When you spend time either in a tanning bed or basking in the sun outdoors, your skin develops a tan. When your skin changes to a tan color, it is reacting with ultraviolet (UV) rays to produce melanin. Melanin is a chemical produced by your skin to protect itself. This chemical also produces a pigment change in your skin, giving your skin a darker color. To maximize sun exposure to produce the perfect tan, apply moisturizing products and expose your skin to UV rays regularly.
Daily sun exposure will maximize your suntan. Limit your UV exposure depending on the level of sensitivity your skin has to the rays. If you are new to tanning, begin slowly. Start indoor tanning sessions at around five minutes long to condition your skin. Indoor tanning sessions can be 0 to 15 minutes, depending on the intensity of the bulbs in the tanning bed.
If your UV exposure is from the sun, make sure you use tanning lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. Tanning for individuals who regularly are exposure to the sun can be achieved by using lotions with SPF ratings of 15 or lower. Outdoor tanning sessions should be conducted in 15-minute increments. Each 15 minutes, check your skin to see how it is reacting to your UV exposure. If your skin becomes sensitive to touch or breaks out in a rash, discontinue tanning until these symptoms disappear.
Tanning lotions, tanning oils and tanning accelerators keep your skin moisturized and maximize your tanning results. Tanning lotions are designed for indoor or outdoor tanning. These lotions include moisturizers as well as bronzers to enhance the look of your tan.
When you use a tanning lotion, your skin responds to the UV exposure at a quicker rate than when you don't use a tanning product. Some tanning products also include self-tanning ingredients that give the appearance of a darker tan than just through your sun exposure.
Before you purchase a tanning product, read the directions thoroughly and ask questions at your tanning salon. Some lotions are also sold to be used after your tanning session concludes. These products contain a high level of moisturizing ingredients to protect your skin from the aging process.