Are you looking to get that perfect bronzed glow? Tanning is a great way to add some color to your skin, but what is the best time of the day to tan?
I’m going to share what science has shown us about the optimal time for tanning and how you can make sure you maximize your tanning routine’s success.
Why Does The Time Of Day Affect How You Can Get Tan?
The time of day plays a significant role in tanning because the sun’s position and intensity vary throughout the day. Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are responsible for helping your skin produce melanin, the pigment that gives your skin a tanned appearance.
The amount of UV rays reaching your skin depends on the sun’s angle in the sky, which changes due to the Earth’s natural rotation.
In the morning and late afternoon, the sun is at a lower angle, making UV rays travel through more of Earth’s atmosphere before reaching your skin.
This filters out some of the UV rays and reducing their intensity. As a result, these times of the day generally offer safer exposure and a more gradual tanning process.
By contrast, the sun’s position is the highest around noon and early afternoon, which means it is directly overhead and emits the most intense UV rays.
During this time, there is an increased risk of sunburn and skin damage. Consequently, it is advisable to limit your sun exposure during these peak hours.
Remember that factors such as your skin type, geographical location, and even the season can also influence your tanning experience.
People with fairer skin tones are typically more sensitive to the sun and might need to spend less time in the sun or use higher SPF sunscreen to protect their skin.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Tan?
When you want to get a natural tan outside in the sun, the time it takes to develop that perfect tan can vary. It largely depends on factors like your skin type and sun exposure.
However, keep in mind that it’s essential to tan safely and gradually, so developing that base tan might take a little longer than you expect.
For most people, it takes a few hours to get a tan, but it’s best to start slowly and increase your sunbathing time as your skin becomes accustomed to the sun.
Fair-skinned individuals may take longer to develop a tan compared to those with slightly darker complexions.
Remember, choose a time and duration of exposure that minimizes skin damage and maximizes your chances of getting a healthy tan.
The best time of day to get a tan outside in the sun is usually during the morning or late afternoon. The sun’s rays are less intense during these times, which means you can still develop a tan without putting your skin at too much risk.
Morning sun, in particular, has a more balanced UVA and UVB distribution, making it a prime time for developing a healthy and long-lasting tan.
It’s vital to wear sun protection, even during these less intense tanning hours.
Here are a few tanning tips to keep in mind:
- Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating
- Limit your sun exposure during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Gradually increase your tanning sessions, starting with just 15 to 20 minutes
- Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and eyes
- Stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as needed
If you prefer avoiding sun exposure or need faster results, you can also opt for a fake tan. Spray tans and self-tanning products are effective alternatives to getting a tan from natural sunlight.
What Month Can You Start Tanning During The Year?
Be aware of the right month to begin tanning, as this can directly impact the effectiveness of your tanning process and protect your skin from damage.
The ideal time to tan depends on the weather in your region and your skin type. Generally, tanning season typically starts as early as April and continues through to September.
For the best tanning results, always apply sunscreen with a suitable SPF based on your skin type and the intensity of the sun.
This is essential, regardless of whether you have sensitive skin, fair skin, or a darker complexion. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays allows you to follow a healthy tanning process without risking the health of your skin cells and pigmentation.
During the tanning months, the ideal time of the day to tan is in the early morning (7 am to 9 am) or late afternoon, as the sun’s rays are less intense during these hours.
This allows your skin to achieve a natural tan without the risk of sunburn. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to visible signs of premature aging, including wrinkles and fine lines.
Keep in mind that your skin type plays a substantial role in determining your tanning time and method.
If you have sensitive skin or a lighter complexion, it is recommended to gradually increase your exposure to the sun for a more even tan. By doing so, you can avoid sunburn and develop a beautiful, natural skin color.
To protect your skin during tanning, use lip balms with SPF, as the skin on your lips is thinner and more susceptible to damage from UV rays.
What Is The Best Time Of The Day To Tan?
The best time of day to tan outside, generally speaking, is in the morning and late afternoon, when the sun is at its weakest and your circadian rhythm peaks. To be more specific, the safest tanning hours are typically between 10 am and 4 pm.
During these best hours to tan, you need to be aware of the UV rays, as these help the skin generate melanin, which causes tanning.
Despite the sun being less intense during the recommended tanning hours, be mindful of the intensity of UV rays and use sun protection.
To maximize your tanning experience and avoid harmful results, during the best time to tan outside, consider these tanning tips for a safe time tanning:
- Know your skin type: Understanding your specific skin type will help you determine exposure duration and how your skin reacts to sun exposure.
- Use sun protection: Even during lower UV ray periods or on cloudy days, you should apply sunblock with a suitable SPF to minimize skin damage, from the sun rays.
- Start slow: If you have light skin, begin with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration to build a base tan and avoid burns.
How Does The UV Index Influence The Best Time To Tan?
When planning a sun tanning session, consider the UV Index to reduce your risk of skin damage and sunburn.
The UV Index is a measurement of the intensity of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, ranging from 0 to 11+, with higher values representing a greater risk for skin and eye damage.
To achieve a healthier tan, you should choose a time of the day when the UV Index is lower. Typically, morning sun (before 10 AM) or late afternoon sun (after 4 PM) is considered the best time for sun exposure as UV radiation levels are usually lower.
This helps minimize the risk of skin damage and sunburn while still allowing you to develop a tan.
UVB rays are the primary contributor to sunburn and are more potent during midday hours when the sun is at its strongest.
On the other hand, UVA rays contribute to skin aging and can even penetrate through clouds and glass. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Some tanning tips to optimize your sun tanning experience include:
- Avoid peak tanning hours (10 AM to 4 PM) when the sun’s rays are strongest
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating
- Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and eyes
- Gradually increase sun exposure to reduce the chances of sunburn
- Stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade to avoid overheating
Remember that tanning itself is a sign of skin damage from UV exposure, and there is no such thing as a completely safe tan.
Consider using a fake tan product or tinted sunscreen for a bronzed look without the risks associated with sun exposure.
Best Tanning Tips When Sun Tanning For A Healthy Tan
When aiming for a natural, healthy tan, the best time to get a tan is in the morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense.
It’s best to start sun tanning between 10 am, and 4 pm, as UV exposure is the strongest during these hours.
Choose a time to get a tan when the UVB rays are most effective in developing your desired skin color.
Remember that both UVA and UVB rays from the sun are essential for a healthy tan. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, while UVB rays help in producing melanin, the pigment responsible for tanning.
Follow these tanning tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable tanning experience:
- Apply sunscreen: Be consistent in applying sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. It is strong enough to block harmful UVA and UVB rays, yet allows enough exposure to get a natural tan. Apply it 20 minutes before you step out into the sun and reapply every couple of hours after swimming or sweating excessively.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside, which helps protect against dryness and peeling.
- Take breaks: Prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of skin damage. Take breaks in the shade, allowing your skin to rest and recover from the sun’s rays.
- Wear protective clothing: Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and cover-ups to shield your skin from excessive sun exposure.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods: Consuming foods rich in antioxidants, such as green tea, dark chocolate, and leafy greens, can help protect your skin from sunburn and damage.
How Long Should I Tan for The First Time?
When tanning for the first time, it’s essential to consider your skin type, as different skin types react differently to UV exposure.
Generally, tanning should be done in moderation to prevent any adverse effects on your skin. Here are some tips to tan safely based on your skin type:
Fair skin and sensitive skin: If you have fair or sensitive skin, you should be extra cautious when tanning for the first time. Limit your initial tanning session to 10–15 minutes, as your skin is more prone to burning.
Gradually increase the duration over time, ensuring that you’re monitoring your skin’s reaction and using a sun protection factor (SPF) that is suitable for your skin type.
Pale skin: If your skin is pale, it’s advisable to start with tanning sessions lasting between 15–20 minutes. Similar to those with fair skin, gradually increase the duration over time, and always use the appropriate SPF.
This allows your skin cells to adapt to the UV light exposure without causing damage.
Dark skin: If you have dark or naturally tanned skin, you may tolerate UV exposure better than those with paler skin. Begin your tanning sessions with a period of 20–30 minutes and adjust the duration as needed.
Regardless of your skin type, always use a suitable SPF and monitor your skin’s reaction.
The best time of the day to tan is typically in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s UV intensity is lower. Around 4 PM offers a good balance of UV exposure, allowing you to tan gradually without exposing your skin to high levels of UV light.
However, individual preferences and schedules may affect when you choose to tan, so always prioritize your skin type and sun protection when outside.
When using a tanning bed for the first time, start with a short session and gradually increase the duration as your skin acclimates.
Make sure you follow the tanning bed’s guidelines to ensure a safe tanning experience. Also, applying a tanning lotion before your session can help to enhance the tanning effect and protect your skin.
Does A Base Tan Help You Tan Faster When Sunbathing?
A common question when it comes to sun tanning is whether having a base tan can help you tan faster. To start, let’s clarify what a base tan is.
A base tan is the term used to describe a light, natural tan obtained before spending extended periods in the sun. The idea behind it is that a base tan can protect your skin from sunburn and damage, allowing you to tan more effectively.
Having a base tan only provides minimal protection, equivalent to wearing sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 3 to 4.
This means your skin can be exposed to up to 4 times more sun before burning, compared to not having a base tan. While this might seem like a good idea, bear in mind that most recommended sunscreens have SPFs of at least 15 to 30, providing significantly more protection than a base tan.
To make the most of your tanning session, consider the following tanning tips:
- Exfoliate before sunbathing: Preparing your skin for a tan is essential. By exfoliating, you get rid of the dead skin cells, allowing for a more even tan and preventing flaky skin after sun exposure.
- Choose the right time of day: The intensity of UV rays varies throughout the day. Generally, the peak UV intensity occurs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., making it the best time for tanning. However, sunburn is also more likely during this period, so ensure you take the necessary precautions like applying sunscreen or seeking shade when needed.
- Opt for sun-friendly foods: Certain foods, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale, have been suggested to help you tan without burning due to their beta-carotene content. However, more research is needed to support these claims.
When Do You Stop Tanning In The Sun During The Day?
It’s essential to know when to stop tanning in the sun during the day to protect your skin cells from damage and reduce the risk of sunburn, skin cancer, and other skin-related problems.
Safe tanning involves choosing the right time, using appropriate tanning products, and being aware of when it’s time to get out of the sun.
The best time of the day for sun exposure is during the early morning and late afternoon when the sun is not at its peak.
Between these hours, the UV rays are less intense, lowering the risk of skin damage. Still, you need to wear sunscreen and protective clothing, as UV rays can be present even during these off-peak times.
Be aware of your time frame for exposure. Limit your time in the sun to 15–20 minutes for a fair complexion and 20–30 minutes for a darker complexion.
Always remember that tanning salons are not a safer option, as they also expose your skin to UV rays, which can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
When you’re outside, be sure to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to shield your skin from harmful rays. Reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.
Using tanning products that contain protective ingredients like antioxidants can also help prevent skin damage.
Can I Effectively Tan in The Late Afternoon or Evening?
Yes, you can effectively tan in the late afternoon or evening. Although the sun’s rays are generally strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., there are certain advantages to tanning later in the day.
For instance, the risk of sunburn is lower, making it a safer option for those with fair skin.
When tanning after 5 p.m., it’s essential to pay attention to the position of the sun. As the sun begins to set, its rays become less direct, which can lead to a more even tan.
However, since the intensity of the sun’s rays is lower, you might need to spend a bit longer outside to achieve your desired tan.
To get the best tan possible in the evening, follow these tips:
- Use sunscreen with an appropriate SPF for your skin type to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation. Remember to reapply often, especially after swimming or sweating.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Rotate your body periodically to ensure an even tan on all exposed areas.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water as this can help maintain your skin’s natural moisture and overall health.
What Is the Ideal Time for Sun Exposure to Boost Vitamin D?
First, you need to understand that several factors can impact sun exposure and vitamin D synthesis in your body.
Time of the day, your skin color, distance from the equator, amount of skin exposed, and use of sunscreen play big roles in balancing your sun exposure and vitamin D levels.
Ideally, you should step out in the sun when its rays are not too harsh. Many health experts suggest that exposing your skin to sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., three times a week, is adequate for your body to produce enough vitamin D.
Remember that the amount of vitamin D produced varies among individuals. People with fair skin usually synthesize vitamin D more quickly than those with darker skin.
The angle of the sun’s rays also affects the production of vitamin D, with higher latitudes and winter months leading to lesser synthesis.
Be cautious with the use of sunscreen, as it can block the production of vitamin D. To balance the benefits of vitamin D while protecting your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, you can apply sunscreen after 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure.
What Time Should I Avoid Tanning to Prevent Skin Damage?
To minimize the risks associated with tanning and prevent skin damage, make sure you plan your sun exposure wisely.
UV rays are at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so you should avoid tanning during these hours. Tanning during this timeframe can lead to a higher risk of sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer.
To safely enjoy the sun without causing harm, consider tanning in the early morning or late afternoon hours when the UV radiation is less intense.
Remember that even during these times, it’s still essential to protect your skin. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 is highly recommended.
This will shield your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, which can result in skin damage and aging.
Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating, as water and moisture can lessen the sunscreen’s effectiveness.
Also, ensure that you apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin, including your face, ears, neck, arms, and legs.
While enjoying your time in the sun:
- Always wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from the sun.
- Avoid tanning beds, as they also emit harmful UV radiation and increase the risk of skin cancer.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated to maintain healthy skin and prevent sunburn.
The best time of day to tan outdoors is typically in the early morning and late afternoon when the sun’s UV rays are at its weakest.
The safest time to tan is between 10 AM and 4 PM, as this allows you to develop a natural tan without a risk to get a sunburn or skin damage.
If you have fair skin, start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your skin adjusts to the sun. Pale-skinned individuals should start with 15–20 minutes of tanning, while those with darker complexions can begin with 20–30 minutes.
To protect your skin, no matter what time you’re tanning, always use sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating excessively.
All products featured on Gemma Etc. are PR samples or gifted items, unless otherwise indicated. This post may contain affiliate links. If you wish to find out more, please see my Disclaimer within my navigation bar.