I've been refining my tanning methods for years and love to help others get the exact tan they want, while still taking care of their skin.
The sun is out, the temperatures are rising, and summer's on the foot of our doorsteps. Now how about that dry, ghostly skin you want to show but feel like you can't?
This article will give you the tips and tricks you need for beautiful, glowing skin that you will be proud of and be able to show off in those shorts, summer dresses, and swimsuits.
5 Tips for All Types of Tanning
Whether you're bed tanning, spray tanning, or sun tanning, here are some tips to get the most beautiful tan ever!
- Smooth Skin Is the Best for Tanning
- Exfoliate Your Skin
- Moisturizing Your Skin Is Essential
- Exercise Moderation When Tanning and Always Use Sunscreen Lotions
- Take Care of Your Tanned Skin
1. Smooth Skin Is the Best for Tanning
Not only is keeping your skin hairless good for attraction, but it also lets you get a better tan! The sun and UV rays from bed and stand-up tanner booths will be able to reach your skin easier without having to go through hair.
Particularly with spray tanning, hairless legs are a must. If you spray tan when you have hair, the formula will stick to the hair follicles, giving you little tiny dots everywhere. Make sure to shave or wax 24 hours before you tan.
To be able to be hairless for up to six weeks, consider waxing. Waxing typically lasts up to two weeks, but repeated waxing every two weeks should eventually get you to a point of having six nice weeks of being hair free. (Of course, every person is different.) You can wax at home or go to a professional, which is recommended if you're also doing a Brazilian wax. Gigi is a good at-home waxing brand to use.
2. Exfoliate Your Skin
Before tanning, you should make sure you've exfoliated. (Actually, tanning or not, you should exfoliate your skin!)
Exfoliating with a loofah or scrubber helps get rid of the top layer of dead skin. If you exfoliate prior to tanning, your tan will start to develop on the fresh, new skin that was underneath. Exfoliating around the parts that get driest really helps, such as the feet and hands. The next tip goes hand-in-hand with exfoliating.
3. Moisturizing Your Skin Is Essential
There is no point in tanning if your skin is dry and flaky. If your skin isn't moisturized, not only is it harder to develop a tan, it also won't last. Our skin naturally flakes off, but if you're tanning with already-dry skin, not only is it going to make it worse, your tan will also flake off with the skin, resulting in never being able to get a nice deep developed tan.
Areas that you should focus on for moisturizing include: the elbows, wrists, hands, knees, and feet (especially around the ankles). Moisturize the night before you tan and after you go tanning. Using baby oil after shaving and getting out of the shower is a trick I use that seems to work quite well. (It's also good for buffing out spray tan mess-ups.)
My favorite affordable lotions to use as moisturizers are the Bodycology ones. They have wonderful-smelling scents and penetrate deep into the skin, to the point where you can really feel the moisturizing. They also have a thicker constancy than most lotions, which works better in my opinion. They're not too thick though where you can't spread it, and a little goes a long way. They can be found at most drugstores and online for as low as $4 for an 8 ounces. My personal favorite scent is Island Coconut—perfect for summer.
4. Exercise Moderation When Tanning and Always Use Sunscreen Lotions
Whether you're tanning to get your vitamin D or you're spray tanning to add some color, remember to keep it in perspective.
Receiving 5 to 30 minutes of sun several times a week on unprotected skin is healthy to receive vitamin D from the sun's UVB rays. However, tanning can increase your risk of cancer, especially the younger you start tanning. Keep in mind that you should always protect your skin with SPF when being exposed to the sun for more than a few minutes at once.
With sun tanning, you should invest in a good SPF sunscreen, such as Banana Boat Ultra Defense Sunblock Lotion SPF 50. Another good one I recommend that also helps develop a nice dark tan is Hawaiian Tropic Golden Tanning Dry Oil Sunscreen SPF 6.
For indoor tanning, investing in an indoor tanning lotion will not only protect you but also help your tan develop darker and last longer. Millennium indoor tanning lotions work very well. Make sure to not purchase indoor tanning lotion at salons though, because they will be very expensive—instead of spending $80 a bottle, spend $9–$20 online!
Investing in a strong SPF moisturizer or lotion for your face is also especially important. Your skin on your face is very thin and sensitive, and you need protection to avoid aging and wrinkles. Even SPF foundations are better than nothing.
Lastly, don't forget about your lips. Be sure to use a lip balm that contains SPF to protect them.
Remember that with bed tanning, you can slowly moderate your tan, and the bed weeds out the most harmful rays: UVC. Talk to your local salon to see how much you should tan to develop one without burning.
Note: Burning to develop a tan is not recommended. I've heard a lot of people say burning develops a quicker, deeper tan, but this is false! Burning will not necessarily even turn into a tan. It will just damage your skin severely and greatly increase your risk for skin cancer, while leaving you in pain. Avoid burning at all costs!
5. Take Care of Your Tanned Skin
Making sure you keep up with tips 1–4 will guarantee a nice, beautiful, glowing tan. Don't get lazy when it comes to exfoliating, hair removing, or moisturizing.
Be sure to avoid wearing makeup, perfume, or deodorant when tanning, because the products can take away from the UV rays and give you an uneven tan. Tanning without makeup on will also allow that stubborn face to get and maintain a tan. Just don't forget to apply SPF on it though (preferably SPF 15)!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: I just took a bath, and I'm going to the tanning bed later. Should I put regular lotion on now?
Answer: You should wait and apply indoor tanning lotion before entering the bed.
Mal on March 06, 2016:
Actually Jessie Doles^^^ sometimes buying online is just fine, especially if the bottle is sealed completely, that way you know it hasn't been tampered with. :)
Jessie Doles on September 28, 2015:
Buying lotions from someone other than a salon is not a good idea. You don't know what's in the bottle or if the lotion has been diluted with something else. There are a wide variety of bronzing lotions you can choose from. You don't have to buy the high end ones to get a nice tan. ProTan, Australian Gold & Swedish Beauty all have low to mid range priced lines to choose from & they work.