Outdoor Tanning Tips – 4 Do and 5 Don’t for Fast & Perfect Glow!

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Despite the development of artificial tanning methods, many people still dote on the natural glow only the sun can bring, and the biggest problem they have to face is the risk of skin cancer. In this article, you will get some of the best outdoor tanning tips, whether you are on a chill vacation or a rush to have a nice tan.

Outdoor Tanning Tips – 4 Do and 5 Don’t for Fast & Perfect Glow!

The Benefits of Tanning Outdoor

Sunbathing remains a favorite of many people despite the new methods of tanning for solid reasons, most of them involving vitamin D. It is probably the first thing that comes to your mind, and you are not wrong! Here are some benefits it provides:

  • Healthy bones due to the calcium absorbed by vitamin D
  • Better immune system that protects you from flu, heart diseases, and cancer
  • Reduced depression with the extra dose of serotonin trigged by the sun
  • Sleep is not hard to find anymore

For more vitamin D, you can add fish, egg yolks, and milk to your menu, or use supplements. However, let’s agree that everything is better if they are natural, including vitamins. (1)

The Risks of Tanning Outdoor

Let’s continue with the issues awaiting ahead if you don’t protect your skin while tanning! We will be more aware of our actions when we know the causes and the risks we have to deal with.

– Excessive exposure might cause rashes (also known as heat rashes). They come in the form of red, itchy, and stinging patches.

– In a worse case, the exposure might lead to sunburning and blistering. Even your lips wouldn’t be safe from the negative effect.

Of course, outdoor tanning is not for children whose skin is far more sensitive and irritable than adults.

Outdoor Tanning Tips – 4 Do and 5 Don’t for Fast & Perfect Glow!

Before You Get Some Tans

1. Check the UV index

Tanning outside will require you to stay outdoor for a remarkable period of time, hence the UV index becomes significant. We recommend Sunburnmap and EPA for necessary guidelines. They will provide enough information such as how strong the sunshine will be or how long you can go with & without sunscreen. Check the video below for more information about the UV index!

If the UV index is above too, you would want to apply your sunscreen regardless of the session’s length.

2. Get to know your skin

According to many dermatologists, different skin tones call for a different level of exposure. The fairer your skin, the more vulnerable it is to UV rays.

Now is not the time for you to consider your skin olive and ignore the protection! Check on what skin tone you have and nurture it properly. Remember that a beautiful, glowing tan needs several weeks to reach its full potential. Therefore, forcing the process in a few days will give you irritation and rashes instead.

3. What is the environment like?

Tanning at the beach will double the UV exposure your skin has to endure. For example, a 2 in UV index as you have seen from the forecast might become a 4 or 5 if you come near the ocean because sun and sand are reflective. Your sunscreen should be adjusted accordingly to the environment you choose.

What do you need for tanning?

Outdoor Tanning Tips – 4 Do and 5 Don’t for Fast & Perfect Glow!

Protective clothing

It is much more important than you think! There is no need for thick coats and sweatpants, but long-sleeved shirts and long sundresses (or pants) should do the trick. With that said, don’t forget to complete the set with a large-brimmed hat.

Clothes can protect you as much as a sun cream with UPF 5 does, and they contain no chemicals. You can put them on at the early or late day as an alternative to sunscreen, but decent products are essential when you start exposing your skin to the sun.


Not only when tanning, but you also should never leave the house without this buddy, even if the weather seems cloudy. We can’t see UV rays, yet they are still there.

Several societies of dermatology point out that we don’t need sunscreen if the UV index is below 3. This circumstance only happens at the beginning or the ending of the day, and you can snap the chance for more vitamin D and healthy exposure.

Next, you might be wondering how much sunscreen you should apply, and our recommended amount is an average of 7 teaspoons (about 35ml): 4 for your limbs, 2 for your torso (back and front), and 1 for your face.

Tanning Lotions & Bronzers

These products can speed up the process a bit for you, but make sure to apply them with sunscreen as the base or you will get sunburns instead of tans.

Another note is all tanning lotions need around 15 minutes for the effects to take over, and they can be a hassle to deal with if smeared all over your clothes. The most favorable solution is applying the lotions prior to putting your swimsuit on.

Lip Balm

People who are about to have their first tan might forget about the lips! The skin of the lips is sensitive enough to be sunburnt if you leave it be.

There are many SPF lip balms on the market right now, and they will still spare room for you to doll up with your favorite lipsticks.


It is very important during and after your outdoor tanning as well as exfoliating sessions. Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic products are the best at maintaining the moisture level while lowering the risk of allergy, redness, and acne.

Never forget that dry skin easily peels and flakes, and tanning sessions tend to render your skin dry, thus prone to damage. Without a good moisturizer, you will find the tan fading off quickly.

Besides applying moisturizers to soothe sensitive skin, drinking enough water is also crucial in preventing peeling and promoting tanning.


Forgetting the eyes might be our biggest mistake. We definitely don’t stare at the sun for hours (no one can!) but the brightness of the sunshine still gets to our eyes.

One awesome tip we have found is closing your eyes for a few minutes and letting the skin tan a bit before wearing sunglasses, which saves you from funny imprints of the eyeglass frames.

Outdoor Tanning Tips

1. Exfoliation

You should make exfoliation a weekly routine if you are a tanner, rather than exfoliating only before you go to the beach.

The process removes the dead cells in the top layer of your dermis, letting the sunshine penetrate the skin and giving you the desirable glow. Without exfoliation, these cells might make your skin flaky and unevenly tanned.

– You have various choices when it comes to exfoliators, yet never scrub too hard no matter what you use, for the deeper layers of skin are easily irritated.

– Exfoliate before and NOT after tanning outdoor! Your skin needs to be pampered after so much sun exposure, not another rough treatment.

– Once or twice a week is more than enough to keep your skin ready for tanning. Exfoliating too frequently will strip off the natural oils and leave your skin uncomfortably dry.

2. Stay hydrated

You would want to keep yourself hydrated in every way possible, inside out.

– 2 liters of water a day is a standard amount for an adult, but feel free to consume more if your throat ever feels dry and scorching, or you detect an unpleasant yellow color in your urine.

– Always have a moisturizing cream within reach and use it whenever your skin is itchy. Do NOT take the tingles lightly, as they might be a sign of irritation and allergy.

– Showering before tanning is also a way to moisturize your skin and loosen the pores.

3. Work out before tanning

It might sound irrelevant to you, but worry not and hear us out! Instead of laying out right away, you can run a short distance or practice a few simple positions in advance. It improves your blood circulation and stimulates the production of melanin, which plays a critical role in tanning.

4. Healthy eating

The Research has proved that tomatoes can prevent bad side effects of UV rays with a large amount of lycopene it contains.

Ingredients that are rich in beta carotenes such as carrots, kale, and potatoes also do a great job at reducing the sunburn you might get.

Outdoor Tanning Tips – 4 Do and 5 Don’t for Fast & Perfect Glow!

Must Avoid When Tanning!

1. The sun at peaked hours

The sun rays are the most intense from 11 AM to 3 PM, you should either avoid these hours or take extra caution methods: covering up, reapplying your sunscreen, seeking shades. The intensity of UV rays in this period can cause more damage than the rest of the daytime altogether.

2. Mix fake tans with SPF

You might find random tips on the internet advising you to mix SPF and fake tan into one substance for convenience, yet the DHA in fake tan will destroy the structure of SPF. This mixture won’t survive the ride from your cupboard to your luggage, let alone the weather outside.

3. Tan for too long

The longer you stay under the sun, the more negative the effects become. You will face the risk of heat rash, blisters, and even sun poisoning.

4. Shower right after tanning

Although a nice shower will cool you down without ruining the tan, it can make the natural glow difficult to achieve.

And yes, if you have used tanning oils or lotions, the wait afterward is even more important. Even when you have finished sunbathing and retreated inside, the bronzers and the lotions continue to react and deepen the tan, thus washing them off will reduce their efficiency. Again, showering won’t throw all your time and effort out of the window, but the tan won’t be as dark as you expect.

If you haven’t used any additional tanning products, the wait might not be necessary. But if you have time, stick to the principle and you won’t regret it at all.

Lastly, the wait should be 3 – 4 hours for maximum effects.

5. Wear tight clothes

Do you really want to suffocate your skin after putting it through an intense session with sun rays and chemicals? I bet you don’t. Skinny jeans and scratchy materials can wait for a couple of days until the skin has returned to its best state.

How to tan faster?


If you are going to be at the beach, you can dive into the water before laying out. The concentration of the salt can remove dead skin cells and absorb the sun rays at the same time!

If there is no beach nearby, you might invest in sea salt instead, even though it is not as efficient as the natural saltwater.

Tanning accelerator

Usually, you can consider them water-based moisturizers mixed with aloe vera and tyrosine. The most common forms are oils and lotions, formulated to increase the circulation of blood and gain more melanin with special active ingredients. When melanin interacts with UV rays on the surface of the skin, it turns brown. Therefore, the more melanin you have, the deeper the tan.

The manufacturers have compatible accelerators for beginners, bronzers for enhancement, and tingle lotions for the finishing tone. However, the last product is only for people whose skin has been tanned for a while without any irritation.

Some brands took their tanning accelerators to the next level with additional properties such as anti-aging and skin-firming.

Change the position

It is pretty obvious that staying in a fixed position will render your skin uneven. When you are on your back and tanning the front, keep your arms with the palms up, and vice versa. After 15 – 20 minutes, flip to the other side and repeat the step.

Should you only begin to tan, limit the exposure time to less than 2 hours? Or if you feel sleepy, it is a sign for you to seek shades and cover yourself up.


Yes, beautiful, you can exercise before and during your outdoor tanning session! Putting yourself in various positions will help your skin tan more evenly than lying down and turning around. So, if you are an active, energetic person who can’t stay still for hours, feel free to do yoga or play some beach games!

Maintain the tan

Moisturize at least once a day

The most crucial thing to notice after tanning outdoor is how moisturized your skin is since the session will leave the dermis extremely dry. Before bedtime and after a shower – you choose the most convenient time for you and apply a good moisturizer, more than once is also okay!

Focus on the parts you often move and bend such as hands, feet, elbows, knees, and ankles. It is a wise choice to carry a small jar of moisturizer along so you can maintain the appropriate moisture throughout the day.

Avoid waxing

If you want to keep a healthy, natural glowing tan, it is time to find a new method to remove your body hair. Waxing is a rough process that inevitably removes the top layer of your dermis, including the tanned ones.

Shaving might be your second choice in this case, but make sure to get a suitable moisturizer!

Apply sunscreen

Just because you have had some nice outdoor tanning sessions doesn’t mean your skin is immune to the damage from UV rats. SPF 30 is good for most people, and protective clothing will complete your attire!

Cold shower

It won’t strip the body oils off your skin like warm water does, making the tan last longer.


How to choose sunscreen for outdoor tanning?

The first thing you will pay attention to is probably SPF. The darker your skin, the lower the SPF index you need!

However, please look for a line read “broad spectrum”, which indicates the protection over UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. These indexes are usually indicated by stars, 1 means minimum and 5 means maximum protection.

Most people should go for SPF 30 rather than SPF 50. The SPF 50 filters 98% of the UVB rays compared to 97% with the SPF 30, but the thickness creates a delusion of security. In fact, many users have forgotten to reapply every 2 hours as they should.

How often should you tan outside?

Your skin needs 36 – 48 hours to develop a nice tan and avoid irritation. If you choose to tan indoor, twice or thrice (at most) a week is a decent frequency for you.
Additionally, you will start seeing the results with 3 – 5 tanning sessions, but that even and beautiful tan only comes after several weeks of proper tanning and healthy maintenance.

Can I use any lotion I want for tanning?

No, lotions for indoor tanning and outdoor tanning are drastically different. When you tan indoors, the right product has to stimulate the tanning process as well as enhance the result, since you don’t have the sun to help you.

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With these outdoor tanning tips, you are sure to get that bikini skin in the healthiest way possible! Remember to Indulge yourself and take precautionary methods instantly if you feel like the exposure is too much to handle. And don’t forget to be patient! The tan will last longer and look more radiant if you give it the best conditions to develop!

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