How Long Does It Take to Tan Naturally: Time It Takes to Tan in the Sun

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

How long does it take to tan naturally? This may be a question on your mind, especially if warm weather in your area is quickly approaching. But the answer to this question often varies and rides on a few differing factors. We’ll explore those factors here, then give you an average time span you can expect your tan to both show up and fade, so you can know what to expect for achieving a natural bronze body this summer season.

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How Long Does It Take to Tan Naturally

How long does it take to tan in the sun?

Let’s face it. Tanning in the sun is not always easy, and there are certainly easier ways to get a deep tan. The issue with some of these methods, such as tanning beds, however, is that they pose a great risk to your health. It comes in the form of skin cancer as tanning beds contain harmful amounts of UVA rays that can increase your risk of developing skin cancer up to 75%.

How long to get a good tan?

So, how long to get a good tan?

Experts on the issue of tanning time say this will take around 1-2 hours but will depend on a variety of factors. Your skin tone, the condition of your skin, whether or not you have freckles, the parts of the body targeted, the current weather conditions and more all play a vital role in how well you can get your body to develop good darkened color.

How long does it take for a tan to show?

Just because you don’t see color after an hour or two in the sun doesn’t mean you should remain in the sun. Remember, remaining in the sun, and especially without SPF, is highly damaging to all parts of your body, including your eyes.

If you are worried that wearing SPF won’t allow you to achieve a deep tan, you may wish to read Does Sunscreen Prevent You From Getting Darker.

Instead, opt to sit in the shade once your 1-2 hours is up, and try again the next day. Your body may take a little while to show color but that doesn’t mean you aren’t tanning. The longer you sit in the sun, the more you are putting yourself at risk for a burn, and this is especially true for those of the fairest complexions.

How long does it take to get a base tan?

Remember the 1-2 hours quoted above? Most people will likely see a base tan in this amount of time.

Bear in mind, however, that it may take fairer skinned people longer to see results than that of people with more melanin, or darker skin.

How long does it take to get a dark tan?

Once you’ve achieved your base tan, you can continue to do 1-2 hours in the sun per day from there until you achieve your desired results.

Be careful, though.

You’ll need to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50, and never opt for anything less.

You’ll also need to reapply sunscreen after an allotted time to ensure that it is still effective, especially if you get in water.

Refer to the directions on the sunscreen package for details on how often you should reapply, typically every 2 hours, even in the shade or on cloudy days.

For more information about sunscreen and other tricks of the trade check out Tips for Getting the Best Sun Tan Safely.

How long does it take to tan your legs?

Experts agree that it takes much longer to tan your abdomen and legs than other parts of your body. We explore this topic more in depth in our post about tanning your legs properly.

With this in mind, you may wish to opt for a self-tanner to help you out on these areas, as spending an extended amount of time in the sun per day, going to tanning beds or forgoing sunscreen are all skincare no-nos. Self-tanner might also be particularly helpful for those who experience rashes after tanning in the sun.

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How Long Should I Tan For?

How long should I tan in the sun?

The time it takes to tan in the sun naturally is about 1-2 hours. Nevertheless, timing varies on the basis of many factors, as mentioned previously.

How long should I tan for the first time?

Fairer people, and especially those with freckles, ought to opt for the lower end of the 1-2 hour range, and avoid long periods in the water, if at all possible. This is because the rays from the sun can reflect off of the water’s surface causing painful burns to develop quickly.

For medium to dark toned people, the amount of time to stay in the sun for the first time will stay the same, about 1-2 hours. These will typically see a tan develop by the next morning, if not right away.

No matter your skin tone, be sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen, even if you don’t “burn easy” or are darker complexioned. Skin cancer can affect people of all colors and nationalities, so the right SPF is crucial.

How many minutes should I tan the first time?

If you are extremely prone to burning, try no more than 10-15 minutes in the sun the very first time to err on the safe side. Some people may burn in as little as 10 minutes without SPF, so use caution, and know your own skin.

How Long Do Natural Tans Last?

How long does a natural tan last?

A natural tan can last anywhere between 7-10 days depending on how deep the tan is and other factors.

How long does it take to get rid of a tan?

As skin cells renew themselves, even the deepest tan will eventually fade. Give it a week or two out of the sun, and your tan should fade.

How Can I Get Tan Fast?

Can you get a tan in one day?

Getting a tan in one day is certainly achievable, even in as little as one hour. Deeper skin tones may get darker faster, but fairer skin tones may burn faster.

Also, a diet rich in certain foods, namely beta-carotene, can do wonders for a tan, even without self-tanner. Nosh on sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale and winter squash for these benefits.

Can you tan in 30 minutes?

Some people may tan naturally in 30 minutes, especially if they’ve properly prepped their skin, have eaten certain foods or have applied certain oils that led to speedier tanning.

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Recommendations for Speedier Tanning

Our Top Pick: Cocosolis Choco Organic Sun Tan and Body Oil

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This organic sun tan and body oil will keep your skin hydrated and can work even for fair skin tones. It contains no SPF, so make sure you also apply sunscreen and allow it to dry first before applying this tanning oil.

Body Nutritive Serum

Body Nutritive Serum | Best Skin Care Moisturizer | Best Way To Achieve That Golden Sun Kissed Tan | Get the Best Looking and Feeling Skin Ever | 13 Skin Loving Ingredients
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Infused with hydrating and skin-loving oils like apricot and hazelnut, this tanning serum is the perfect oil to take with you on the beach. Apply after sunscreen.

Australian Gold Dark Tanning Oil

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Another tanning oil, this one is infused with carrot, sunflower and cocoa butter for a glowing bronze that is all your own.

Looking for sun tanning oils specific for sensitive skin when tanning indoors? Check out our post Best Indoor Tanning Lotions for Sensitive Skin.

How Long Does It Take to Tan Naturally? Each Person Is Unique

How long it will take for your skin to get darker naturally will depend on your skin tone and the depth of tan you’re looking for. Base tans can develop in as little as 1-2 hours on the very first day, while deeper tans may take longer.

No matter what, always limit your sun exposure to 1-2 hours per day and to use an SPF of at least 30 to minimize your risk for skin cancer and burns. Protect your skin with sun screen and check out our blog for recommendations:

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  1. It indeed works differently for many, and oftentimes even the longevity of a natural tan can vary!

  2. It is so interesting how tanning works, you need to have the right balance or else you can get sunburnt. I know for me, just being out for a couple of hours with sunscreen will get me a shade down. Thanks for sharing these options!

    Nancy ✨

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