When you’re in the mood to soak up some sun and work on your tan, it can be tempting to spend all day on the beach soaking up those UV rays. How to tan quickly in the sun without burning?
While this may be the simplest way to get your tan, it’s also the riskiest. If you find yourself spending too much time in the sun, you could be putting yourself at risk of burning as well as premature aging or skin cancer down the road. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to safely tan quickly in the sun and avoid burning or overexposure to harmful UV rays.
Tanning quickly in the sun without burning can seem like an impossible task at first. But if you follow this complete guide and avoid making some common mistakes, you will definitely get a good end result.
So, without any further ado, let’s get to know about what aspects you need to consider.
Table of Contents
Start with identifying your skin tone
When deciding how quickly you tan, look at your skin tone. People with naturally darker complexions will likely be able to soak up UV rays and bronzed more quickly than others.
Those with paler skin tones should take extra precautions and make sure they’re protecting their skin from harmful UV rays that can lead to sunburns or worse.
Start slowly if you’re naturally pale, meaning taking regular breaks during outdoor activities and avoiding excessive time in direct sunlight.
Also, don’t forget that your body isn’t just exposed to UV rays while you’re outdoors, but also when you’re in your backyard or at your window desk.
Make sure all of your skin is protected by layers of sunscreen, no matter where you are. Use SPF 30 or higher, and reapply every two hours if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time.
Protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays
You might have heard that tanning in UV rays is bad for your skin. You’re not wrong regarding this information.
UV rays can damage your skin, whether you’re out getting some sun or sitting in front of your TV.
But did you know there are two types of UV radiation? UVA and UVB rays both cause sunburns and raise your risk of skin cancer. But only UVB or the burning kind does it instantly. UVA takes longer but causes more long-term damage.
To protect yourself from these rays, wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every time you go outside, even if it’s cloudy. And if you plan on being outside for an extended period of time like at a beach, make sure to reapply every few hours.
Don’t skip sunscreen! The best way to ensure safe tanning is by applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before heading outdoors.
You need to remember a few things while application of the sunscreen.
Liberal application of the sunscreen
This means not forgetting spots like your ears, neck, hands, and feet. Also reapply every two hours while outdoors.
Application of sunscreen while going to the pool or beach
Besides, you need to apply it after swimming. You should not forget about reflective surfaces like water that may intensify UV exposure.
Don’t get burned
While you may want to be bronze as quickly as possible, it’s important to keep in mind that burning can lead to more than just skin damage; it can also increase your risk for skin cancer down the road.
Stay cool, drink water, relax your muscles
When you’re tanning, it’s important to stay cool.
Though your skin may burn quicker in direct sunlight, if you move quickly from one spot to another, or if you stand in one place for too long without protection, it may harm you. By doing so, heat builds up inside your body and can cause discomfort and even fever.
To avoid sunburns, it’s best to keep calm during your sessions in front of the UV rays. Drink plenty of water before and after you go out into the sun, and try to relax as much as possible while tanning.
Moving around too much will only increase your chances of burning!
If you do get burned, take steps to treat it immediately, pain-relieving lotions are a good way to help relieve symptoms. If you feel dizzy or nauseous at any point during your session, head back indoors immediately. Your brain is telling you that something isn’t right!
Wear sunscreen lotion and spray
You should never skip sunscreen when you’re in direct sunlight. It may seem tedious, but sunscreens with SPF of at least 15 are recommended for maximum protection from harmful UV rays.
If you’re looking for a safe tan that won’t leave your skin red and burned, find one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which provide added UVA and UVB protection. These ingredients will not only increase your chances of achieving an even tan, but also ensure that you remain protected while in sunlight.
Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, look for a formula that doesn’t contain fragrances or other chemicals, they can irritate your skin and worsen any burn.
The ideal time to apply sunscreen is about 30 minutes before going outside, so it has time to absorb into your skin. Also, make sure you reapply every two hours or more often if sweating and after swimming or showering.
And don’t forget about spots like your ears.
Exfoliate before you go out
Exfoliating your skin before you go out in sunlight is very important. Not only does it give you a deeper tan, but it also keeps your skin hydrated.
Use either an exfoliant from your skincare products or one of these natural recipes.
First exfoliation recipe for your skin
Mix 2 cups of brown sugar with enough olive oil to make it into a paste (1/4 cup). Apply on clean, dry skin and leave for 10 minutes. You can leave on even longer if needed. Rinse off and moisturize after.
Second exfoliation recipe for your skin
Try mixing 1 tbsp of lemon juice with 1 tbsp of honey and apply on clean, dry skin for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off and moisturize after.
The acidity of lemon will help lighten any discoloration or hyperpigmentation. This recipe is great for people who have sensitive skin.
Third exfoliation recipe for your skin
You can mix 3 tbsp aloe vera gel with 1 tsp glycerin and 1⁄2 tsp vitamin E oil and apply on clean, dry skin for 10 minutes. Rinse off and moisturize after.
Aloe vera has healing properties that are great for sunburns as well as pre-existing scars or dark spots on your body.
To avoid getting burned while still getting a deep tan, wear sunscreen every day! It’s not worth risking your health just so you can get darker faster! If you don’t want to wear sunscreen everyday, at least do it when you know you’ll be spending time outside.
Just remember that SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks 98%. Always reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if swimming or sweating a lot.
When buying a sunscreen, look for ones with antioxidants like green tea extract or vitamins A & C because they protect against free radicals produced by UV rays which cause premature aging and wrinkles.
Time your schedule right to get maximum results
The key to achieving optimal tanning results is maximizing your time in and out of the sun.
You can schedule tanning sessions so that you hit different areas of your body at various times throughout one day, or even over several days. This will ensure that you don’t burn and won’t end up with any patches or discoloration on your skin.
It’s crucial to pay attention when you go outside, and just as important to take good care of your skin afterward.
Use tanning products that are right for you
Before you begin tanning, it’s important to take into account your skin type and how your body reacts under sunlight. Every person has a different skin tone, so what works for one person may not work for another.
There are four main types of skin tones: pale white, light brown, medium brown, and dark brown. Each of these skin tones will react differently in sunlight, there is no one size fits all solution.
For example, someone with fair skin might be able to get away with spending only five minutes in direct sunlight before burning, while someone with darker skin might need 30 minutes or more.
The best way to determine how long you can spend in direct sunlight is by doing a patch test on an inconspicuous area, such as your inner arm, before getting started on any new regimen. If you notice redness after 15 minutes, then that’s likely too much time.
On the other hand, if you don’t notice any redness after 45 minutes, then that likely isn’t enough time. By knowing how your skin responses to sunlight, you can better plan out how long you should stay outside during each session.
When deciding which tanning products are right for you, keep in mind that some people experience allergic reactions when using certain products like sunscreen.
It’s also worth noting that some people prefer self-tanner over sunless tanner because they feel like they have more control over their color development. With self-tanner, you apply a product directly onto your skin, whereas with sunless tanner, you apply it to your hands and then rub them onto your body.
This method tends to leave behind streaks and uneven patches on some people’s bodies. If you choose to use a self-tanner instead of sunless tanner, make sure that you follow all instructions carefully and wash off any excess product thoroughly afterward. Some brands recommend waiting up to eight hours between applications for optimal results.
Put reflectors or cover up under your clothes
While it might not seem like it at first, you can actually use clothing as reflectors for your skin.
The next time you’re getting ready to head out in some blazing sun, pull on your favorite swimsuit and take along some bathing suit cover-ups or other lightweight yet brightly colored clothing.
Then lay them over bare parts of your body that are exposed when you tan, such as arms and shoulders, and go get yourself a nice, even coat of sun without burning! For an added bonus, make sure your bathing suit is made from UPF fabric, so it protects you from harmful UV rays.
While some tanners say they prefer to stay away from sunscreen during their daily sessions because they feel it ruins their natural tan, others will only protect themselves with sunscreen after spending hours in direct sunlight.
If you fall into either category, just remember, There is no substitute for shade. You should never have to choose between bronzed skin and a healthy life!
Find yourself some shade every now and then
To make sure that you’re tanning safely, it is recommended that you find yourself some shade now and then.
UV rays are known for putting people at risk of skin cancer, so it’s very important that you keep an eye on how much exposure your skin is getting.
Ideally, you should not stay out in direct sunlight for too long, around 20 minutes at a time is enough. If possible, avoid exposing your skin directly to sunlight between 10 AM and 4 PM. The sun is at its strongest during these hours, and it can cause sunburn more easily than any other time of day.
Don’t forget to moisturize after
If you’re going out in the sun, make sure you bring along your moisturizer and use it when you return. This will help your skin retain moisture and prevent dryness or irritation, all of which can lead to premature aging.
Keep your face shielded from harsh rays with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that provide UV protection. Once inside, apply sunscreen all over again.
Try to stay indoors between 10am and 4pm, when sunlight is strongest. And if you do venture outside during those hours, wear protective clothing like long sleeves and pants made from lightweight fabrics like cotton.
Finally, don’t forget about SPF. Make sure your daily skincare routine includes an SPF 30 or higher every day for both UVA and UVB protection. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least one of these ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone (also known as Parsol 1789), Mexoryl SX or XL, ecamsule (also known as Mexoryl SX), Tinosorb S or M.
The FDA has approved over-the-counter products containing these ingredients for use in sunscreens.
Keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms
Many of us don’t think twice about our color, but it can be a signal that something is wrong.
If you notice any redness or burning sensation, you could have sun poisoning or something more serious like melanoma.
Wear protective clothing and cover up with sunscreen for any time you’re in direct sunlight. Wearing sunglasses will also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. You should always see a doctor if you notice anything unusual after spending time in the sun.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association estimates there are roughly 9,500 new cases of skin cancer each day in the US. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in America and one of its deadliest because it’s often not caught until later stages when treatment options are limited.
Be aware of excessive heat risks
When you’re in direct sunlight, your body temperature rises and your skin starts creating sweat.
In turn, increased sweating means that moisture leaves your body. This is one of the main causes of dehydration and heat stroke, so it’s important to be aware of excessive heat risks when you’re trying to get a sun tan.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your day, and remember that most people will feel thirsty before they actually are, so drink up!
You should also avoid exercising or working outside for long periods of time during peak hours (between 10am-4pm). And if you do start feeling overheated, take a break from being outside immediately.
Understand natural tans vs. artificial tans
All tanning is not created equal. There are several different kinds of tanning methods, but two main categories: artificial and natural.
Artificial tans use chemicals to turn skin brown; natural tans use ultraviolet light.
Both can deliver that golden glow, but only one does it safely.
Natural tans or sunburns are caused by UV rays from sunlight or tanning beds. They’re essentially controlled burns that produce melanin in your skin, giving you a darker complexion in areas exposed to UV rays.
Over time, these cells can be damaged and lead to wrinkles, freckles, spots and even cancer. The most important thing about getting a natural tan is avoiding overexposure to UV rays. When you get too much exposure to sun, your body reacts with an inflammatory response that causes redness, swelling, and pain.
Repeated overexposure can cause long-term damage like premature aging or even skin cancer. It’s best to stick with low levels of exposure over longer periods of time rather than high levels for short bursts.
If you have fair skin, experts recommend limiting yourself to 10 minutes per day in direct sunlight. Darker complexions should limit themselves to 20 minutes per day, while super dark complexions should try for 30 minutes per day.
It takes anywhere from three days to two weeks for your body to produce enough melanin after receiving proper amounts of UV radiation.
If you want a fast tan, then it would be better to fake it!
What to do after tanning
After tanning, follow these tips for safe self-tan maintenance.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Moisturize daily with a natural moisturizer such as coconut oil, shea butter or jojoba oil.
Try not to exfoliate too much while your skin is still developing color, instead wait until after you have achieved your desired tan level.
And remember, never use self-tanner within 24 hours prior to applying fake tanner! Most brands contain ingredients that neutralize each other.
Go easy with products for the first few days after getting tanned
Once you’ve got some color, you’ll want to be more careful about what you put on your skin and in your hair.
Sun-care products can contain ingredients that can actually slow down or reverse your tanning progress.
For example, titanium dioxide (which many sunscreens and facial moisturizers contain) will soak up UV rays like a sponge and reflect them back onto your skin.
This is why it’s important to choose wisely when it comes to sunscreen and lotions. Look for those with physical blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are less likely to cause allergic reactions than chemical blockers.
And if you’re using self-tanner, make sure it contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which has been shown to help prevent damage from UVA radiation.
DHA also keeps DHT from binding to your skin cells, which prevents DNA damage. As far as exfoliating goes, don’t scrub too hard, you could end up damaging your new tanned skin and causing irritation or inflammation that could lead to an uneven tan.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How can I tan faster in the sun?
How long should I lay in the sun to tan?
Does baby oil help you tan?
Is coconut oil good for tanning?
How to get a golden tan not brown?
Does your skin stop tanning at a certain point?
How can I lighten my skin after sun exposure?
Do zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect against UVA and UVB?
What does SPF mean?
Wrapping things up
So, how to tan quickly in the sun without burning? Well, it is more important to ensure the safety of your skin first rather than getting tanned.
Don’t spend too much time in one place. When you start burning, get out of the sun or move into a shady area. If you can’t get out of the sun, find something that blocks UV rays, like clothes or an umbrella. Keep in mind that tanning booths have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer and aren’t recommended for anyone who plans on getting outside in sunlight. To protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, it’s important to wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 every day.