Tanned to Perfection: The Guide to Tanning Dos and Don’ts

Introduction to Tanning

Tanning Dos and Don’ts?Dreaming of a golden brown, sun-kissed glow that makes you look like you’ve spent a splendid summer on the beach? Us too! The practice of tanning has gained significant popularity over the years, with folks aiming to attain the perfect bronzed look. Tanning, in a nutshell, is your skin’s reaction to the sun’s ultraviolet rays—a process that leads to the skin darkening in an attempt to protect itself. It’s the ultimate symbol of a carefree, sunshine-y life, but it’s not without its risks.

While sporting a tan can give one a radiant, healthy-looking appearance, getting there requires you to take care of your skin properly. It’s crucial to follow the dos and don’ts of tanning for a safe, healthy, and enjoyable experience. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing some serious damage to your skin. Let’s dive into the topic so we can tan the smart way. Ready? Let’s glow!

Understanding Your Skin

Just like snowflakes, no two skin types are exactly the same. How your skin reacts to the sun can be vastly different from how your friend’s skin might react. Therefore, understanding your skin type is crucial when considering sun exposure.

Skin varies from type I (always burns, never tans) to type VI (never burns, tans easily). Figuring out where you fall on this spectrum will help you determine how much SPF you need and which tanning methods are safest for your skin. The paler your skin is, the more precautions you’ll need to take under the sun.

Moreover, sunscreen isn’t just a precautionary measure – it’s a necessity. UV rays can have damaging effects on the skin, leading to premature aging, skin cancer, and more. That said, be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Choosing a sunscreen might feel like going down a rabbit hole, but don’t let that throw you off guard. But hey, don’t sweat it! We’ll cover this in the ‘Tanning Dos’ section.

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Tanning Dos

When it comes to tanning, there are a few cardinal rules that you should swear by. They might seem like a bit of a hassle at first, but trust me, your skin will thank you later!

Firstly, expose your skin to the sun gradually. It might be tempting to bask in the sun for hours on end in the hopes of getting that desired tan fast, but my advice? Don’t rush the process. Gradual exposure ensures that you achieve a natural, long-lasting tan without burning your skin.

As mentioned before, sunscreen is your skin’s best friend, especially before sunlight exposure. Apply it generously on all exposed skin and be sure to reapply at least every 2 hours. If you’re a water baby, slather it on more often as water and sweat can wash it away.

Next up, moisturize. And let me say, folks, this one’s a game-changer. Regularly moisturizing helps replenish the skin’s natural moisture lost during tanning and will keep your tan healthy and glowing. Remember, flaky skin is akin to a flaky friend, no one likes them!

For those of us who like to tan but steer clear of natural sunlight, self-tanning products are a boon. These lotions, mousses, or sprays can give you a sun-free tan that’s even and safe if used correctly, remember, no blotchy ankles or elbows!

Last, but certainly not least, it’s essential to protect sensitive areas like your eyes, lips, and hair from the sun. Get hold of some stylish sunglasses and hats, and protect your pucker with SPF-infused lip balm.

Tanning Don’ts

Just as important are the tanning practices to shy away from. These are the ‘oh honey, no’ steps of tanning that can lead to harming your skin more than helping it.

First off, avoid excessive sun exposure, especially during peak hours. The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 am and 2 pm, so try and stick to the shade during this period. Even the most hardcore sun worshipper needs a break!

Seeing the word ‘SPF’ should be a reflex by now but here’s a friendly reminder. Never skip sunscreen and don’t use products past their expiration date. You wouldn’t eat expired food, would you?

As cozy as sunbeds may seem, avoid excessive use as they emit UV rays which can increase the risk of skin damage and even cancer. A bit grim, but it’s worth mentioning.

Before you apply self-tanners, exfoliate! It ensures an even and streak-free result by getting rid of dead skin cells that could leave your tan blotchy.

Lastly, over-exposing sensitive areas like the face and neck isn’t recommended. These areas age faster and are prone to sunspots. Protect them with broad-brimmed hats and SPF-heavy skincare.

Tips for a Long-lasting Tan

Look, there’s no point in investing in a tanning session only to have it fade in a short time. Here are a few tips to make your tan last longer.

Drink plenty of water. Hydrating your skin from within is one of the keys to a lasting tan. Plus, it generally helps maintain healthy skin.

Exfoliate regularly but gently. It helps remove dead skin cells and paves the way for a healthy tan.

Moreover, moisturize your skin daily. A well-moisturized skin holds on to the tan longer, preventing premature peeling.

Avoid hot showers and chlorine-treated pools as they can dry out your skin and fade your tan.

Lastly, if you notice your tan starting to fade, touch up with gradual tanning lotions or mousses. That’s your cheat code to maintaining that freshly tanned glow.


Mastering the art of a perfect tan involves understanding your skin, following the right tanning practices, and maintaining your tan the right way. It’s about having a healthy relationship with the sun and prioritizing the well-being of your skin.

As tempting as it might be to lay in the sun all day, remember that excess of anything is harmful. Love your skin, treat it right, and it will give back in kind with a beautiful, healthy glow.

In the end, the most important takeaway is to have fun under the sun! And not just that, let’s do it responsibly and in a way that makes our skin happy too.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is tanning harmful to your skin?

Yes, excessive and unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause skin damage, premature aging, and even skin cancer. It’s extremely important to protect your skin with a good sunscreen and limit your time in the sun.

2. How can I get a tan safely?

Gradual exposure to the sun, using a good sunscreen, moisturizing, using self-tanning products effectively, and protecting sensitive areas can help you achieve a safe tan.

3. Can I tan if my skin is very pale?

Yes, but extra caution is needed. Fair skin burns easily and is more at risk for skin damage. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF, avoid peak sun hours, and choose tanning methods that are safe for your skin type.

4. How long does a tan last?

A tan can last anywhere from a week to a month, depending on your skin type and how you care for it. Hydrating, exfoliating and moisturizing your skin can help prolong it.

5. Are there any safer alternatives to a natural tan?

Yes, self-tanners are a safe and effective alternative to natural tans. They’re easy to use, can be adjusted to your desired level of tan, and pose no risk of sun damage.

6. Can I prevent my tan from fading?

Regularly exfoliating, moisturizing, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding hot showers and chlorinated water can help your tan to last longer. If you notice your tan fading, touch up with a tanning lotion or mousse.

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