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When Is The Best Time To Tan?

We’ve all heard this before. Your friends want to go to the beach, so they end up planning a beach trip. This is usually done weeks or even months ahead. They spend the time between now and the trip preparing. One such preparation is hitting the tanning salon.

After all, a reason people want to tan is usually related to going to the beach. Once they arrive at the beach, they want to show off glowing, refreshed, and, most importantly, tanned skin.

Let’s say you happen to relate to this scenario, meaning this question might pop up, “when is the best time to tan?”

Sun Tanning

Let’s start with sun tanning.

If you want to tan safely, you will need to pay attention to how the sun works to distinguish when to go out and lie under the sun.

A good time gate for sunbathing is before 10am and after 4pm. The reason why has to do with UV light.

Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet (UV) light is found in the sun’s rays. UV light is quite potent, but it isn’t constantly powerful. It has strong and weak points from sunrise to sunset.

The UV light from 8am to 10am is relatively weak and gentle, perfect for tanning. The same can be said for any time after 4pm. This is ideal as the UV rays are gentle around this time in the afternoon.

It is crucial to not sun tan from 10am to 4pm. Especially avoid the outdoors at noon, when the sun is arguably at its strongest.

Protection and safety should always be at the forefront of your mind when tanning, which is why you should be aware of the intensity levels of the sun’s UV rays.

Tanning Bed

How about if you want to tan using a tanning bed?

Well, remember to consider that tanning is not a one-time big-time thing. You don’t necessarily go into your first tan and come out with the glowing skin you want.

It takes time and a couple of visits to the tanning booth, and that’s just for the base tan. You might want to darken the tan a bit, which requires another set of visits to the tanning salon.

With that in mind, be sure to plan your beach trip a few weeks or even a month in advance. You will need all that time going to the tanning salon.


The number one pre-tanning activity is to exfoliate.

You most likely have dead skin cells present. You want to make sure that there are no dead skin cells present when you hop in the tanning booth as it might block off new skin cells.

This might leave some tan spots as the UV rays might hit those dead skin cells, which will eventually fall off, leaving white spots.

Exfoliating will help get rid of those dead skin cells in time for your tanning sessions.

You have the option of either physical exfoliating or chemical.

Physical exfoliating use physical exfoliants, which include scrubs and brushes. This involves scrubbing off dead skin cells. Don’t scrub too hard, as that might damage your skin. Be patient, and it should come off over time.

Chemical exfoliants use chemicals medically approved, so don’t worry, to remove the dead skin cells. Although you will have to check your skin type before trying out this method. If your skin is sensitive to these types of products, then you are better off using physical exfoliants.

Choosing what method for exfoliating will depend on your skin type.


The next step is to moisturize. This is done both before and after you tan.

This is so your skin is not only smooth but also hydrated. The tanning process will absorb water in your skin and body, so hydrating is best to stock up on water.


Like sun tanning, you will need to put on sunscreen before tanning. For a general rule of thumb, make sure that the sunscreen you use is SPF 50.


The last thing to do is make sure that you bring a pair of goggles before heading out to your tanning salon. This is meant to protect your eyes. You want to make sure that your eyes are not exposed to the UV light in the booth.


So now, let’s go over a detailed schedule you can follow to get that tan.

The first visit should usually last five minutes.

Once you finish your first session, wait for 2 to 3 days before heading back. The spaces in between the tanning sessions are vital. You need to take breaks for your skin to moisturize, cool, and be safe from the effects of tanning.

During the second to third visit, extend the duration of your tan by a minute and only a minute. Make the extensions only by a minute so that the tan eases into your skin. Again, wait for 2 to 3 days for the next visit.

Keep this up until you reach your desired base tan, which usually happens by your fifth visit.

By this point, the duration of the tanning session should be ten minutes.

You want to make this as seamless and natural as possible. Don’t add in more than a minute each session, as it will damage your skin.

By your fifth visit, you should already be good to go. This whole process could take about two weeks.

Now what about wanting to darken your base tan?

There are tanning lotions that boost your base tan that you can use. Instead of 2 to 3 days, one visit a week should be enough.

As mentioned earlier you do not want to overexpose yourself to UV light, so space those sessions out. Luckily, the process shouldn’t take long as you will just be increasing it bit by bit.


After every session, it is essential to cool and hydrate.

I talked about hydrating and moisturizing earlier, but this is also something you should do after.

You need to replenish the lost water for your skin and yourself to be healthy. You can also achieve this by drinking water.

After your session, wait for about 8 hours to take a shower. Showering is vital for your skin to cool, but it shouldn’t be done immediately.

If you do it right after, the running water will wash away the tanning lotion, making it difficult for the effects of the tan to last. You want to wait 8 hours so that the tanning lotion takes full effect.

This is why you drink water so that you still maintain hydration.


Tanning can be a slow process, but the turnout will pay off well. With enough patience and preparation, you can be sure that your skin is glowing and beach-ready just in time for your next trip.

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