Summer has finally arrived, and it’s once again time for some fun under the sun! But apart from vacations, beachside trips, and cute shorts, there is something else you would like to get during this scorching season — a nice, summer tan!
A lot of people like to get a bit of color into their skin during the summer. However, the issue is that you can only spend so many hours lounging in the sun before it stops being safe. Therefore, if you’re wondering how to tan fast, here are a few tricks to help you get that perfect, bronze complexion this summer season!
How Long Does It Take for You to Get a Tan?
On paper, tanning sounds simple. You just spend an hour soaking up those golden rays, and voíla! You have the perfect golden complexion. However, the reality is seldom that straightforward.
Tanning is a complex process that hinges on several factors like how much time you spend in the sun, where you tan, at what times during the day you tan, and the amount of melanin in your skin. Melanin is a skin pigment that helps protect the skin from UV rays.
When the sun hits the epidermis, skin cells called melanocytes get triggered to produce melanin. Melanin acts as a shield against UV radiation, darkening the skin and making it more resistant to damage. This is why people with more melanin will tan more easily and more quickly, typically within an hour of sitting in direct sunlight.
Likewise, going out between noon and 3 pm will also speed up tanning time. This is when the sun is strongest, so you’ll be able to get a beautiful golden color in just a few hours of sunbathing on the beach. Tanning at high altitudes and in humid climates can also make the process much faster.
Air moisture helps prevent your tan from fading and speeds up tanning time considerably. Similarly, the closer you are to the sun, the quicker your skin will darken. Therefore, tanning while you’re up in the mountains will give you a sun-kissed complexion in an hour or less.
How to Tan Fast: 5 Tips
Tanned skin may look beautiful, but it does come with many risks. Too much exposure to the sun can result in pretty nasty burns, and increase your risk of skin cancer.
So, to stay as healthy as possible, you’ll have to figure out a way to get that killer bronze color in record time. Luckily for you, there are five easy tricks you can use to speed up tanning time while minimizing your UV exposure.
1. Use Sunblock
You may think that ditching sunscreen is how you can tan more quickly. However, this is ill-advised. Even if you don’t get sunburned easily, UV rays can still penetrate your skin and cause premature aging and potentially result in skin cancer.
In short, prioritize protecting your skin over your tan, even if that means using weaker sunblock with an SPF below 30.
2. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
Exfoliating on a regular basis is vital for maintaining skin health. Not only that, but it can also make you tan faster! Removing layers of dead skin allows the sun to more easily penetrate the epidermis. This, in turn, activates melanocytes prompting them to produce melanin quicker, which gives you a more pronounced tan.
3. Eat Nutritious Foods to Increase Melanin Production
Nutrition is the key to everything, including your tan. Certain nutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene can increase melanin production, thus helping your skin darken faster. Consequently, be sure to load up on tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelon before going out to have some fun in the sun.
4. Choose Your Tanning Time
As mentioned, the stronger the sun, the better the tan. Therefore, to get that perfect bronze color, make sure to go tanning when the sun is at its peak. This can be anywhere between 11 am to 3 pm. But be warned.
Being out while the sun is at its peak will also put you at a higher risk for sunburns. So, it’s recommended you tan in intervals of between 15-30 minutes, and take breaks in the shade.
5. Change Positions Frequently
When tanning, your ultimate goal is to get a nice, uniform color on your skin. And the best way to do this is to frequently change positions. Shifting your body every 15-30 minutes helps you achieve a nice gradual tan on all sides.
Plus, it gives your skin a break from harsh UV rays. This, in turn, gives you a quality tan that won’t flake, or fade after a few weeks.
Do You Tan Faster in Water or Laying Out?
Tanning is something you usually do while lying on the beach or poolside. But did you know that moving into the water can actually give you better results? Not only does water reflect light, but it can also refract it. Therefore, going into the water, or lying on a lilo will actually get you more sun exposure than just sunbathing on dry land.
You can get bonus points if you go swimming in saltwater since salt found in the ocean and seawater attracts sunlight to your skin. What’s more, saltwater is loaded with plenty of other minerals that can reduce skin inflammation and protect you from sunburns.