How to Get a Good Tan When You Are Light-Skinned

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Even fair-skinned people want a good tan. After all, the golden glow that comes with a tan has come to be perceived as a sign of health and beauty. And while light-skinned people have to be much more careful than their dark-skinned cousins, and tanning can take longer, for most light-skinned people a good tan from the sun can be a reality. Even if you're unable to tan from the sun, there are some tricks you can use to give your light skin a healthy, radiant tan.

Things You'll Need

  • Loofah or exfoliating scrub
  • Sunscreen with minimum 30 SPF
  • After-sun moisturizer
  • Self-tanning lotion

Exfoliate your skin well every day, using a loofah or exfoliating scrub in the shower. This gets rid of dead skin cells, preparing the surface of your skin for tanning.

Moisturize well after your shower. This keeps your skin healthy, which is essential for skin that will be exposed to the sun.

Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and apply it 30 to 40 minutes before going out in the sun so it has time to absorb. Reapply it every 20 to 30 minutes and after swimming.

Avoid the sun's peak hours, generally 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Early to mid-morning and late afternoon are the safest times to be in the sun, as it is less intense. Limit tanning time to an hour a day.

Apply after-sun moisturizer after tanning. If a sunburn occurs, apply aloe or an aloe-based sunburn relief product.

Supplement outdoor tanning with self-tanning lotion or professional spray-on tan. The combination of outdoor tanning with self-tanner will give you a longer-lasting tan than you might get from self-tanner alone, but a darker tan than light skin may be able to achieve with outdoor tanning.

If your skin simply will not tan outdoors, a spray-on tan alone is a good alternative for a tan on light skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't tan in the sun, you won't tan in an indoor tanning bed, so don't consider that an alternative. If you've never tried to tan before, limit your initial time in the sun to 15 to 20 minutes to be safe, until you know how your skin will react.
  • Any exposure to the sun, even careful and limited exposure, presents some health risks to the skin. Be aware of the risks.

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