How to Get a Tan

Two Methods:Fun in the SunRub In Your Tan

People tend to look great when they have a bit of a tan—it adds a warm glow to the skin, masks blemishes, and helps make colorful clothes stand out. It can be tricky business, getting the right tan—there are UV rays to worry about, awkward orange colors to avoid, and tan lines to consider. With a little knowledge and forethought, you can overcome any obstacles, and get that tan you're looking for—and we'll show you how. Follow these simple steps and get that golden glow in short order!

Method 1
Fun in the Sun

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    Choose your UV source. For ultraviolet tanning, nothing beats good, old-fashioned sunshine. If your skies or weather don't permit, though, tanning beds are an effective, year-round alternative to keep your skin lightly browned.
    • Keep it all in moderation—great looking skin can end up looking like leather if you stay in the "oven" too long.
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    Hydrate your skin. Skin that's well hydrated will tan better than dusty, dry skin. Before you do prepare your skin to tan well, do the following:
    • In the shower, exfoliate dry, dead epidermal cells by scrubbing gently with a rough cloth, loofah, or exfoliating soap.
    • Moisturize your skin with a lotion containing sodium PCA. It's a naturally-occurring component of human skin that helps maintain a healthy epidermis, and works by attracting moisture from the air.
    • Apply the right level of sunscreen for your skin. If you have light skin, use a lotion with a higher SPF rating than if you have darker skin. No matter what your skin type or how much base you have built up, always use a sunscreen with at least an SPF rating of 15.
    • If you are going to be in the water, make sure your sunscreen is waterproof, or re-apply when you're out of the water. Otherwise, re-apply sunscreen as directed on the label—usually every couple hours.
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    Wear sunscreen when you tan! If you are just going to sit on the beach and tan for an hour put SPF 4-15 on, depending on how fair your complexion is and how much base you've already built up.
    • If you don't use sunscreen while tanning, UVA and UVB rays can still harm your skin, even if you don't get burned!
    • Use lip balm with sunscreen as well. Ideally, apply your sunscreen in the shade, and let it soak in for 20-25 minutes before you go into the sun. Reapply as needed if you go swimming and the sunscreen is not waterproof, or every couple hours as directed on the label.
    • If you notice redness developing on your skin, get out of the light—you're already burned, and continuing to bake will only deepen the burn and increase your risk of serious damage.
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    (Un)dress for success. Unless you want a patchwork quilt of tan lines, wear the swimsuit you will wear when you are swimming! Wearing the same swimsuit will give you a smooth, buttery tan that flows from skin to bathing suit.
    • Skip the swimsuit altogether if you can. The only thing better than minimal tan lines is no tan lines at all!
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    Find your place in the sun. You can tan in your own backyard, at the beach, or anywhere that the sun shines. All you need is your tanning lotion, water, and a beach chair or towel.
    • Position the chair or towel in the yard where the sun will hit you directly.
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    Move while you tan. Think "rotisserie chicken." To get that great, all-over browning, you have to keep on the move. Front, back, sides, and places where the sun doesn't normally shine—like underarms.Or spend one day on your backside and one day on your frontside
    • If you don't want to lie around all day, but still want that tan, another alternative is to go for a jog, or even a walk. This not only increases your sun exposure and increases your tan but helps give you a slim, toned body at the same time. Yummy!
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    Protect your eyes. They can be burned, too. For tanning, though, it's better to either wear a hat or just keep your eyes closed rather than wear sunglasses. Bright light on your optic nerve stimulates the hypothalamus gland, which in turn causes the production of melanin, thus achieving a deeper tan.
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    Hydrate! Make sure you drink plenty of water. Jump in the pool to cool yourself down now and then, too. Don't worry, this will not harm your tanning in the least. Don't forget to re-apply your sun screen afterwards.
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    After you tan, moisturize. Use an aloe-based skin lotion to sooth and moisturize your skin. It will help keep your skin healthy and will prevent it from becoming flaky and dry from the sun.

Method 2
Rub In Your Tan

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    Skip the sun. If you're very fair, tend to burn easily, or want to minimize the health risks, sun tanning or UV tanning beds might be exactly the wrong choice. You won't know you're burning until after you're burned and the damage is already done.
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    Do it yourself. There are a variety of products from companies such as Neutrogena, L'Oreal, Victoria's Secret, and many more, that will give you a smooth, even tan.
    • As per the instructions, apply the lotion or spray evenly, taking care to get all skin covered. The best lotions will be noncomedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores.
    • Unless you have unusually long arms or are exceedingly flexible, you'll want a friend to help you get your back covered.
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    Shed your inhibitions. Visit a tanning salon, and let them do an all-over tan. In just a few minutes, they'll professionally apply a tanning mist over your entire body.
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    Read the label. Before you plunk down your cash, read the various reviews available on both product and on service—watch out for spray-on tans that turn you orange.


  • Make sure you put a protective lip balm on as well, as lip cancer is on the rise!
  • Going in a pool, can actually help you get a tan! You're more likely to burn by sunbathing were as if you're in water, the sun reflects of the water and tans you better!!!
  • Aloe Vera can be used as an after-tanning lotion and/or as something to sooth and eliminate a burn.
  • When you tan, make sure your sunglasses don't leave rings around your eyes.
  • Fair skin? Don't use baby oil... you will burn.
  • Remember that sunburn increases risk of skin cancer.
  • After tanning, use aloe vera lotion and take a cold shower.
  • This takes time, so don't expect to see results in one day
  • Concentrate on putting more sun lotion on shoulders, face, ears, and feet, or places that haven't been exposed to the sun.
  • If you get burned be sure to use the lotion type Aloe Vera. This will cure your burn as well as moisturize your skin!
  • Aloe vera gel helps soothe sunburns, and helps them go away faster.
  • If you get sunburnt, try using olive oil and iodine or use 100% cocoa butter and stay out of the sun for a few days. It will help you get a good tan afterwards.
  • If you get burned and feel really tired after tanning you may have sun poisoning.
  • Start with a short time in the sun, say 10 minutes a day for sensitive skin. If you see no problems you can gradually increase your time in the sun. In case of red spots or itching take a few days break from tanning.
  • Make sure that when you tan to turn on different sides so that when your going to prom or on a date that you don't have tanning lines where your dress.
  • Don't just share sunscreen or compare yourself to others. If you're fair skinned and are on the beach with a friend with a darker skin tone then you, then you need to use higher factor sunscreen and you may not be able to stay out for as long.
  • Before and after tanning but on lotion to keep your skin hydrated. When your skin is hydrated it gives you a better tan.
  • Going au naturel? Be careful when exposing new areas of skin to direct sunlight. You don't want to burn "there."
  • When tanning don't do it all in one go, with therefore you will develop tanning lines. Better to go in multiple shots.
  • Wear clothes that complement your tan. If you have no tan, wear dark greens, blues, and purples. If you have a moderate tan, wear black or white to accent your tan. If you are exactly where you want to be, and really tan, wear any color you want.
  • If you opt for an artificial tanner—which is safer and can give you a real looking tan—make sure to find one that does not make you look orange.
  • Rubbing vinegar on burns will take out the heat and make you feel better but may make you smell funny. So don't do this right before going to meetings, dates, long drives trapped in a hot car with others, or really just before being around other people.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and shave your legs before tanning, if you don't and you shave after tanning you could end up with white spots on your legs.
  • Put more lotion on areas that are red. It helps those areas become tan.
  • If it's your first time going to a tanning booth, don't go for very long; talk to the cashier about the recommended length.
  • Make sure you get the right sun cream.
  • Remember that the SPF is how often you need to re-apply. SPF 15, every 15 minutes.
  • If you have really pale / sensitive skin then make sure you put a much higher factor of suncream on, e.g.. wear factor 50+ when its only 20-30'C!
  • Don't use tanning beds! They damage your skin and they can cause skin cancer!


  • Remember that while you tan, and after you come inside, drink lots of water. If your skin feels hot try an after sun lotion to cool it down as a shower might sting if you have been burnt.
  • Keep track of any moles, and watch for changes in color or shape.
  • Tanning every day isn't good for you!
  • Beware of tanning pills, numerous cases of crystallized deposits in the eyes have been noted in persons using tanning pills. These deposits have been found to eventually lead to blindness.
  • Sunburns can be anywhere from mild to moderate. If you get a severe burn, see a doctor.
  • If you stay out in the sun too long, you could be in danger of heatstroke.
  • People with naturally pale skin don't tan well! Instead, try a moisturizing tan lotion. It can look natural and sun-kissed, not too orange or bronze.
  • As people become more aware of the health risks associated with tanning, they may begin to realize that fair skin is just as attractive as dark skin. Be yourself, and people will accept you as who you are, not because of your complexion.
  • Using sun beds, as with all forms of UV exposure, can be dangerous, especially if you use them for long periods of time.
  • Extensive tanning or exposure to UV radiation may lead to skin cancer, which in its worst form is called Melanoma. Using a spray tan is safer. If you must be tanned and don't care if you turn slightly orange, you could save your life.

Article Info

Categories: Sun and Sunless Tanning