How to Get a Safe & Perfect Tan
Getting a natural tan can be an enjoyable and invigorating experience as long as you remember to do so safely. Many of us have often wondered how to achieve that perfect sun-kissed glow. Whether you’re planning to spend some time at the beach or simply looking to top up your tan in the garden, it’s essential to know how to tan safely and effectively. This article will share some of our top tips for achieving a perfect tan. From selecting the right sunscreen to preparing your skin for the sun, we’ll show you how to get a glowing tan without compromising your health.
1. Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliating your skin before tanning is vital for achieving a perfect tanned look. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, allowing for a smoother, more even-looking tan. Additionally, it prevents breakouts by unclogging your pores.
- When exfoliating your skin, be sure to use a gentle scrub or a loofah, focusing on areas where there is excess dead skin, such as your elbows, knees, ankles, and feet.
- Avoid harsh scrubbing motions, as this can cause irritation and breakouts.
- Keep your skin moisturized and smooth after exfoliating.
2. Apply Sunscreen
Sunscreen is an integral part of any tanning regimen. Sun exposure can lead to premature aging, sunburn, and skin cancer.
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before venturing outside and reapply every two hours, even after swimming or sweating.
- Choose a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
- A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher should be used, and apply it generously.
- Pay special attention to the face, neck, and ears, as these areas are especially vulnerable to sun damage.
- It would help if you also considered using a waterproof sunscreen for activities such as swimming, where you might be exposed to water for extended periods.
Remember that sunscreen should be used even when you plan to tan, as this will help protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays while allowing you to achieve a beautiful tan.
3. Choose the Right Tanning Product
Finding the right tanning product for your skin type is required to achieve the perfect tan. To determine the best outcome for you, consider factors such as your skin type, level of tanning experience, and the desired result.
- For sensitive skin, start with a lower SPF sunscreen and use a gradual tanning lotion or spray after spending some time in the sun.
- Those with darker skin tones may find that a higher SPF sunscreen helps protect their skin from burning and provides more consistent results.
- Beginners should look for products that contain natural ingredients such as aloe vera or antioxidants like vitamin E. These ingredients help moisturize and protect your skin while providing a gradual and natural-looking tan.
- For those looking for a deeper tan, sunless tanning products such as mousses, sprays, and creams are excellent options. These products provide a streak-free, even tan, with minimal effort.
- When choosing a tanning product, paying attention to the ingredients and ensuring no harsh chemicals could damage your skin is essential.
- Read labels carefully to ensure that all ingredients are safe for your skin type.
- Always patch-test a product on a small skin area before using it.
4. Tan in Short Bursts
Tanning for long periods can harm your skin, so it’s crucial to tan in short bursts.
- Start with only a few minutes and gradually increase the time until you reach your desired level of tan.
- Make sure to use an SPF of 30 or higher before and during your tanning session.
- To maximize your tan, use a tanning accelerator product and wear clothing that covers your skin from the sun’s rays.
- Also, take breaks every few minutes to ensure you don’t overdo it.
- Monitor your progress and take care of your skin for a safe, beautiful, golden tan!
5. Sunbathing Positions
For a perfect tan, knowing the best sunbathing positions is a prerequisite. This will ensure that your entire body is exposed to an even amount of UV rays, and you get a uniform tan.
- Lie down on your stomach, arms stretched over your head., ensuring that your back gets the most exposure.
- Make sure your arms are kept away from your body when lying on your back so that you can expose your sides equally.
- Keep your legs straight and slightly apart to get the best results. If you need to switch sides, turn your feet first and then roll over so that each side is evenly exposed to the sun.
- Finally, protect your face by wearing a hat or sunglasses or keeping it shaded with a towel.
6. Moisturize Your Skin
It is necessary to moisturize your skin to get a perfect tan.
- Before tanning, apply a generous amount of moisturizer on your body.
- Make sure to avoid any lotions containing oils, as they can create a barrier preventing the tanning solution from penetrating your skin.
- During tanning, keep reapplying the moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
- After achieving your desired tan, apply moisturizer twice daily to maintain your perfect glow and prevent skin dryness.
7. Hydrating Your Skin
Staying hydrated is the key to keeping your skin healthy and getting a beautiful summer glow.
- Drinking enough water daily is the key to maintaining the elasticity and plumpness of your skin and protecting against sun damage.
- You should drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, or 64 ounces total.
- Foods with high water content can help hydrate your skin, such as cucumbers, celery, and watermelon.
- Using a hydrating moisturizer daily can also boost your skin’s moisture.
- Avoid harsh cleansers or astringents that strip your skin of essential oils and moisture.
8. Sunshine Foods
Eating sun-friendly foods can help you achieve the perfect tan while keeping your skin healthy. Incorporating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and vitamin D can help to protect the skin from damage while giving your tan a natural boost. Here are some of the best foods:
Certain foods boost lycopene, the skin’s natural SPF. It is an antioxidant found in tomatoes and other red and orange fruits and vegetables that can increase sun protection by 33%.
- Certain foods high in vitamins A and E can help to protect your skin from sun damage. Foods like carrots, apricots, spinach, broccoli, mangoes, sweet potatoes, eggs, and nuts are all excellent sources of these vitamins and nutrients.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are all great sources of omega-3s which can help protect the skin from sun damage and reduce inflammation.
- Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are packed with antioxidants that help repair the skin from UV damage and promote collagen production.
- Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, walnuts, and seeds such as flax, chia, and hemp provide essential fatty acids and minerals that help nourish and protect the skin.
- Sweet Potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which helps protect the skin from UV rays and gives the skin a natural glow.
- Coconut Oil is full of healthy fats that help moisten the skin and act as a natural sunscreen.
- It’s best to take an espresso shot before hitting the beach. The caffeine in espresso can boost your body and increase your melanin production, allowing you to get a deeper tan.
9. Use Natural Oils
You can tan faster by using olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, grape seed oil, hazelnut oil, extra virgin oil, and sesame oil.
- Apply a generous amount of each oil on the skin and massage in circular motions.
- Leave the oils on for 15 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun.
- These oils will give you a golden glow while improving your skin’s elasticity and keeping it moisturized.
- You can even combine them to get better results. The best way to use natural oils is to apply them 30 minutes before going to the beach to allow the oil to penetrate your skin. Always use sunscreen on top!
- Repeat this process daily to achieve a fast tanning result.
10. Take Supplements
Taking supplements to support your tanning efforts can be beneficial for your skin. Taking vitamins and antioxidants can help protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, prevent sun damage, and keep your skin looking healthy and radiant.
- Vitamin C is particularly effective at protecting your skin from free radicals and helping with skin repair after sun exposure.
- It would help if you also considered taking carotenoids, which can give your skin a golden hue and help reduce the chance of burning.
- Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your skin hydrated and nourished.
- Some medications, such as tetracyclines, can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays and result in a darker tan. Taking certain supplements, such as beta-carotene, may also darken your tan.
Taking these supplements can give you an extra boost in achieving your perfect tan.
11. Spray Tan
If you want a sun-kissed glow without the risk of skin damage, spray tanning may be a great option. However, caution is weighty when opting for a spray tan.
- Before the process begins, read the instructions on the bottle carefully and wear appropriate protective clothing, such as gloves and eye protection.
- Be sure to exfoliate your skin beforehand to remove any dirt or dead skin cells.
- Once the tanning solution is sprayed onto your skin, use a towel to evenly spread it out and help ensure that your tan looks even.
- It’s best to start with a light tan before building to something darker.
- It’s also important to avoid direct sunlight while wearing your spray tan to prevent it from fading too quickly.
- Additionally, avoid contact with chlorine or salt water; both can cause fading and discoloration.
- Afterward, wait at least 8 hours before showering and moisturize your skin afterward to keep it looking healthy.
12. Use a Fake Tan
Fake tanning can give you a natural-looking, even tan without exposing yourself to the sun. This tanning method involves using a self-tanner applied directly to your skin. It’s most important to choose the right self-tanner for your skin type and tone and apply it adequately. To make sure your fake tan looks its best, follow these steps:
- Choose a self-tanner based on your skin type and skin tone.
- Apply the self-tanner evenly and blend it in with a circular motion.
- Wait until the self-tanner is completely dry before dressing or touching anything else.
- To keep your color, reapply the self-tanner after a few days.
- Shower with lukewarm water and avoid scrubbing too hard or using exfoliating products, which will cause the tan to fade faster.
- Always moisturize after showering to keep your tan looking fresh and healthy.
13. Say No to Tanning Beds
Tanning beds are a popular way to get a tan but they have serious health risks. Tanning beds use ultraviolet (UV) radiation to darken the skin and can cause skin cancer, premature aging, and other medical conditions. The dangers of tanning beds are even more significant for people under 18.
According to the World Health Organization, tanning beds are “carcinogenic,” meaning they are proven to cause cancer. According to research, people who use indoor tanning beds before age 35 are more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent.
Another danger associated with tanning beds is skin aging. Tanning bed exposure increases the skin’s exposure to UV rays, which breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin and causes it to sag prematurely. Furthermore, UV exposure from tanning beds can lead to sun spots, wrinkles, and leathery skin.
Given the many health risks associated with tanning beds, it’s best to be aware of the dangers and avoid them.
Best Time for Tan
- The best time is early morning and late afternoon to tan because the sun’s rays are not as strong.
- Avoid tanning between 10 am and 2 pm, as this is when the sun’s UV radiation is at its strongest.
- Aim for at least 15 minutes of daily sun exposure to get your desired tan.
- Tan gradually over a few days rather than in one single session.
- Wear light and loose-fitting clothes, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat when tanning outdoors.
Trending Tip– After a certain amount of exposure hours, your body cannot produce more melanin. On average, your body can tan for between two and three hours per day, so there’s no need to stay out longer!
What Impacts Your Tan Shade?
The shade of your tan is determined by several factors, including the amount of melanin in your skin, the length of time you spend in the sun, and the type of sun protection you use.
- Melanin is a natural pigment in your skin that helps protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- If you have more melanin, your skin will be darker when exposed to sunlight. On the other hand, if you have less melanin, your skin will be lighter.
- The time you spend in the sun also determines your tan shade. The longer you stay in the sun without protection, the darker your tan will be.
- The sun protection you use can also affect the shade of your tan. For example, a higher SPF sunscreen will help protect your skin from UV rays and result in a lighter tan. On the other hand, using a lower SPF sunscreen can result in a darker tan.
- However, overexposure to the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer and other skin problems.
- Finally, certain medications and supplements can also affect your tan shade. Talking to your doctor before taking any supplements or medications that could affect your skin color is essential.
- Always wear sunscreen even on cloudy days with an SPF of 30 or higher when tanning.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure and avoid peak hours.
- Tan only in short bursts, especially when you are just starting to tan.
- Wear clothing that covers your skin as much as possible while tanning.
- Use sunglasses and a hat with a brim to protect your face from the sun.
- Apply a lip balm with an SPF to protect your lips from sunburns.
- Eating sun-friendly foods can help you get a beautiful tan while keeping your skin healthy and protected.
- Avoid tanning beds and their UV rays.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Moisturize your skin often to maintain the elasticity of your skin.
- Exfoliating regularly will help remove dead skin cells, allowing your tan to last longer.
- Monitor for signs of sunburn, such as redness and peeling of the skin, and decrease exposure times accordingly if they occur.
- Limiting exposure if any signs of sunburn occur is decisive, as it can increase your risk of skin cancer in later years.
Tans can be a great way to give your skin the desired glow, but it’s necessary to do it safely. Knowing your skin type and what determines your tan shade will help you pick the best products.
Now that you know how to get a perfect tan, all you need to do is follow the steps outlined, and you’ll be on your way to a golden summer glow.
You can enjoy a beautiful, stimulating, safe tan with careful preparation and practice!
We’d love to know if you have any other secret tanning tips! Leave a comment below.
Written By: Varun Gupta