How To Get A Perfect Tan At Home

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

Summers are for flaunting a gorgeously tanned body. Who wouldn’t want a golden brown tan while taking a stroll under the sun? However, people who tan frequently without wearing sun protection damage their skin beyond repair. This puts them at a higher risk of contracting skin cancer. Skin cancers associated with suntanning include both non-melanoma cancers — such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma — and melanoma. Melanoma is the rarest, yet deadliest type of skin cancer because it will spread to other organs if not treated early on. Another consequence of UV rays is that they break down collagen, which is a protein that provides structure to your skin. When it is degraded, the skin sags and forms wrinkles. So if you want to know how to get a tan without damaging your skin, we have some foolproof ways to do it. Read on to know them all.

1. Wear Sunscreen

Wear Sunscreen
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The CDC reports that less than 15% of men and 30% of women apply sunscreen regularly even though it’s essential for protecting skin from UV damage. When it comes to choosing a sunscreen you should use broad-spectrum with a minimum of 30 SPF. For the best protection, reapply every two hours and more frequently if you are sweating or in the water as the sunscreen may dissolve or wash off.

2. Avoid Tanning Beds

Avoid Tanning Beds
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There are more skin cancer cases related to the use of tanning beds than there are lung cancer cases related to cigarette smoking. Indoor tanning is more dangerous than outdoor tanning because of the intense UV rays applied directly to a person’s body. Outside, there are more physical barriers to protect you from too much UV radiation. Because of this, many states have banned the use of tanning beds for minors. Exposure to direct UV radiation from tanning beds can also cause harm to your eyes in the form of inflammation, cataracts, or eye cancer.

When you want to get a nice tan without lying under the sun for many hours, a self-tanner can be an easy option. Applying it isn’t too hard; however, there are some small tricks you ought to be aware of. Here are some at-home tanning secrets that will help your skin look gorgeous.

Step 1: Prepare The Tools

You will need:

  • A skin exfoliator
  • A moisturizer
  • A self-tanner
  • A tanning mitt
  • Wet wipes

Step 2: Prepare Your Skin For Tanning

Before you apply self-tanner, you need to prepare your skin to ensure that your tan will be even with no patchy areas. Make sure you do these things first:

  • Remove hair from your skin using any method you prefer — shaving, waxing, etc. Do it 24 hours before applying the fake tan. If you shave after tanning your skin, you risk shaving it away and getting patches on your skin.
  • Exfoliate your skin with a scrub and then moisturize your skin. Do it 24 hours before applying a fake tan, as the moisturizer can act as a barrier and prevent the tanning formula from properly getting into your skin.
  • Pay more attention to the areas that have breakouts or dry skin. Always moisturize the skin on your joints, feet, and hands, as they can end up darker than other areas of your body.

Step 3: Apply The Self-Tanner Around Your Body

Apply The Self-Tanner Around Your Body
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Use a tanning mitt to smear the tanner over your skin because it helps to achieve flat and flawless coverage. If you do it with your fingers, you might end up having streaks or patches around your body. Don’t be scared to apply bigger portions of the product. Make sure that you have enough to glide over your skin without any effort. If you have a hard time applying the product to your back, ask a friend or family member to help you with it.

Step 4: Apply The Self-Tanner On The Face

If you want your face to look tanned as well, then you need to use a special tanning product that is suitable for your face. Mix 2-3 drops of the self-tanner together with your face moisturizer. Then rub this formula into your face, neck, and décolletage in upward motions.

Step 5: Let The Self-Tanner Dry

Let The Self-Tanner Dry
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After you apply the tanning lotion, wait for at least 20 minutes to let everything get into your skin. Avoid wearing restrictive clothes, underwire bras, and things that rub onto the skin. Also, avoid making the skin wet or sweaty. You can use a hairdryer around your body to speed up the process.

Step 6: Remove The Excess Tanner

You can use oil-free wet wipes to wipe off excess tanner where you don’t need it. If your tanner requires you to rinse it off, then use warm water to gently wash your body. After that, avoid aggressively rubbing out your skin with a towel. Instead, softly pat it dry.

So now that you know how to tan your face and body without harming your skin, nothing can stop you from getting a gorgeous tan. So what is your favorite way to get a tan? Let us know in the comments section!


  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma, NCBI
  2. Patterns of Sunscreen Use on the Face and Other Exposed Skin among US Adults, NCBI
  3. Ultraviolet damage to the eye revisited: eye-sun protection factor (E-SPF®), a new ultraviolet protection label for eyewear, NCBI
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