Tanning After being cooped up indoors all day, it’s only natural that you’d want to get out in the sun as soon as the weekend arrives. But be warned – sunburn is no joke. As well as being painful, blotchy red peeling skin is a nightmare to coordinate with summer pastels. What’s more, the sun ages your skin terribly, and need we mention the increasing risk of skin cancer the longer you lie in the sun? Dr. Keith Wong of the Matilda Medical Centre says, “Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays, either from the sun or from tanning beds. Everyone is susceptible, but it’s more common among fair-skinned people, especially if they are blond or red-headed.” Your susceptibility to sunburn can also be affected by the medication you’re taking. Dr. Wong adds: “diuretics, tetracycline, birth control pills, tranquilizers and antidepressants can all affect your sensitivity to UV. Check with your doctor to see whether your prescription affects your sun sensitivity.” Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to avoid getting burned. Dr. Wong suggests staying out of the sun between 10am and 3pm, and making sure you wear an SPF 15 sunscreen when you’re out and about. Reapply it every three to four hours and wear a hat and UV-protected sunglasses for added protection. Soothe Your Sunburn If, after that boozy weekend junk trip, during which your sunscreen fell overboard, you lost your sunhat on the banana boat and defiantly flouted the “stay out of the sun between 10am and 3pm” rule, you might find yourself with a sunburn. Dr. Wong suggests the following to help soothe your punished skin. “Cool the burn with a wet cloth or take a shower with cool rather than cold water. Don’t apply any sort of soap, bath salts or oil to your skin. Afterwards, apply an aftersun cream. Don’t put petroleum jelly on it for the first 48 hours, as this will retain heat. Bandage any blisters that appear. Drink plenty of fluids and consult a doctor if there is uncontrollable pain, blistering or fever.” Don’t Bake It, Fake It If you’re determined to get a golden glow, why not opt for a fake tan? Here’s some shops that’ll spray you to a golden glow, no UV rays required. No one wants to look like an overcooked lobster after a fake tanning session, which is where Fantasy Tan comes in. It’s streak-free and you’re guaranteed even coverage thanks to its hand-held airbrush spray. It develops slowly over 12 hours, making it a perfect lunchtime fix that won’t stain your clothes. A body and face application costs $400 from Feel Good Factor (2/F, Winsome House, 73 Wyndham St., Central, 2530-0610). Alternatively, try a spray-tanning booth. Just stand in the special cubicle and get blasted from all sides with a tanning solution for safe, even bronzing. It costs $499 per session (special rates available for multiple packages) and takes less than one minute for full coverage. The treatment is available at California Super Tan (706, Workingview Commercial Building, 21 Yiu Wai St., Causeway Bay, 2573-0099).