How to Stop a Farmer's Tan

A farmer's tan isn't a requirement for a summer job.
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If you spend time outdoors regularly in your favorite T-shirt, you could end up sporting a farmer's tan, characterized by irregular tan lines visible as bands on the neck and arms. Stop these embarrassing tan lines before they appear with proper sun protection to prevent unwanted tanning on exposed areas. Or, if you have the beginnings of this kind of tan you can even it out with self-tanning products. But according to the Skin Care Foundation, you should always wear sunscreen when you spend time outdoors to proactively help to avoid skin cancer later in life.

Apply sunscreen to the areas of your body which will be exposed to sun. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. You should apply the product to your skin 30 minutes before you plan to go outdoors. Plan to renew the application at least every two hours, with more applications after you dry off from sweating, swimming or getting wet. For the best protection, you must reapply sunscreen frequently throughout the day.

Wear long-sleeved shirts made from tightly woven fabrics like denim. This type of fabric keeps the sun's rays away from your skin. Choose a shirt in a dark color to absorb some of the UV rays. Flip up the collar to protect your neck from sunburn.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat for added protection to your face and neck. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests that your hat have a 3-inch wide brim all the way around. You should also wear protective sunglasses when working outdoors.

If you notice unusual tan lines, apply a self-tanner to the lightest areas after showering to even out the tan. Follow instructions on the product bottle for specific directions.

  • The Centers for Disease Control suggests that you avoid excessive sun exposure by staying in the shade during midday, the hottest time of the day.
  • Keep your skin's defenses up by staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water during and after your trip outdoors.

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.