How Long Does It Take to Tan in the Sun


Today, more people are concerned with the effects of sun exposure on their appearance than ever before. However, all of the precautions are still relevant today. Nowadays, people are just as concerned with getting a tan as protecting themselves from skin cancer and premature aging.

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How Long Does It Take to Tan in the Sun

How Long Does It Take to Tan in the Sun

The answer varies from person to person. Some people will start developing a tan after just 15 minutes of exposure, while others may not notice any difference after prolonged periods spent basking in the sunlight. Generally, though, you can expect your skin to begin tanning between 10 to 20 minutes after exposure. This is because the body needs at least this amount of time to start producing melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color.

Factors That Affect How Long It Takes to Tan in the Sun

Many factors can affect how long it takes for your skin to tan. These include:

The Angle of Incidence –  The angle at which the sun’s rays are incident on your body affects how long it takes to tan. The more directly the rays of sunlight hit your skin, the faster you will begin to produce melanin.

The Time of Year – The time of year also affects how long it takes to tan. For example, on average people tend to get darker during the summer months when they are more likely to spend prolonged periods in the sun than they would during other seasons.

Skin Tone – Your skin tone also plays a role in determining how long it takes for your skin to turn brown, as those with lighter skin tones tend to burn more quickly than those with darker complexions.

Latitude –  Latitude also affects how long it takes to tan in the sun. People who live closer to the equator will typically begin producing melanin faster than people who reside further away from this area of the world.

The Amount of Clouds Present – The amount of clouds present also affects how long it takes to tan in the sun. People who live in or near areas with a higher concentration of clouds (e.g., overcast skies) typically need more exposure time to begin tanning than those who reside closer to clear skies and blue horizons.

Sunscreen – Sunscreen is also a consideration that can affect how long it takes to tan in the sun. Some sunscreens will reduce UVA and UVB exposure, meaning you’ll have to stay in the sunlight longer to get a tan than someone who isn’t wearing sunscreen.

Your Age –  As you get older, your skin begins producing less melanin. This means that it will take longer for your skin to tan than when you were younger.

The Amount of Melanin You Already Have –  Your current level of existing melanin also affects how long it takes to tan in the sun. Those with lighter complexions will start tanning faster than those with darker skin tones.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Tan from a Tanning Bed?

Although the basics of how long it takes to tan in the sun are similar for people who spend time in a tanning bed, there are some differences.

The time Required – While you can expect to start producing melanin within 10 to 20 minutes of exposure when using a tanning bed, on average, it typically takes between 3 and 5 sessions of tanning to get a light tan.

The intensity of UV Rays – When using a tanning bed, the power of the UV rays can vary depending on which level you use. This is because different levels provide varying amounts of UVA and UVB exposure. Generally speaking, though, most people begin getting tanned at a light bronze color after about five tanning sessions.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Spray Tan? 

When getting a spray tan, how long it takes to get tanned is mainly dependent on the quality of the product being used. Many professional spray tans require between 3-5 hours for you to reach maximum darkness, but many ‘budget’ products do not provide this level of service. It’s also important to note that these times are based on the average person. In some cases, it may take less time to get a tan from a spray tan, while it could also take longer if your skin is highly resistant to tanning.

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?

How long the tan you get from a spray tan lasts depends on how well you take care of your skin after your session. On average, most people find that their spray tan will last about 5 to 10 days before they begin to notice it fading (although some may see fading earlier or later than this time frame).

What to Do Before Spray Tanning in a Tanning Bed or the Sun

It’s essential to avoid going in a tanning bed or outside until you have prepared your skin for tanning. Otherwise, you could end up with sunburn and deeper wrinkles, making it harder to maintain a healthy glow. Before using either option, you should always exfoliate your skin and use a body scrub. Doing so will remove dry skin and prepare the surface of your skin for tanning, allowing it to soak in more tanning solution and darken faster than if you did not exfoliate.

Additional Tips: If possible, you should also avoid moisturizing your skin before going into a tanning bed or outside. The moisturizer could prevent your skin from absorbing the solution, which means you won’t achieve maximum darkness.

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When Should You Wait Before Going Back in a Tanning Bed or Outside?

You mustn’t go back into a tanning bed or outside until at least 24 hours have passed since your session. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing severe skin burns.

How to Prevent Your Skin From Peeling After Tanning

It can be frustrating if your skin begins peeling after tanning, but you shouldn’t pick at or peel it. If possible, you should leave the dead skin alone for several days until it falls off on its own. During that time, you can apply a non-oily lotion to soothe your skin and promote peeling where needed.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Tan with Self Tanners?

On average, it can take around 13 hours in a tanning bed or about 3 to 5 days when using a self-tanner at home. The amount of time required will depend on how dark you want your tan to be and which product you are using.

General Tips to Tan Faster and Safely

To tan faster and have a more comfortable session, you should always prepare your skin before going into a tanning bed or outside. In addition to exfoliating and body scrubbing, you can also apply baby oil or suntan oil 30 minutes before tanning. These items will prevent the solution from drying too quickly on your skin, which means you’ll be able to achieve a darker tan in a shorter period.

Another way you can shorten the length of your session is by choosing a stand-up bed or an area outside that has trees or other objects around it. This will prevent the UV rays from reflecting off the ground and reduce your exposure times.

How Long Does It Take to Tan on a Hot Day?

On a hot day, it can take longer for skin to absorb UV rays, even if you’re in a stand-up bed or an area that isn’t outdoors. In addition to the sun’s heat, there is also more moisture in the air which will make it harder for your skin to tan quickly. To tan appropriately on a hot day, you should prepare your skin by exfoliating and scrubbing it before going into a tanning bed or outside.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Base Tan?

Before you can go in a tanning bed or outside to get the base tan you want, your skin should be nearly free of any other color. However, if you have naturally dark skin, it could take longer than usual for the different colors to fade.

Does Wet Skin Tan Faster?

Wet skin will not tan faster than dry skin. Too much moisture on your skin can cause it to absorb fewer UV rays and make it more difficult for you to achieve a darker color.

What is the Best Tanning Oil?

The best tanning oil absorbs into your skin and provides a barrier to help protect it from the sun. Depending on how dark you want to get, we recommend starting with our 12% Bronzers and gradually working your way up to our 20% version. Most people find that 7-9% is the optimal amount of color and moisture they want to achieve.

Does Baby Oil Help You Tan?

Baby oil won’t make it easier to tan, but it can shorten how long you need to stay in a tanning bed or outside. If possible, use baby oil 30 minutes before you plan to go in a tanning bed or out. While your skin is still wet with the baby oil, it will be more receptive to UV rays and achieve a darker tan in less time than if you did not use oil.

Does Suntan Oil Make You Darker?

Suntan oil won’t make it easier to achieve the color you want, but it can help protect your skin from UV rays and chemicals used in tanning beds. If possible, apply baby oil or suntan oil 30 minutes before going into a tanning bed or outside to protect your skin from the sun.

What is a Good Tanning Schedule?

A good tanning schedule will vary case by case, but most people tend to tan at least once a week. You should always give your skin time to recover between sessions and use an SPF after every session. Depending on the time of year, you may want to stay out of the sun during peak hours and wear protective clothing as well.

Do You See Results After One Tanning Session?

You won’t see results after one tanning session, but you could be burned. People with lighter skin colors will usually burn within the first few sessions unless they use a high-quality sunscreen or gradually build their base tan. Those with darker skin often need to visit several times before they can tan safely and effectively.

FAQs About How Long Does It Take to Tan in the Sun

How long does it take for a tan to show? It can take several hours for your skin to darken after exposure to the sun or a tanning bed. It will most likely appear darker at first, but this is usually due to moisture on your skin. Even if you’re keeping your skin hydrated with lotions, it will take several hours for the color to settle in.

  1. How long does it take to tan skin naturally?

It can take several weeks of sun exposure or use a tanning bed for your skin to become darker naturally. If you don’t have enough time for this, you can look into self-tanners before you head to the beach. However, it would help if you remembered that these products can be dangerous for your skin without proper preparation.

  1. How long does it take to get a base tan?

It will take at least one session in a tanning bed or a few days of sun exposure before you can build your base tan. Most people like to start with a medium tan and gradually build up over time. It’s best to go to the beach closer to summer if you want to get dark enough for a natural tan.

Conclusion 

If there’s a way to tan safely, we recommend that you do it. However, if you don’t have the time or money for this, remember to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Most importantly, never use self-tanners without following the instructions on the bottle precisely. If all else fails, your safest option is always to use sunscreen and consider getting a spray tan.

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