear shades and a hat, and allow a day off between long exposures so your skin can repair itself [source: Borelli].
Author's Note: 5 Luxury Services That Cost Nothing in the Wild
While I love spa services, soaking in natural hot springs or letting a roaring waterfall pound away the knots in my shoulders sounds much more appealing. And I'll swap a trail run for a treadmill session any day.
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- Borreli, Lizette. "Four Safe Tanning Tips For A Healthy Summer Glow." Medical Daily. June 3, 2013. (Aug. 29, 2014) http://www.medicaldaily.com/four-safe-tanning-tips-healthy-summer-glow-246439
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- Harvard Health Publications. "Spending time outdoors is good for you, from the Harvard Health Letter." July 2010. (Sept. 2, 2014) http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you
- Heffernan, Andrew. "Wild Workouts." Experience Life. November 2010. (Aug. 29, 2014) http://experiencelife.com/article/wild-workouts/
- Magnúsdóttir, Perla. "Free hot springs around Iceland - Exotic bathing." Extreme Iceland. Feb. 25, 2014. (Aug. 29, 2014) https://www.extremeiceland.is/en/information/news-and-blog/item/1106-free-hot-springs-around-iceland-exotic-bathing
- Moses, Kara. "Top 10 ... foods to forage." The Ecologist. March 18, 2011. (Aug. 29, 2014) http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/food_and_drink/815671/top_10_foods_to_forage.html
- My Tanning Tips. "Outdoor Tanning Tips." (Aug. 29, 2014) http://mytanningtips.com/outdoor-tanning-tips
- New England Waterfalls. "Best Swimming Holes in New England." (Aug. 29, 2014) http://www.newenglandwaterfalls.com/swimmingholes.php
- New England Waterfalls. "Enders Falls." (Sept. 3, 2014) http://www.newenglandwaterfalls.com/waterfall.php?name=Enders%20Falls
- Phillips, Roger. "Top 10 wild foods to forage in spring." The Telegraph. April 23, 2014. (Aug. 29, 2014) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinkadvice/10770790/Top-10-wild-foods-to-forage-in-spring.html
- Stephens, Betsy. "The 30-Minute Outdoor Workout (Even Indoor Girls Will Love!)." Fitness. (Aug. 29, 2014) http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/total-body/outdoor-workouts-30-minutes/
- Theroux, Marcel. "Spring break at Iceland's newest spa." The Guardian. Oct. 28, 2011. (Sept. 2, 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2011/oct/28/spa-iceland-lake-laugarvatn
- Vivian, John. "Foraging for Edible Wild Plants: A Field Guide to Wild Berries." Mother Earth News. October/November 1999. (Sept. 2, 2014) http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/edible-wild-plants.aspx#axzz3CCZex3GT
- World Health Organization. "World Health Statistics 2014." May 15, 2014. (Sept. 4, 2014) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/world-health-statistics-2014/en/
The lower stress and serenity of an off-the-grid life are often touted. Find out about the possible health benefits of living off the land.