Natural Tanning Tips

So you decided to be tan this summer… now what is the best way to go about it? So the following steps are my personal routine for tanning plus a few extra things you can try if you are interested.

Step One: Gather what you need

  • A beach towel or chair on which to be comfy!
  • Sunscreen (preferably at least 15 spf). Tanning and burning are two different things. One is healthy and one is not. A tan is just the melatonin in your skin reacting to protect you. A burn is what happens when your melatonin doesn’t have a chance to protect you leading to skin damage or cancer. And yes, this can still happen if you are already dark skinned. Fun fact: they make sunscreen for the scalp as well! And don’t forget your face and lips!
  • Sunnies! Sunglasses are an absolute must in order to protect your eyes as well as your skin.
  • Water! Because we all know that we sweat when we tan and all that sweat is lost water.
  • A timer. Whether it is a kitchen timer or your phone or iPod, use it. It is useful to make yourself flip over and tan the other side, as well as for keeping you from sleeping too long and burning.
  • Optional things that you might like to bring: iPod and speakers, book, fan, chapstick, snacks, spray bottle or mister, face cover, or whatever keeps you occupied that you like to do.

Step Two: What to wear

Now personally, I like to just wear a string bikini since that is comfortable for me. And some women choose to tan in the nude to avoid all tan lines. But other options include Brazilian styles, bandeau bikini tops, or microkinis. Here are some links to places that sell these types of styles:

Step Three: Set Up

Now it’s time to lay everything out and apply sunscreen! Choose your spot and time of day carefully. If you want optimal sunlight lay outside between noon and 2 pm. If you burn easily go before or after this time. If you are tanning nude choose a very private place you are certain no one can see to avoid awkward talks with neighbors or peeping toms! If you’re tanning in a bikini, choose a place with direct light like the lawn or a deck or the roof. And definitely try to keep your body facing the sun to tan your front and back evenly. If needed lie on your sides as well. Now plug in that iPod or crack that book spine and set your timer for 5-30 minutes per side, starting with less time for fairer skin.

Step Four: Clean up and moisturize

            After an hour max, go inside and at least take a break from the sun and the heat. Give yourself a chance to cool off and reapply sunscreen. Or if you are just starting out tanning, just pick everything up and be done for the day.

Whenever you are done, it is important to shower in cool (but not cold!) water. You don’t want to pass out or anything. When you get out MOISTURIZE! This will make your tan last longer. Especially if you use a body oil like baby oil first before your lotion or an after tanning lotion. For sensitive skin use an aloe vera based lotion.

Other Options:

  • Stickers! Stickers or a piece of paper and tape can give tantoos or sun tattoos! This can be a fun way to add a non permanent body alteration. Just put the sticker on and tan and take it off after. You will have the outline of the sticker in that shape. If it doesn’t show as much as you’d like, reapply it in the same place the next time you tan.
  • Lemon juice! Lemon juice is a way to lighten your hair naturally at home. See the tutorial on my previous post!

Now I hope this was helpful information about tanning at home. Happy tanning everyone!


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