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How To Tan Without Getting Sunburn

How To Tan Without Getting Sunburn

June 28, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

Let's face it! Summers are for the beach and tanning - no one wants to look like a ghost when the sun is hot and everyone has that lovely glow! That being said, many people like the way their skin looks with a tan, but prolonged exposure to the sun has a variety of risks, including skin cancer. Even when wearing sunscreen, outdoor sunbathing is not risk-free. If you’re interested in tanning, you can reduce the risks by tanning faster in the sun. This will help you avoid prolonged UV exposure and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Here are some tips for getting a tan and some precautions to be aware of so you don't get sunburn:

How To Tan Faster

  1. Use The Right Sunscreen: The first step in tanning is getting the right sunscreen. Opt for sunscreen with an SPF of 30. It is important to also always wear a sunscreen with broad spectrum UV protection of at least 30 SPF. An SPF of 30 is strong enough to block UV rays, but not so strong that you won’t get tan. When tanning, never use a tanning oil that does not contain sun protection, as you can severely damage your skin. Be sure to apply sunscreen within 20 minutes of being outside, and cover your body in at least a full ounce of sunscreen.
  2. Change Sun-Tanning Positions Frequently: This will unsure that you do not burn a single side of your body while also ensuring you tan evenly.
  3. Eat foods that contain high levels of Beta-Carotene: Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale can help you tan without burning, as some studies have shown that it can help reduce sensitivity in people with photosensitive diseases.
  4. Try using oils with naturally occurring SPF: Certain oils like avocado, coconut, raspberry, and carrot can be used for an extra dose of hydration and SPF protection, but do not substitute for sunscreen. 
  5. Choose the right tanning time wisely: If your goal is to tan quickly, the sun is typically strongest between noon and 3 p.m. Keep in mind, however, that while the sun is at its strongest during this time, it will do the most damage due to the strength of the rays. This means that it is likely to increase the risk of skin cancer due to the exposure. If you have extremely fair skin, it’s best to tan in the morning or after 3 p.m. to avoid burning and lessen your risks of these issues. 

What Determines Your Tan Shade

Each person is unique when it comes to how dark their skin will get in the sun or while tanning. Some people will burn almost immediately, especially those who tend to have fairer skin. But some people will rarely burn. This is largely due to melanin, the pigment responsible for tanning that’s found in the hair, skin, and even the eyes. People with lighter skin have less melanin and may burn or turn red in the sun. People with darker skin have more melanin and will get darker as they tan. However, those with darker-skin still have a risk of both sunburn and skin cancer and should take preventative care. Keep in mind that even if you don’t burn, the sun is still causing damage to your skin.

The Bottom-Line

Many people enjoy relaxing in the sun and the look of tanned skin, but it has a variety of risks, including skin cancer. To limit your exposure to the sun, there are ways you can tan faster. This includes wearing SPF 30, choosing the time of day wisely, and preparing your skin beforehand. Tanning beds can prove to be a major issue, causing carcinogens. These should be avoided as they’re worse than tanning outside because the radiation is three times more intense than when just sun-tanning. 

When tanning don't forget to:

Don’t forget to:

  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after going in water.
  • Apply SPF to your scalp, the tops of your feet, ears, and other places you can easily miss.
  • Roll over frequently so you tan evenly without burning.
  • Drink plenty of water, wear a hat, and protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.

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