Are you interested in learning how to tan safely outdoors? Sunbathing is a great way to soak up the summer sun and get that beautiful bronze glow at the same time. Read this article to learn how to get a great tan, without getting burnt along with it! We even included a few tanning tips to help you along!
How to Tan Safely: Sunbathing in 7 Easy Steps
Step 1: Exfoliate Your Skin
Before heading out to the beach and soaking up the sun, try exfoliating your skin indoors first. Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells all over your body and reveals the fresher skin underneath.
Removing these dead cells makes it easier for the sun to penetrate through. Scrubbing the cells away also smoothens out your skin, which can help you get an even and long-lasting tan as you bask in the sun’s rays.
Tip: Use an exfoliating loofah or mitt to buff away a layer of dead skin cells from your body. You can also opt to use natural coarse scrubs like sugar or oatmeal to exfoliate your skin.
Step 2: Apply Sunscreen
You heard us right! You can still achieve a perfect tan even when you use sunscreen. Compared to suntan lotions, sunscreens promote a safer way of getting a tan.
Sunscreens are made to protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. With sunscreen on, you can spend more time under the sun without suffering from extra skin damage caused by these UV rays.
When looking for sunscreens, go for the “broad-spectrum” ones with a sun protection factor (SPF) ranging from 30 to 50. If your skin is on the darker side, sunscreens with an SPF15 will do. Apply some on your skin at least 30 minutes before you go sunbathing, then reapply after every 30 minutes of sun exposure.
Step 3: Avoid Tanning During the Sun’s Peak Hours
The American Cancer Society recommends limiting direct sun exposure between 10 AM to 4 PM. It’s during this time when the sun’s harmful UV rays are strongest. Too much exposure to UV radiation can lead to severe sunburns, premature skin aging, and even skin cancer.
A way to get around this is to sunbathe in the morning. Take a break when the clock strikes 10 AM, then you can continue tanning from 4 PM onwards. Even if you’re sunbathing outside the sun’s peak hours though, it isn’t an excuse to not wear sunscreen.
Tip: Want to know how to get a tan fast? Already having a base tan on, or a darker natural skin tone means your skin is less prone to getting sunburnt. So, you can lay out in the sun from noon until 3 PM to get a faster tan without as much risk to your skin’s health. Again, make sure to put on plenty of sunscreen, and avoid staying out too long!
Step 4: Don’t Overexpose Your Skin
Your skin is embedded with tons of melanocyte cells. When the sun’s UV rays penetrate your skin, these melanocytes start producing a brown pigment called melanin to protect you from sunburn. It’s also the one that gives your skin a bronze tanned look. More melanin in your skin translates to a darker tan.
So, why can’t you just lounge on the beach or poolside for the whole day? As it turns out, your skin can only produce a certain amount of melanin at a time. Once your body reaches the melanin cutoff point, you’re only doing harm to your skin by subjecting it to UV damage.
When you’re tanning outdoors, limit your sun exposure between one to two hours at a time. If you have fair skin, we recommend sunbathing for 30 minutes to an hour only.
Step 5: Protect Your Face
The skin around your eyes and over your cheeks are extremely delicate and don’t hold up too well against the sun’s UV rays. Aside from putting on facial sunscreen, you can also wear a hat while you’re outside. Wide-brimmed hats can shield your whole face and ears from direct sunlight. You can also wear a pair of UV-protected sunglasses to give your eyes extra protection from the sun.
Tip: A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses don’t just protect your face from direct sun exposure; they can also make you look stylish while you’re getting a tan!
Step 6: Switch Positions for an Even Tan
When you’re laying out under the sun, make sure to regularly switch from your front to your back so you get an even tan. When you’re on your back, move your arms slightly away from your body and lay them palm-side up. Stay in this position for about 15 to 20 minutes. You then flip over and lay on your belly with your arms palm-side down for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Repeat this until you get an even dose of sun all around your body. You’ll also need to rest your arms above your head to let the sun hit your armpits and the undersides of your arms.
Tip: When you’re tanning outdoors, bring a timer or alarm clock with you. Have it sound off every 20 minutes, so you know exactly when to switch from one position to another.
Step 7: Bathe and Moisturize
After your outdoor tanning session, go back indoors and take a cold bath or shower. The water will help cool down your body from being exposed to the intense heat of the sun.
After your bath, apply liberal amounts of your favorite moisturizer all over your body. Moisturizing helps rehydrate your skin and keeps it from drying out, cracking, and peeling.
Tip: Look for a basic non-oil based moisturizer that doesn’t have a scent. Moisturizes made from oil-based formulas can ruin the tan you worked hard to achieve.
Want more tips on how to tan safely outdoors? Get to know the tanning tips of YouTuber Jessica Lim by watching the video below:
Sunbathing is a great way to get a natural tan while making the most out of the summer sun. This article will help you do just that. By knowing and practicing the steps on how to tan safely, you’ll be able to achieve your desired bronze glow without any worries!
Do you know of any other tips on how to tan safely outdoors? Let us know in the comments section below!