We all want to look like we just stepped off the beach, with a sun-kissed, perfect tan.
But without any tanning guidance, getting that perfect tan can be a challenge – especially for beginners.
To help you achieve the perfect tan, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of tanning dos and don’ts for beginners.
With this expert advice, you can prepare for a tanning session and have the confidence to rock your golden glow.
Never skimp on sunscreen
Whether you go au naturale or love using shop-bought products, sunscreen is a must. Long-term exposure to UVA and UVB rays can have serious consequences, like skin cancer, not to mention those dreaded sunburns.
When picking a sunscreen, ensure it has at least 30 SPF and clearly declares its UVA/UVB protection. Look for extra benefits like nourishing and replenishing. Apply it at least 20 minutes before stepping out into the sun, and be sure to cover those typically overlooked areas.
Remember, sunscreen won’t hinder your tanning routine. It simply creates a protective barrier, allowing your skin to produce the melanin needed for a glorious golden glow.
Take off the dead skin
It’s hard to escape pollutants, particles, and dirt that build up on our skin over time and can damage it.
Moreover, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays penetrate the outermost layer of skin, causing serious damage.
That’s why exfoliation is a must in your skincare routine. Apply sunscreen daily along with a trusty exfoliating brush or bath puff, a tan-removing scrub, or indulge in the luxury of a vegan body scrub once or twice a week. This dynamic combo will help you achieve an even tan and bid farewell to those stubborn, dead skin cells.
Another great tanning advice is to allow your skin to cool down. For a more wholesome and long-lasting tan, hunt some shade and give it some time to relax between sun exposures.
Likewise, you can tan in the water, but be careful—the sun can scorch you just as quickly, notably since swimming reduces the effectiveness of many sunscreen products. Don’t ignore the need to take breaks when tanning in the sun since prolonged exposure can damage your skin.
This is a crucial one. Always keep a bottle of drinking water close by while basking—aside from the simple fact that you feel weary while tanning, drinking enough water also helps you prevent sunburn by allowing your skin to absorb the sun’s rays while remaining healthy, nourished, and supple.
Apply skin products with UVA/UVB protection – The best tanning advice
After slathering the skin in sunscreen, you might assume that your face, neck, and back are protected. However, your body needs plenty of protection as well.
If you wear makeup, it must protect you from ultraviolet rays. During your tanning excursions, consider using sunscreen-based lip and eye protection products. Also, try these tanning oil recipes for different skin types:
Tanning Oil for Dry Skin
- 8 tablespoons of avocado, walnut, wheat germ, or sesame oil.
- A few teaspoons each of patchouli and calendula oil.
Tropical Tanning Oil
- One cup of coconut oil.
- 8 tsp of avocado, walnut, or sesame oil.
- For that delicious aroma, a few splashes of coconut or vanilla oil.
UV Radiation-Neutralizing Tanning Oil
- One cup of coconut oil.
- Brewed green tea around 2 cups.
- 8 teaspoons of walnut oil.
Tanning oil for People with Fairer Complexion
- One cup olive oil.
- 2 teaspoons carrot seed or raspberry seed oil.
- 8 tsp avocado oil.
- A few splashes of sandalwood essential oil for the aroma.
Knowing your skin type and tone is important. For those with fair skin, limiting your time in the sun to just two hours per day is essential. Keep a close eye on your skin’s condition, as even this duration might be too long for some.
When it comes to face tanning, it’s essential to remember that it’s more delicate than the rest of your body. Dermatologists recommend spending no more than ten minutes tanning your face in total. Going over this recommended time can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.
Before you begin sun tanning, it’s a good idea to cleanse your skin. This will remove any layers of dead skin and help clear your pores, providing a more even tan.
Obtain a fake tan
Looking for the perfect tan? Well, we hate to break it to you, but any level of tanning actually damages your skin. However, achieving a golden hue is still possible, and the best way to do sunless tanning is by using self-tanning products right in the comfort of your own home. These modern formulations are a breeze to apply, ensuring a uniform and natural-looking color without any hassle.
Take extra care at the beach
While at the beach, keep in mind that water can affect your sun safety routine. Consider using waterproof sunscreen, which protects you underwater. Make sure you put on the sunscreen as soon as you get out of the water if you don’t have a waterproof variant.
Be aware of water’s cooling properties. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UV rays are reflected by sandy beaches, water, or snow, which raises the risk. While the beach’s water may keep you cool, the UV rays may be enhanced, and you run the risk of burning faster than usual.
Apply moisturizer after tanning
Following your sun-kissed glow, remember to moisturize! It’s essential for replenishing moisture and nourishing your skin. By applying a soothing lotion, you’ll aid in its recovery and get it ready for the next round of sun exposure. Remember, your skin needs time to recharge and stay hydrated. So keep this golden rule of tanning in mind: hydrate your skin constantly.
Opt for the right time to get tanned
Timing is everything for getting the perfect tan. According to science on tanning guidelines, the best time to tan is before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. We often mistakenly wait until noon, thinking that’s when the sun is strongest. However, tanning during these off-peak hours helps protect our skin from direct and scorching rays.
The “shadow technique” is a valuable way to gauge UV severity. Just stand and observe the height of your shadow – the taller it is, the less UV light you’re getting.
Never exfoliate or wax before the tanning season
Before tanning, removing dead skin cells will irritate, inflame, and possibly result in a quick sunburn. Looking for an all-natural recipe? Use crushed oatmeal combined with a bit of salt and olive oil as a remedy to scrub the skin a day or two beforehand.
Never consume alcohol while tanning
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, making you sweat more, just like the sun does. This means that if you’re out in the sun and drinking alcohol, you can become dehydrated much quicker than usual. And when your body is dehydrated, UV damage to your skin is more likely to occur. So, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol while you soak up the sun to protect your skin.
Never use an artificial bronzer if it’s not necessary
While bronzers can darken your skin temporarily and provide a fabricated tan, they can also have some drawbacks. Many bronzers contain abrasives and cheap chemicals that irritate and cause allergies.
It’s especially important to stay away from tanning products that contain mineral oil, a petroleum byproduct that has been linked to cancer and can clog pores.
Instead, opt for a tanning lotion. If you feel too embarrassed to get a spray tan, there are other options available that can give you a natural-looking tan without the social discomfort.
No Retin-A products in the sun
Your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body, so take extra care when exposing it to the sun. When in direct sunlight, stay away from Retin-A products. While Retin-A is great for your skin, it makes your skin more susceptible to the sun’s rays, especially if you’re looking for younger-looking skin. So, save your Retin-A routine for nighttime and wear sunscreen during the day.
Don’t stay out all day
Reduce the aime you devote to ultraviolet rays and avoid tanning in the heat. Sun exposure can hurt your skin in a variety of ways, so strike the right balance between an attractive appearance and burnt skin.
Don’t use tanning beds
Even though they don’t burn as quickly as the sun, use them occasionally. Remember, avoiding overexposure is key! If you do opt for a tanning bed session, avoid staying too long. Once you’re done, hydrate your skin and give it a few days before tanning again. Don’t forget about protecting your eyes too! Lastly, if you plan to tan, it’s best to avoid wearing makeup that can clog your pores.
Never bake in the sun
If you’ve applied sunscreen, you might assume it’s okay to lay in the sun for several hours but avoid baking during that time. If you really have to, sunbathe in the early morning or late afternoon.
Most Asked Questions about Tanning
How long should I tan as a beginner?
Start with about 20 minutes of tanning and gradually increase by 5 to 10 minutes each time. Make sure to pay attention to your skin’s reaction. Don’t overdo it, so avoid staying in the sun for more than 1.5 to 2 hours.
Can tanning darken your skin?
Yes, tanning can darken the skin. Multiple factors can contribute to the darkening of your skin, including tanning bed intensity, exposure time, sun exposure, and the ingredients in your tanning lotion. To determine the best options for your skin type and needs, speak with a dermatologist or skin-care professional.
Are there any foods that accelerate tanning?
Lemons and celery have a natural component called psoralen, which enhances photosynthesis in the skin. Simply touching these foods can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, avoiding handling them or washing your hands thoroughly after contact while you’re out enjoying the sunshine is advisable.
We can’t wait for those lazy pool and beach days that come with the arrival of summer. While having fun, it’s essential to keep our skin sun-protected, which can be a major threat. While spending time outdoors is great for our mental health and vitamin D levels, we need to be cautious. A little sun exposure can be beneficial, but too much can be dangerous. To achieve a perfect, even tan, follow the above tanning dos and don’ts for beginners to achieve a flawless, even tan. Stay safe and enjoy the sun responsibly!