Tanning Tips & Tricks by Professionals

what is tanning

With summer on the way, many people want to know how to achieve beautiful, bronzed, sun-kissed skin.

Whether you’re someone who likes to spend time in the sun or achieve their glow through a spray tan, it’s important to follow professional tanning advice to get the most out of your tan.

Read more to learn about the top tanning tips and tricks by professionals.

What Is Tanning?

Tanning is the act of darkening your skin. If you are tanning from the sun, UV rays will produce melanin in your skin, darkening the overall pigmentation. Self-tanning products, on the other hand, produce a coloring chemical called DHA to darken your skin.

How Long Does It Take to Tan?

The length which it takes to tan depends on certain variables such as your skin tone, skin sensitivity, sunscreen, your location, and the level of UV rays. That said, most people will achieve tanning results after 1-2 hours of being in the sun.

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Types of Tanning Techniques

There are many different techniques to achieve a nice tan. From classic, natural methods to sunless tanning, the options are truly endless. Some people prefer one method of tanning, while others use a combination of a few different methods. With that said, it’s important to learn about the different types of tanning techniques so you can determine which one is best for you. 

1. Natural Sun Tan

Laying out in the sun is a classic way to achieve a nice, golden tan. It will also give you that extra boost of Vitamin D, which is known to improve overall mood. While there’s nothing better than laying by the beach or pool and soaking up the sun, exposure to UV rays does come with many risks such as sunburn, wrinkling, dry skin, and dark spots. So, the beautiful tan you have now may not look so great in years to come. Natural tanning could also potentially lead to different types of skin cancers like melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma.

2. Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are another popular way of achieving a tan. You will find them at your local tanning store and certain spas or gyms. Unlike the natural sun, tanning beds provide direct exposure of 12x the amount of UVA rays. While tanning beds are a convenient way to see quick results, the risk of developing skin cancers like melanoma is much higher when using tanning beds. If you do choose to use a tanning bed, it’s always important to wear protective eyewear as the direct UVA rays could cause severe damage to your cornea.

3. Sunless Self-Tanner

Sunless self-tanners are by far the safest way to achieve the tan you desire. Back in the day, self-tanners had a reputation for making you appear “orange”. Nowadays, there are a variety of different self-tanner options that will give you the beautiful, sun-kissed glow you deserve. You can self-tan by purchasing self-tanning creams, sprays, or lotions at the store.

4. Bronzing Lotions

If you’re looking for an immediate, temporary tan, bronzing lotions are the way to go. While bronzing lotions can certainly give you the glow you desire, it’s important to apply it sparingly as applying too much can cause your skin to appear blotchy.

5. Spray Tan

A professional spray tan is the most effective way to receive a tan without uneven lines and marks. When it comes to spray tans, you will have two options. You can either visit a self-tanning booth where a machine will evenly spray you in cycles. Another option is to receive an airbrushed spray tan by a salon specialist.

How Long Does It Take to Tan?

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Most people will achieve tanning results after 1-2 hours of being in the sun.
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What Determines Your Tan Shade?

The melanin in your skin determines your tan shade. If you have lighter skin, it’s generally best to choose lighter or medium tanning shades. If you have darker skin, you can opt for darker shades.

3 Ways To Achieve an Effective Tan

When trying the different tanning methods we talked about, you want to make sure you take certain precautions beforehand so your tan is effective. Here are three ways to achieve an effective tan:

1. Sun Tanning

If you decide to get your tan from the sun, it’s important to apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to block UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to turn over periodically, so you receive an even tan on both sides.

2. Spray Tanning

Come into your spray tanning appointment without any makeup or other cosmetics. You will also want to moisturize and exfoliate beforehand, so the tan will come on evenly. Follow the recommended time to leave your tan on before showering, and avoid using any abrasive products following your appointment.

3. Lotion Tanning

When applying self-tanning products, it’s important to first thoroughly exfoliate and moisturize beforehand. You’ll then want to apply your tanner in circular motions, washing your hands in between. Let the tan dry and avoid showering for at least 2-3 hours or longer, depending on how dark you want the tan to be.

7 Tanning Tips To Achieve Long-Lasting and Darker Tan

While there are many tanning methods, you will want to make the most out of your tan with dark, long-lasting results. After all, what’s the point of having a tan if it only lasts for a few days? That’s why it’s important to take certain steps before and after to make the most out of your tan. Here are 7 fantastic tanning tips to achieve a long-lasting and darker tan:

1. Exfoliate before tanning

Gently scrub your skin using an exfoliator. This will help remove dead skin cells and keep your pores closed during the tanning process.

2. Use moisturizing products

Apply body lotions after your tan. This will make your tan last longer and prevent dryness or flaking from the sun.

3. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin glowing and hydrated.

4. Remove makeup before tanning

Wash your face thoroughly before tanning, so your tan does not come on blotchy.

5. Wear an SPF 30 sunscreen or higher

An SPF 30 sunscreen or higher will protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and prevent sunburns.

6. Avoid contact with hot water

Avoid hot tubs or showering in hot water as it causes skin sensitivity following a sun tan.

7. Eat nutritious foods

Nutritious fruits and vegetables like carrots, kale, cherries, and watermelon are known to boost your overall tan.

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