How to Start a Base Tan for Very Fair Skin

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People with very pale skin burn much easier than those with a darker skin tone. If you’re someone who has light skin and know that you will be exposed to the sun on a vacation or outdoor event, prevent yourself from getting burned by developing a base tan. A base tan is a very light tan that people strive to get before long-term sun exposure. The idea behind a base tan is that if you expose your skin to the sun little by little, it builds up a gradual tan so your skin won’t burn from overexposure.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunscreen

Outside

  • Check the UV index to select a tanning day that doesn’t have a high UV index. This helps prevent you from burning. A UV index over 5 is considered high and is not safe to tan in. Look for a UV index that is between 2 and 5 for safe tanning. Apply a high SPF sunscreen on all parts of your body that are not covered by your clothes.

  • Go outside and tan for 15 minutes on each side. Then, go inside, and wait a few days before tanning again.

  • Repeat the process, tanning every couple of days to build up a base tan. As you get darker, decrease the level of SPF, and increase the duration of your tanning sessions.

Tanning Bed

  • Visit your local tanning salon, and purchase a lotion that has L-tyrosine and beta carotene to help moisturize your skin and prevent it from burning.

  • Tan in the bed for a very short period of time. On your first session, don't tan more than five minutes on a low-level bed.

  • Repeat the process, tanning every two to three days.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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