Here's how people are creating the bizarre 'sunburn art' that's taking over Instagram

People are completely defeating the purpose of sunscreen with a new “sunburn art” trend.

Instagrammers are sharing pictures of their artfully sunburned skin with hashtags like #sunburnart, #tantattoo, and #suntattoo. The pictures range from floral to funny, but they all have one thing in common — visibly burnt skin surrounding a design on paler skin.

There are entire Pinterest boards devoted to techniques for burning flesh with cutesy images including hearts, flowers, and the ever popular infinity symbol. 

The most popular method involves using sunscreen as paint. Apply sunscreen in your desired shape and leave it on while you lay in the sun. The skin around the sunscreen shape will darken, creating visible contrast.

A photo posted by finley rose petty (@frp.7) on

If you want to recreate the sunburn art, there’s a way to do it without totally scorching yourself. Just use two sunscreens with different SPF levels to create your tattoo. So if you’re using SPF 25 on your body, use SPF 50 for the tattoo itself.

Pinterest users also suggest using nail polish to create your tattoo. Unlike the sunscreen method, nail polish is waterproof. 

That said, nail polish and acetone are known skin irritants. And any time the sun changes the colour of your skin, you are putting yourself at risk. If you’re going to test these techniques, proceed with caution.

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