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How To Avoid Tan Lines

You've worked hard to get golden and you've got no patience for any telltale signs of straps. Don't let wayward clothing detract from your perfect tan.


  • TIP: When wearing "tan-through" suits, avoid tan lines by applying a sunscreen to your uncovered skin that matches the protection offered by the fabric, usually an SPF between six and 10.
  • Step 1: Be vigilant. Tan lines can appear slowly, from habitually wearing the same sunglasses or flip-flops, or suddenly, from a rookie mistake like not applying your sunscreen evenly.
  • Step 2: If you do get a line, two quick fixes can save you. Apply a high-SPF sunscreen to your tanned areas, and a low SPF to your lighter patches--and promptly get some sun or visit a tanning bed. Alternatively, apply fake tanner, making sure to carefully overlap with your real tan.
  • FACT: Brazilian women have high regard for tan lines, which are a sign of their efforts at the beach.
  • Step 3: Companies like Cooltan and Solar Tan Thru have engineered "tan-through" bathing suits made from special fabrics that allow your skin to absorb UV rays directly through the material. Put one on and forget about lines!
  • TIP: If you go for the naked route, be sure to cover up your most sensitive bits with protective and reflective gear.
  • Step 4: Shoulder lines are always the most visible. When you're poolside, push your straps down, go for a strapless bikini, or just roll over on your stomach and unhook. If you're really daring, trade your top for a pair of pasties.
  • Step 5: Whether you're a do-it-yourself kind of person or you leave your tan to the wise hands of a spray tech, sunless tanning gives you a fairly private way to get your all-over glow in the buff.
  • Step 6: Calling all exhibitionists! Take a field trip to the tanning beds, the nude beach, or your own back yard. Your neighbors may get an unwanted eyeful, but you'll get consistent color the natural way.
  • : Unprotected or prolonged exposure to UV rays is dangerous, and can greatly increase your risk for skin cancer and other skin damage.

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