How Long Should You Tan for | Know in A Minute

So, do you want to tan your skin and be more attractive?

As we are in 2021, we are all aware of the beauty of tanned skin. After industrialization, tanning has become popular among western countries. In today’s life, many people desire to have perfectly tanned skin.

But not every person who likes tanning prefers to go to a tanning salon. Many people like to tan their skin on the beach, enjoying the time. When you want to tan yourself, the first thing you have to know is how long should you tan for.

Among so much information roaming on the internet about how long should you tan for, you may be confused about which one to follow.

But you are lucky we are here to inform you how long you are supposed to tan for with many tips and tricks. So let’s get started.

How long are you supposed to tan for?

How long are you supposed to tan for

How long should u tan for – It actually depends on your skin tone and the temperature at which you’re tanning.

If the sun is out there, and you go under the sun without sunscreen, it may take 10 minutes to tan a little. But before exposing to the sun, applying sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a must.

When the sun is too high, 30 or 45 minutes will be enough for safe tanning. By this time, you can get some tint without harming your skin.  

Now coming to the skin tone. Obviously, if your skin tone is dull, you will get tanning quickly than your fairer skin tone friend. We are giving you an average time range for tanning your skin.

For lighter shade:

If you are a lighter-skinned person, then you need almost 1 hour for tanning. After that, you can take a sunbathe for 5 minutes and shower to calm the skin. Then, you can repeat.

For darker shade:

If you are a darker shade person, it will take almost 20 minutes to 1 hour to tan your skin, depending on your shade difference. After that, take a sunbathe for 20 minutes and then take a shower. 

The most important thing before tanning is not to forget to wear sunscreen all over your body. Sometimes you may miss any of your body parts. But this mistake results in burning and irritation.

Experts recommend using a darkening lotion for the first 40 minutes, and then on top of browning lotion, apply a UV-protected sunscreen with a broad range SPF higher than 50. 

How long should you tan for the first time?

How long should you tan for the first time

When you go under the tanning process for the first time, your time limit will be between 4 to 6 minutes.

If the sun is good with you, you can maximize this time to 8 minutes. But not more than 8 minutes. Not only for the first time, but you also have to maintain this time limit for the first few sessions. 

Staying under sun exposure more than this time may burn your skin. Even your skin burn despite taking precautions; give your skin some time and ensure that the burn is gone correctly. 

Factors that impact tanning

our tanning time can verify depending on some factors. Such as-

  • Your tanning will be faster if you stay at a higher elevation where the sun rays fall sharply.
  • Your fast tanning also depends on the angle of the sun and the moment of the day.
  • The humidity of the weather is also a key factor in tanning. Moisture helps to protect your tan from fading away and may increase the tanning speed.
  • The SPF of your sunscreen has a significant impact on tanning or burning. The higher SPF will help you to avoid being sunburned for a long time.
  • As we mentioned before, darker shaded people will tan quickly. As they already have more melanin in their skin, their skin produces more melanin when the sun triggers melanocyte cells. That’s why they tan way too fast.

Top 4 Ways of faster tanning

Ways of faster tanning

At this point, you must be thinking about which way you can use for tanning easily and quickly.

Don’t worry! We are here for you.

Currently, we are going to inform you about 4 ways by which you can tan faster.

1. Tanning lotion:

Our very first way is applying sunless tanning lotion. There are several good-rated sunless tanning brands on the market, like:

  • Lorac
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Banana Boat
  • Aveeno
  • Jergens
  • L’Oreal
  • Neutrogena and
  • Clarins, etc.

All these companies produce products in the form of lotions, creams, gels, foams, sprays, and oils.

Self-tanning lotions hold a Food and Drug Administrationapproved compound named dihydroxyacetone (DHA). By Maillard reaction, It enhances the pigmentation of the skin. 

Warning: You should wear disposable gloves while applying the lotion. If you don’t do this, your hand will absorb more lotion during applying lotion to the whole body and tan more than other parts of the body. Also try to practice the following tips. 

  • Try to take a non-comedogenic lotion to avoid pores clogging. Read the instructions in the bottle and try to apply the lotion evenly.
  • Applying lotion evenly may be a problem for you. You can take someone’s help to spread the lotion on those areas where your hand can’t reach appropriately.
  • Don’t rush while wearing the lotion. Slowly spread the lotion on your whole body. Taking time to rub it properly will save you from ending up with spotty parts or missing any spots.
  • Don’t overlook the areas usually hidden under the clothes. Otherwise, your tanning will be so uneven.
  • After applying lotion, throw away the gloves and go for a new pair. Remember to put on some lotion in your hands.
  • Continue this procedure from the very beginning of the day till you get your target color. You can apply lotion twice if you have a hurry to tan your skin.

2. Spray Tanning:

Generally, spray tan solutions are more intense than tanning lotion. Also it comprises the triple-carbon sugar dihydroxyacetone (DHA), like self-tanning lotions. This DHA in tanning spray has a negative effect with amino acids to put shade to your skin.

According to experts, you should add color gradually. If you want, you can make your tan darker, however, as soon as you darken your skin, there is no way to lighten the shade. So a spray tan containing a lower percentage of DHA is best to choose.

It would be best if you chose a spray that holds green pigment. To make your tan last longer and glow well, try to find products imbued with erythrulose, a sugar compound present in raspberries.

Like the self-tanning lotion, using spray tan at home will be a little bit risky. For perfect tanning, you should visit a tanning salon or hire a private professional to come to your home with a spray machine.

You may require one to three layers to get your desired color. One layer of spray will glow the skin of fair-skinned people beautifully. But in the case of dark-skinned people, they may need several layers.

What to do before spray tanning?

  • Before spray tanning, you should exfoliate your body. The dead cells of your body make blocks while tanning. It would be best if you choose an exfoliating scrub that is oil-free and contains some rough beads or granules that will smooth your skin.
  • Removing your skin hair will be helpful for your tanning. But it would help if you kept in mind that you can not do waxing for at least 3 days before spray tanning.
  • It’s better to avoid a hot shower before the tanning session.
  • Don’t use any makeup item that can affect your tan. You should also avoid deodorant with aluminum which may cause a greenish effect.

3. Sunbathe:

Laying under the sun, drinking some juice, and tanning yourself is very amusing, isn’t it?

  • Before going to get sunbath, you should apply a base lotion or oil to avoid sunburn. It will also help you to tan faster.
  • If you want the most even tan possible, you should choose a spray or oil. As they have a watery texture, they can easily spread out over your skin. After spraying, you have to rub the solution with your hands.
  • If you formerly have a base tan, the natural oil will work best for you. Apply natural oil before going out into the sun, and this oil will give you an olive glow. After getting tan, wash off the oil with water and soap.
  • You don’t want your lips to be tan, right? You need to make sure you wear a lip balm with at least SPF 15. So that dry, chapped lips can not give you pain and less your attractiveness.
  • After taking all the preparation, now you can go on a beach or any sunny area to tan your skin. Take position directly under the sunlight. When the sun moves, you also have to move according to the angle of the sun. 

Otherwise, sun tanning will be a lengthy process for you. 

To get perfectly tanned skin, you have to be a little more active. 

4. Tanning Bed:

Tanning beds use ultraviolet (UV) rays to tan. Though dermatologists forbid tanning beds, you can go this way if you need an immediate tan.

While tanning, the most important job is to wear goggles specially formulated for tanning beds. You can easily find them at shops or tanning salons.

While getting in the tanning bed, you need to undress completely. There is a top flap, and you have to shut that over you like a clamshell. 

Now press the flipping button to turn on the tanning lights. You can set up a timer with the lights. When your time is over, the lights will turn off automatically.

Now inevitably comes the question that ‘how long should you go in a tanning bed for?’ 

Just scroll down.

How to tan in the sun evenly and safely?

How to tan in the sun evenly and safely

What do you usually do when you roast a chicken? To burn all the areas well, you move the chicken repeatedly, right? 

Precisely the same way, you need to turn your body over frequently to tan evenly. Turning in 1/4 revolutions every half hour is a good rule for a suntan. Read more

  • You can start on your back, then turn to your left side, then your stomach, and lastly, the right side. To avoid awkward tan lines, you have to change the position of your arms and legs regularly.
  • You should wear as little clothing as possible to let the sun hit your skin. If you want to get tan all over, then you have to find a nude beach or a private (fenced) area of your backyard and put on your birthday dress to soak up the sun. 
  • You can use a reflective sheet or towel to make your tanning process quicker. Lay-out on a reflective towel will actually magnify and focus the sun on your skin. 
  • Another way to speed your sunbath is by laying on a floating device in the water. 

Note: Before knowing how long should you stay in the sun for a tan, it is more important to know which time you can go for suntanning

Dermatologists suggest avoiding the sun in peak hours. But if you want to tan quickly, you can choose the middle of the day, between 10 am to 4 pm.

Remember to reapply the SPF oil or lotion every two hours or after the contact with water. After a tanning session applying an aloe-based moisturizer or a good lotion will keep your skin hydrated and seal your tan.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs): how long do you have to be in the sun for a tan?

Q: How much time take a tanning spray for tanning? 

Ans: When you spray the tanning spray on your skin, it will start to bring colors. But the appropriate tanning will take around 8 hours to set. You can use an express spray to make your skin tanned in 3 to 4 hours if you want.

Q: How long does a spray tan last?

Ans: A spray tan usually lasts up to 10 days. But based on the darkness level, the time may differ. 

  • Lighter shades: It lasts 5 to 6 days
  • Medium shades: It lasts 7 to 8 days
  • Darker shades: It lasts up to 10 days

To keep your skin glowing, you should touch up your tan every one to two weeks.

Q: How long should you suntan for?

Ans:How long should I sunbathe for a tan?’ It is the most common query about suntan. The answer is 1 to 2 hours. 

This period is safe for your skin. Otherwise, there is a possibility of sunburn. You have to bear in mind that suntanning needs time to set, so it’s not mandatory that you will see the color immediately.

Q: How long should you tan for in a tanning bed?

Ans: Generally, to lay down on a tanning bed, a maximum time limit is determined. It is usually around 10 to 20 minutes per session. 

You can tan in a relatively small amount of time for the first time, around eight minutes. Usually, people tan in beds for between eight and 20 minutes, though the medium rests around 12 minutes.

Q: How long does it take for a tan to show up from a tanning bed?

Ans: How much time needs a tan to show up in a tanning bed actually depends on your skin tone and genetics. If you are a very fair-shaded person, then a short tanning period will be enough for you to get a color. 

10 minutes is sufficient for pale skin. For darker-shaded people, the tanning sessions will be longer.

You can take one session per week. If you expect the required shade after only one session, then you will be disappointed. The final results start to appear after the second or third session.


  • Must use a glove for self-tanning lotions to avoid orange/brown palms.
  • On the following day of tanning, you must check if you have had any sunburn. If you have any, then you can use aloe vera to reduce irritation and redness.
  • Must wear a hat and sunglasses when tanning outside to protect your face, skin, and eyes.
  • Exfoliation before tanning helps you to tan evenly
  • Not only in the tanning bed, but goggles are also essential while using tanning spray.
  • Keeping skin nourished is very important after tanning. You should apply moisturizing lotion and drink plenty of water.
  • To avoid sunburns, take your tanning process in moderation. Don’t tan too much.
  • Must use an SPF lip balm to protect your lips.
  • As the tanning beds may cause harm, try to avoid them as much as possible.
  • If your family has a skin cancer history, please consult with a doctor before tanning. 
  • Try to use tanning lotion sparingly. If you use it this way, you can use lotion for a long time.


  • Tanning may be reasonable for melanoma or other skin cancer. Especially hitting the tanning bed is responsible for skin cancer.
  • Dehydration can happen if you tan for a long time.
  • Tanning may cause premature skin aging.
  • Overdoing tanning will end you up with a fake or maybe an orange look you never wished for.
  • Sometimes, spray tans work as a comedogenic product. 

Final Verdict:

Well! You have a lot of information about tanning.

Now get ready and go for tanning as you know how long should you tan for. Just don’t forget the essential tips that we give you in this article.

It’s time to enjoy your tanning. If you have any further queries, write them down in the comment box, we will try to catch you up.

Happy Tanning!

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