How to Not Get Tan Lines Outside

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Tan lines from your bathing suit can look awkward and unsightly.
Tan lines from your bathing suit can look awkward and unsightly. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The approach of summer means spending lots of time outside enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. After a dry winter, your skin may appear pale and in need of brightness. After a day in the sun, your skin can look revitalized and tan. However, tanning in your bikini or dress often results in unsightly tan lines. When wearing strapless dresses, these tan lines unfortunately stand out. To protect yourself from the sun and avoid tan lines, there are a few methods you can try.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunblock with moisturizers and SPF
  • Tanning lotion or bronzer

Cover up your skin; this is the only way to 100% guarantee that you will not tan or have tan lines. Wear loose-fit clothing made of linen or a linen blend. Use a parasol to block out the harsh sunlight.

Apply sunblock with an SPF of 35 or higher to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburned skin has been directly linked to melanoma. Make sure to apply sunblock thoroughly and all the way to the edge of your clothing or bathing suit.

Wear an outfit that is appropriate for preventing tan lines on a day you know you will be outside or tanning. At the beach, opt for a strapless bikini top or tube top to avoid unsightly halter-top tan lines.

Pull down the straps of your tank top or bikini to avoid tan lines on your shoulders. When suntanning on the beach, untie the back of your bikini top to avoid a tan line across your back. You can do this every so often, making the tan line appear fainter.

Even out your tan line with self-tanner as a last resort. You can do so with tanning lotion. To begin, make sure your skin is clean. Simply apply the sunless tanning lotion to your tan lines until it blends in with your overall tan appearance. When applying lotion, use a small amount to begin with, gradually building up. Wait 15 minutes before applying each layer. Dry for several hours.

Apply make-up bronzer to even out your tan line as an alternative to tanning lotion. To use, apply bronzer onto a large makeup brush. Brush the bronzer over your tan line and blend in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always remember that tanning outside in the sun can be hazardous to your skin and can cause skin cancer and wrinkles.
  • Be sure to test the sensitivity of your skin to make sure you're not allergic to any ingredients in a product. To do so, apply a small amount on the inside of your wrist, wait an hour or so and look for redness or swelling in that area. If this occurs, do not use this product.

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