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My Perfect Tan Plan for a Day in the Sun

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Last month, my friends Nikki and Jon had a destination wedding in Costa Rica and a small group of us journeyed to the beautiful Central American country to help them celebrate.

The five-day trip was a perfect medley of friends, fun and sun.  I did not need t-shirts, braided bracelets or other souvenirs to remind me of the trip.  The best souvenir I brought back was my sun-kissed Costa Rican tan.

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My definition of a perfect tan is even, moderate color without the aftermath of peeling lizard-like dry skin.  To achieve the perfect tan, you need the right mix of sunblocks, moisturizers and ritualistic reapplication throughout the day.  I call this “right mix” My Perfect Tan Plan.

After numerous vacations in some of the world’s beachiest destinations ranging from the Mediterranean Sea to Malibu, I know how a bad sunburn can ruin a vacation.  Here are my MVPs for My Perfect Tan Plan.

Dermalogica Waterblock Solar Spray SPF 30 ($38 US) – I’ve never been a fan of spray blocks.  The last time I used a spray sunblock was on a beach trip to the Dominican Republic where half of the bottle was blown away by the wind.  I’ve since realized that sunblock needs to be applied indoors so that the formula has enough time to soak in before sun exposure.

Waterblock Solar Spray’s very water resistant formula assured me that it was not going to be sweated away and the non-aerosol spray was able to cover my unreachable areas, a definite plus.  The color-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free spray is also great for sensitive skin.

Decleor Aroma Sun Protective Hydrating Sun Milk SPF 15 ($36 US) – Moisturized skin keeps tans longer and this is one of the most emollient and moisturizing sunscreens I’ve ever experienced.   Protective Hydrating Sun Milk feels more like a body lotion than a goopy sunscreen.  Sun Milk is immediately absorbs into the skin and hydrates while protecting it with SPF 15.  This is a great sunblock for the last few days of your sun vacation when your skin has deepened with a nice golden base.

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Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 ($42 US) – As a beauty blogger exposed to the latest beauty finds, it’s difficult to remain loyal to the same products but Clarins UV Plus is an exception. Clarins UV Plus has been my go-to face sunscreen for years.  I stock up on these tiny bottles every summer.

Unlike its counterparts, UV Plus Day Screen’s non-chemical, anti-UV, anti-pollution sunscreen is ultra-light with a smooth fluid texture.  I gladly reapply throughout the day because the formula is never sticky or overwhelming on sweaty skin.

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist ($22 US) – Under the scorching Costa Rican sun, Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist was a great way to cool overheated skin.  The mist also comes in three other scents and a smaller travel size. 

Herbacin Kamille Lip Balm ($2.95 US) – I found this German lip balm at the Milan airport.  Herbacin is all natural and effectively moisturizes with pure vegetable oils and soothes with organically grown chamomile.  Although it would be better with a SPF, this hydrates lips so you can dab a little Clarins UV Plus for sun protection.

It’s been three weeks since my Costa Rican adventure and my tan is still going strong and not a single patch of skin has peeled either.

What’s your Perfect Tan Plan?

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