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How much time does it takes to get tan?

If you live in a place where the sun is above your head all the time, you are sure to get tan. Many people across countries like to have tanned skin, but several people might also consider it slightly off. 

Tanning is excellent, but with exposure to the sun, comes harmful UV radiation as well. Learning how to tan quickly can limit your time in the sun and reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays. 

1. If you have fair skin, even 30 minutes is enough:
If you have light or fair skin, 10 to 30 minutes in sun is enough to get yourself tanned. If you are more than this time without any protection, you might get sunburn.

2. If you are light brown to dark brown, you may require 40 to 60 minutes of sunlight:
Tanning requires you to be out in the sun, and many people who have a brown to dark brown skin type can stay up to 60 minutes in direct sunlight to get a tan. More than this may cause sunburn.

3. You don't need direct sunlight to tan:
Many people have a misconception that they require direct sunlight to get tan. But this is not true at all. You can be in shade and then also get a tan. Let me give an example; I live in a hot place on planet earth, and even though I am working from home, I have started developing a tan in the shape of my sleepers on my feet.

This is because UV rays can reflect off the ground and onto your skin, even if you are sitting in a covered area. Although it might take a little longer, you can still get a tan in the shade, so be sure to apply sunscreen to protect your skin.

4. You can even get tan in a day:
You can get tan in a day as well, but experts say that you should take a week or two to get yourself tan, as it might lead to sunburn. So, it is better to be in sun for 10 to 30 minutes, and be sure that you are wearing sunscreen when you are outside.

5. Float on top of a swimming pool to tan faster:
The sun's rays reflect off the water and onto your skin. This means that when you are floating on top of the water, you are getting a more intense exposure to the sun. Keep in mind that since you will tan faster in the water, you may need to take more frequent breaks and apply sunscreen earlier.

6. Use sun screens instead of sun blocks:
Sunscreens allow some of the sun rays to penetrate, giving you some tanning while shielding you from harmful UV rays.

7. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen:
Before heading towards the pool, wait about 15 to 20 minutes to give your sunscreen a chance to bind to your skin. Also, check if your sunscreen is water-resistant, as your sweat may also wipe it out.

8. Exfoliate before you start:
Use a body scrub or loofah to get rid of dead skin cells on your skin surface, or you will come out of your tanning session looking speckled.

Is tanning safe?
Tanning slowly is not that bad, and it looks great as well. But experts say that tanning in any form is bad for your skin. Every time you get a tan, you are hurting your skin a little bit, and hence it is important to wear sunscreen and avoid sun exposure when you can. 

If you often tan or spend more time outside or near the pool, you will feel wrinkling of your skin or leathering of your skin. If it is worst, you may also witness an onion peel-like skin condition, which also has rashes accompanying it.

So what is the safest way to tan?
The best way to tan is by going slowly and using sun protection;

  1. Use a broad spectrum SPF 15 to 30 sunscreen, as these protect you from UVA and UVB rays. 
  2. Ensure that you are applying your sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Also, check if your sunscreen has physical blocking or chemical blocking. As physical blocking sunscreens have zinc and titanium, which block harmful UV rays, as and when applied, on the other hand, chemical blocking sunscreens take around 20 minutes to soak into your skin and don't provide instant protection.
  4. It is good to take a sunbath early in the morning, or in the evening, and we should avoid going for tan therapy from 11 AM to 4 PM. This is the time when the sun is intense and may cause sunburn.
  5. If you love the look of tanned skin but you want to skip the harmful UV rays, the self-tanning lotion is a quick way to go. These lotions temporarily stain your skin, making it look like you have been tanning for a while. 

How to take care of your skin after tanning?

  1. Use moisturizers after tanning. This is because tanning can dry your skin out, leading to itchy, flaky spots. You can use a mild fragrance-free moisturizer all over your body to hydrate and repair your skin after tanning.
  2. After you have been in sun, always remember to go for a bath, as you will feel more relaxed, and it will also help in locking the moisture afterward. You will also get rid of sweat or other salts produced by your body.

Warning:
Don't use tanning beds as UV rays produced by them can be more intense than sun rays, and many cases of skin cancer arise because of usage of these services.

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