Best Hours To Tan [Learn How To Tan Like A Pro]

Best Hours To Tan

Tanned skin always lends you the best benefit of a gorgeous appearance and improved energetic glow. It further helps to encourage your mood and eradicate depression and provide actress-like bronze-hue to the skin. It boosts the vitamin D level of your body.

Among various tanning methods available such as tanning machines, spray tan, etc., the natural tan always has its unique benefits and importance. The natural tan provides a prolonged and complete, tanned look to the skin than the artificial tanning systems.

You can get the natural tan by selecting the best hours to tan, taking sufficient sunbathe, and consuming lycopene-rich food. But you may not just like that go and set yourself directly before the sun! The proper pre-tanning preparations are a must to optimize the tanning result. 

Similarly, the tanning process also provides numerous negative impacts on the skin, including skin cancers, sunburns, hyperpigmentation, etc., if not followed proper tanning procedures. 

So to guide you with the best and safe tanning routine, we’ve provided the best guiding tips on various tanning issues such as the best hours to tan, tanning for different skin types, pre and post-tanning requirements, its downsides, and the ways of preventing it, etc. 

These tan-related tips provide the best answers for all your tan related issues and make you a tan-expert! 

Does Tan Time Make A Difference? 

The tanning process is the exposure of your skin to the sun rays and its radiation. Time and length of time play a unique role in this tanning routine. You all might very well know that the intensity of Ultraviolet rays varies drastically at different timings of the day.

The tanning sessions at the deep and heavy radiations are the best hours to tan for getting a deep tan within a shorter period. Whereas the tannings done at the mild UV rays may take a lengthy period to attain the result. Also, such mild tanning may not provide a deep tanned tone to the skin.

Thus there is no doubt time is the first topic to be considered in your tanning decision. It decides the depth and efficiency of your tanning tone.  

Best Hours To Tan

Best Hours To Tan

Now you have been imparted with the knowledge that the best hours to tan provides the best tanning result. But you should also understand the exact impact of different time segments on your skin for making proper decisions regarding time!

An attractive tan couldn’t be reached by tanning skin for just 10-15 minutes. Similarly, over-tanning will lead to burnt and dark skin. So the appropriate penetration of UV rays on the skin is a must to get the desired tanned skin. 

Generally, the period of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the best hours to tan for getting intense UV rays penetration than the other hours of the day. During this period, the heat and sun radiations will be heavy. In certain locations, this heavy radiation timing may vary between 11 a.m to 4 p.m. However, these timings may differ based on your residing place.

When you are taking tan for the first time, the best hours to tan for you may be before 11 a.m or after 2 p.m., as it will allow your skin to get adopted to the tanning routine. Moreover, it also helps you to identify the suitability of your skin to suntan.

In the mild tanning sessions, the moderate sun radiations reach your skin that may be more suited for sensitive and sun-allergic skin types. It provides a tanned skin tone without the creation of sunburns and allergies.

On the other hand, when you are adaptable to take tan at the peak hours, you may attain the best-tanned skin at a shorter tanning period than the mild-hour tanners. Also, the tanning done on peak hours tends to be deep and long-lasting. They provide the best caramel hue to the skin than those done at other timings of the day.

The season and altitude also decide the tanning period. The summer seasons will have comparatively heavy radiations than the other seasons. At this period, taking longer tanning sessions will lead to a dark, over-tanned appearance. 

Also, when you reside nearer to the equator, your skin will be more exposed to the UV rays than the others. So, consider your altitude in deciding your tanning process. In higher altitudes, it is always advisable to avoid sunbathing as it may result in red, burnt skin. Therefore, you have to provide proper attention to the time, season, and altitude for your tanning session. 

Tips To Get A Tan Quickly

No matter if you tan at the peak hours or mild hours of the day. You need to follow some essential tanning tips and procedures for attaining a safe and quick tan.

The following tanning tips prepare and protect the skin for sun rays penetration. They improve the absorption potential of the skin and make the tanning process faster!  

1. Prepare Your Skin

Tanning is all about skin absorption of the radiance from the sun for an enriched glow and appearance. Thus skin preparations are essential for successful tanning results.

The sloughing-off of dead skin cells is essential before tanning sessions as it will prevent skin-peeling after a tan and improve the lasting period of tanning. 

The users may take a shower before tanning sessions as it will eradicate the concentration of sweat and oils on the skin. It will allow the radiance to penetrate easily into the skin and reduces the tanning hours. Similarly, the users may not wax or use perfumes on the skin before tanning. 

For having enduring results, you may have to stop using retinoids and hydroxyl acids on your skin directly or indirectly before 24 hours of the session. 

Thus make your skin clean and absorbable for tanning sessions and enjoy your best, quick tan. 

2. Consider Your Skin Type

Best Hours To Tan

Before considering any features, provide proper care and attention to your skin types. Not that all skins will yield the same result on practicing similar tanning practice.

Usually, fair and sensitive skin types are more exposed to the problems of sunburns and light allergies. So for having safe and best tanning session, the users with such skin types can take tanning session either before 11 a.m or after 2 p.m. 

On the other hand, if you have dark and adaptable skin types, the best hours to tan for you may be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Such skin types can withstand heavy UV rays and get evenly tanned skin without sunburns or allergies. 

Always remember that sunburns are different from tans. So, based on your skin types, take tanning decisions that will furnish your skin with gorgeous tan rather than sun allergies. 

3. Use Sunscreen With An SPF Of 30

Best Hours To Tan

Are you wondering if your skin will get tanned against sunblock lotion? Of course, yes! When you set your skin under direct sunlight, you get exposed to heavy ultraviolet rays. 

Therefore, regardless of skin type and hours of tanning, it is always essential to use “broad spectrum” protection against UVA and UVB rays for preventing tan-related skin problems. 

The users with fair and sensitive skin type may use SPF 30 for sufficient protection. The naturally dark-skinned users who can withstand UV rays penetration to an extent can use SPF 15 for a tanning session.

You may also use the sunscreens available in the cosmetic market with natural ingredients. Never use oils or lotions that have no sun protection features.

4. Exfoliate Your Skin

Best Hours To Tan

Exfoliation is the process of scrubbing or peeling-off dead or dry skin. Regular exfoliation provides fresh, even, and glowing skin.

This exfoliation process is one of the essential pre-tanning skin preparation. The skin exfoliation of eight hours before tanning can prevent skin-peeling or blemish formation on the skin after a tan. It retains long-lasting tan results on the skin. 

5. Face The Sun Directly

Best Hours To Tan

It is a common fact that the position of sun rays towards Earth changes in a day as the result of the Earth revolving around the sun. 

So, you may need to place yourself directly against the sunrays for deep penetration of the radiance. No matter the time of tan, make sure to face the sun directly and get maximum rays on your skin. It will result in an expected bronze hue to the skin in a quicker period.

6. Eat Lycopene-Rich Foods Such As Tomatoes & Watermelon

Best Hours To Tan

The over-exposure of skin to the sun will lead to cutaneous photo damages such as the appearance of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, etc., on the skin.

The consumption of lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes, papaya, guava, grapefruit, watermelon, etc., prevents these photo damages on the skin.

7. Apply Natural Oils

Best Hours To Tan

The direct exposure of skin to the sunlight for a prolonged period may create dryness, flakiness, and an aged appearance during the tanning process. But the application of natural oils maintain the hydration level of the skin and prevent the creation of these skin problems. 

The natural oils also boost the tanning capability of the skin and produce the best-tanned skin result with a young and gorgeous glow. The best natural oils for applying during tanning sessions may include coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, raspberry oil, carrot oil, etc.

But it doesn’t mean that natural oils are the alternative to sunscreens. The sunscreens are the must for tanning sessions, and the usage of natural oils, along with them, provides the best-optimized results.

8. Reapply Sunscreen 

Best Hours To Tan

It is always advisable to reapply sunscreen lotions on the skin at regular intervals. The main reason behind this is that the sun protection factor of any sunscreen tends to be effective with its maximum extent for only two hours. 

So always reapply your sunscreen every two hours to reap the best SPF advantage put of it. No matter how long-lasting advertised sunscreen you use. The sunscreen reapplication is a common rule!

9. Apply After Care

Best Hours To Tan

Just like you take pre-tanning skincare, it is equally essential to take after-care initiatives for the best extended tan result. Once you feel that the tanning of skin is adequate, you have to first re-boost the hydration level of the skin.

After your tanning session, drink adequate water and apply the best moisturizer on your skin. These after-care processes help to make the skin supple, and they prolong the tanning result. Avoid taking showers for at least 3-4 hours after the tan.

How Long Does It Take To Tan?

The length of the tanning session required to get the desired skin tan depends highly on the skin type. The melanin production in the skin increases on exposing yourself to the sun’s radiance. It changes the skin color

Certain skin types may get tanned within minutes, while others may take up to hours. Generally, fair-skinned persons are more prone to get their skin burnt when exposed to the sun for a lengthy period. They should always take short tanning sessions during the mild hours of UV rays.   

The dark-skinned persons with high melanin levels can stay in the sun for longer tanning sessions without any skin-burning issues. They tend to get the perfect tan on an extended period of tanning that may be around 2-3 hours.

The season of tanning also affects the length of tanning. When the day is cloudy with less sun radiance, the extension of these tanning sessions might result in better tan with bronze-hue!                                                                                                                       

Tanning Risks     

Though the tanning process highly boosts your skin appearance and enhances your mood, no doubt it is packed with a bundle of risks and damages. 

On exposing the skin to the direct sun for a prolonged period, it can highly affect the skin and eyes. Having precautions about various photo light damages will help you taking effective protective measures!

1. Sunburns

Best Hours To Tan

Sunburn is an inflammatory reaction to sunrays that leads to the creation of redness, pain, and swelling on the skin. It is an indication of burnt skin. Furthermore, sunburns can also result in prolonged damages to the skin, such as the creation of wrinkles and other aging signs. They can further lead to skin cancer.

The sunburns can be mild or vigorous, and once the sunburns occur, the skin starts getting peeled off. It is a sign that the skin is trying to recover from cellular damages. 

2. Dehydration

Best Hours To Tan

Dehydration is the problem of having insufficient water or fluid contents in the body. The state of dehydration will lead to the issues of dry skin, skin peeling, and pale appearance. 

By laying under the direct sun for hours, it is natural that the body experiences severe sweat and faces dehydration problems. Thus the tanners should provide proper attention to this problem of dehydration that leads to dry skin.

3. Early Aging

Best Hours To Tan

The aging signs generally occur on the skin as the skin becomes thinner, dry, and loses its elasticity. The tanning process may enormously dry out and peel the skin that may thin-down the skin-layer.

As a result, the skin may experience the premature-aging and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

4. Skin Cancer

Best Hours To Tan

It is one of the most serious risks of the tanning routine. The heavy radiations from the sun may cause abnormal growth of skin cells that result in Melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops on the melanin-producing cells of the body.

Therefore, the tanners should take necessary preventive steps before taking their tanning session and avoid the risk of skin cancer. 

The application of sunscreens with efficient SPF is a must for tanning sessions as it can prevent this problem to an extent.

5. Heat Rash

Best Hours To Tan

Heat rashes are usually the deep, red lumps on the skin created due to the exposure of skin to the heat and humid weather conditions. It can also be prickly or itchy in certain skin types.

The heat rashes are formed when the sweat glands of the skin get blocked and the perspiration remains under the skin without evaporating. The unevaporated sweats get converted into the lumps.

The heat rashes may appear on skin within the period of about 2-3 days of exposure to the sun, and it may last up to 2 weeks.

6. Eye Damage

Best Hours To Tan

The tanning process can severely damage eye health and create the problem of photokeratitis, which is the state of cornea inflammation. It may lead to highly-serious, permanent eye problems of cataracts, muscular degeneration, and even cornea cancer.

It is important to note that the closing of eyelids cannot solve the entire problem as eyelids can shield only 25% of UV rays. So, it is essential to provide the proper and high protection to the eyes before taking the tan.

How To Reduce Risks Involved With Tanning

The above-discussed risks are deadly that may lead to permanent and irrecoverable health issues. So, to aid you with sufficient guidance, we’ve also provided the remedies for each of these risks. Just keep reading and unlock a solution!

1. Apply Sunscreen

Best Hours To Tan

As discussed earlier, never skip the application of sunscreen on the skin. Take proper care that the sunscreens for tanning purposes must contain a minimum of SPF 15 or a maximum of SPF 30.

It is because the SPF below 15 will not block the penetration of UV rays from the skin efficiently, and the SPF above 30 will overly block the skin from sun rays absorption. Also, make sure that you reapply sunscreens every two hours for continued protection.

This measure can prevent various skin issues due to sun damage, such as aging signs, heat rashes, skin cancer, and sunburns. It provides the required shield to the skin while also supporting the tan process. 

2. Stay Hydrated

Best Hours To Tan

To effectively eradicate the dehydration problem, take proper care about sufficient water and liquid intakes. You have to drink lots and lots of water while tanning under direct sun. This water intake helps to maintain the hydration level of the body. 

The hydrated skin does the natural exfoliation and provides a youthful and soft glow to the skin. It prolongs the tanning result and removes the dehydration problem.

3. Wear Sunglasses

Best Hours To Tan

The best preventive measure for eye damages against harmful sun radiance is the usage of sunglasses and tanning goggles. There are lots of most fashionable and convenient-to-use tanning goggles available in the market, specifically designed for tanning purposes.

These tanning goggles and sunglasses effectively prevent the penetration of UV rays on the cornea. They effectively cover the eyelids and provide the best protection to the eyes. 

For skipping the creation of tan-circles around the eyes, it is always advisable to use the tanning goggles that best fit your eye size. The size of these goggles or sunglasses should be neither too small nor too big.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Best Hours To Tan

It is always the most important point to remember that you might never booze or fell asleep during your tanning session. The consumption of alcohol has a higher chance of increasing body heat and dehydrating the body.

Alcohol may increase skin sensitivity to light and may make the skin more prone to skin cancer. It increases the chances of getting sunburns as well. So avoid drinking during your tanning session.


Thus from the above discussion, you might have acquired sufficient knowledge about the entire tanning process. It furnishes the details about the best hours to tan, a safer method of getting tanned, and do’s and don’ts in the tanning process.

From this article, it is clear that the best hours to tan for any skin type might be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. But the dark-skinned people preferring high UV radiance can have the best hours to tan from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is the period the sun radiance will be heavy. 

But to avoid skin cancers and other skin issues, it is always recommended to take an evening or mid-morning tan session.

Always make sure that you leave sufficient space between two tanning sessions as the frequent tanning will highly affect skin elasticity. It will lead to the premature-aging problems and wrinkles.

It is also important to have regular tanning sessions with a sufficient interval. Whatever time you may follow for tanning, but follow it regularly.

Always use efficient sunscreens and remember to reapply them regularly. Keep yourself hydrated and wear suitable tanning goggles. To prolong the tan results, take lycopene-rich foods, and use efficient skin moisturizer after tan regularly.

Now keeping the above-discussed points in mind, you can take a proper and safe tanning routine and enjoy a gorgeous, caramel-hue, cinematic appearance!

Yogeshwari Ramadass

Yogeshwari Ramadass

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