Many people decide to tan, for obvious reasons. Everyone likes the effortless glow of a natural tan. It’s flattering on almost anyone, it can make you appear slimmer and more toned, and it can make your features stand out. However, there are many different factors and ideas regarding the process of tanning, and the best time to tan outside. It can be tricky, but with the right knowledge and products to help, you’re bound to achieve a nice tan naturally.
This article will explain the details you need to know about the best times to tan, what to do, and how to do it safely.
What you will need to follow this tutorial
These items are what you’ll need, or what you might want to use, throughout your tanning process. Not all items are necessary but you may find them useful. Sunscreen is particularly important out of all the items on this list. Read on for more information about what you should use to get a tan.
Alternatives to tanning outside
Although getting a natural tan is preferable by most people, some consider artificially tanning. Many people choose tanning beds, however it is highly recommended not to do so. Tanning beds have a strong link to the development of skin cancer. They produce huge amounts of UVA, without any UVB, and increases your risk of skin cancer by 75%. If you want to try to tan, tanning outside is the safer method by far.
If you want a long-lasting tan, naturally tanning outside is the safer method – as long as you use sunscreen! The other easy alternative to natural tanning is spray tans. You can purchase spray tan kits at drugstores and beauty supply stores, or you could visit a spray tan salon. Neither method is usually expensive, and it results in very minimal damage to your skin. The negative side to spray tans is that it can become streaky if not applied evenly, and it doesn’t last as long as a natural tan. However, it’s the safest alternative to tanning outside or using a tanning bed.
Overall, the easiest method for tanning is spending time outside, because as long as you’re using sunscreen, it’s safer than a tanning bed, and doesn’t include the risk of streaks or unevenness that spray tans have.
Step 1: Decide where and when
The first step is to decide where you want to tan. If you live near a beach and you’re feeling adventurous, a trip to the beach may be a good idea for developing a tan. However, keep in mind that it likely won’t happen in just one day. A beach trip is a good place to start though!
If you aren’t near a beach, it’s simple to find somewhere else to go. A lake is another possible location for tanning. If you have a backyard, you may want to set up a beach towel in the grass and relax for a few hours. You could also try going to a public outdoor pool, if there’s one local to you. Even going to a park can help you develop a slight tan. Wherever you decide to go, don’t forget your sunglasses!
While it’s true that some months are warmer and sunnier than others, UV rays reach Earth every day throughout the year, and May through August are usually the strongest months. You might want to plan to tan during those months, and designate what days you’d like to. Weekends are great days to tan, if you’ve got plenty of downtime.
Step 2: Choose the right sunscreen
Even though your goal is a tan, you still need to protect your fragile skin! Look for a sunscreen that’s labeled as “broad spectrum” or “high UVA / UVB protection”. SPF is important as well, and SPF30 should be sufficient, as it filters a high percentage of UVB rays. For dark skin, SPF15 should be appropriate.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying waterproof sunscreen 15 minutes before you go outside to tan. You should reapply at least every two hours.
Be sure to apply evenly throughout your body, without missing any areas, and don’t forget to reapply. You may want to set a reminder on your phone so you definitely won’t forget.
Step 3: Plan to go outside at the best possible time for tanning
Getting a natural tan from time spent outside is of course much easier if you live in somewhere warm and sunny, like Florida, California, or Australia. However, you have fewer options if you live in a colder climate, such as places like Wisconsin or Canada.
The good news is, if you live somewhere where sunny weather occurs at some point, even for a small portion of the year, it is somewhat possible to achieve a natural tan. There are particular times of the day that are better for tanning, which is when you should try to go outside.
No matter where you live, the specific times for tanning is the same: morning and late afternoon. The morning hours from sunrise to around 10 am are prime time for getting a natural, glowy tan. You can also tan after 4 pm, as long as there’s still sun of course. Those are the safest times to be in the sun, and UV rays from the sun are strongest during those hours when the sun is at its peak.
If the sky is generally somewhat cloudy for those hours, you can still achieve a tan, but it may take longer than if it was sunny every day during those hours.
Most people would assume that midday hours are perfect for tanning, but they are the easiest hours to get sunburned. Dermatologists typically advise against staying in the sun during midday hours, even if the sky is overcast and cloudy. The cloudy sky won’t offer much protection against the sun’s harmful rays. And if you’re at the beach, the sun’s rays can easily reflect off water and sand, therefore causing even more damage.
Step 4: Take breaks in the shade
Being out in the sun can sometimes cause more harm than good. Taking breaks in the shade will reduce the intensity of your exposure to UV rays. Those harmful rays can cause sunburn, which is usually very uncomfortable and increases your risk for skin cancer. It also won’t help you to develop a tan!
Step 5: Keep an eye on the clock, or set a timer
Even if it seems like you’re not getting a tan at all, your skin will reach a tanning cut-off point where it cannot produce any more melanin – the pigment of a tan. Typically, two to three hours is the limit for most people, especially if you have fair skin. Any more time than that is a risk of damaging your skin.
Be sure to keep an eye on your watch or clock, and set a timer if you feel as though you might fall asleep while tanning. You don’t want to wake up too late with an awful sunburn!
Step 6: Use tanning supplements
Instead of trying products that promise to magically create your tan, try some supplements that will help you get a tan. They can be found online or in some stores, but be careful to avoid anything that isn’t doctor dermatologist-approved. Ask a doctor or dermatologist for further advice regarding tanning supplements. You definitely wouldn’t want to purchase something that won’t help at all.
Step 6: Eat foods that’ll help boost your ability to tan
It may be surprising, but some foods are actually full of antioxidants that will help you tan easily. Lycopene, which is your skin’s built-in SPF, is found in tomatoes and other red and orange fruits and vegetables. It can even boost your skin’s protection from the sun by 33%. Polyphenols, another type of antioxidant, can be found in green tea. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that will help prevent sunburns.
And if you’re a coffee drinker, you’re in luck – caffeine is known to help prevent skin cancer. It is recommended to drink an espresso shot before you begin a tanning session, for a nice boost of caffeine that’ll help you tan.
Consuming these nutrients can definitely improve your ability to tan, so you may want to add them into your diet during your tanning process.
Step 7: When all else fails, try a spray tan
For some people, tanning is near impossible even if you’ve done everything correctly. If you have tried tanning repeatedly with no success, don’t give up. You can still have an artificial tan.
If you’re having difficulty getting a natural tan through sun exposure, the safest and simplest alternative is a spray tan product. It doesn’t have the same harmful effect that tanning beds do, and most are easy to apply. Or, you could go to your local spray tan salon if you don’t want to use a do-it-yourself spray tan kit. Most spray tan kits include the formula and an application glove or pad, and you simply spread the pigment around your body. Be sure to follow the product instructions, though!
Spray Tan Tips
Regardless of which method you choose, it’s much safer than using a tanning bed, and it may even be less expensive.
Did you enjoy this sun tanning tips? This list was beneficial to me personally, as someone who is pale and could use some advices to start tanning.
Tanning can be difficult for those who aren’t used to tanning, and it can be intimidating to people who haven’t tanned before. Fortunately, the right information can guide you through the process.