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!


How to Lighten Hair with Lemon Juice

Sometimes it’s just fun to change your hair and a way to do this without using chemicals is with lemon juice! The citric acid in the lemon juice reacts with the sun to bleach your hair in a less harmful way. This can be a fun thing to do at home, or before heading out to the beach or pool or anywhere sunny. Plus you get to smell like lemons. J

How to:

  1. Mix about ½ cup water and ½ fresh lemon juice for normal hair. Mix ½ cup conditioner and ½ cup fresh lemon juice for dry hair. This half and half mixture can be adjusted to fit the amount you need.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. If you are going to apply all over your hair, put mixture into a spray bottle. If you want to highlight it, put into a small bowl.
  3. Spray all over hair for a dyed look. Spray on ends, for an “ombre” or natural summery look. Dip a cotton ball or tissue into mixture and apply to specific strands from root to tip for highlights. Really just put it where ever you want it. I tend to highlight it then run my hands over it to rub the excess into my ends. Note that if you follow your natural highlights, such as around the temples, and take smaller pieces the highlights look more natural.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
  4. Put on some sunscreen and sunglasses and head outside.
  5. Let hair sit in the sun for roughly an hour to take effect.20130722_143953
  6. When your time is up, head home and wash the lemon out. I recommend using a strong conditioner or even a leave in conditioner after this as lemon juice and sun can be very drying to the hair.
  7. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAOnce your hair is dry you should see the lightening. However, if you have dark hair it might take a few goes to get the effect you want.beforeafter

I hope this explains the process well enough! Enjoy the sunshine!