Best Time to Tan Outside – For Glowing Tan

Everyone aspires to look good and especially ladies want a healthy skin with a sun-kissed glow. This makes you feel beautiful and boosts your confidence that’s why most people include tanning in their schedules. However, before exposing your skin to UV rays, there are some things you should consider like your skin type which will help determine how fast or slow you will tan and also the best time to tan outside. Because too little time will not give you any results while too much time can burn your skin.

Each skin type has different sensitivities which means the time your friend takes to get a tan doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same for you. Also the method you use for tanning and the hours you spend tanning will determine how fast or slow your skin will tan. Some people naturally tan faster while others need a fake tan or several tanning appointments to the tanning salon to build a nice tan.

Does Time Make a Difference When Tanning

Time matters and makes a huge difference in every aspect of your life and the same applies to tanning. No matter the method you opt to use for tanning, the time you choose for tanning changes the efficiency and the end result you get. As the day progresses there is a change in the environment which makes some time period better than another. If you prefer to use the sun as your tanning source, you need to know the best time during the day to tan because the intensity of the UV rays isn’t equal throughout the day. This isn’t the case if you prefer to use tanning beds, but still there is a specific time during the day that will give you better results. Before you go out to the beach or lie at the pool, it’s important that you know the best time to bask in the sun to help prevent sunburn and to stay sun-safe from head to toe.

What is The Best Time to Tan Outside?

Using the sun is the cheapest and most effective method of tanning that will guarantee you the golden glow you desire. It’s said that you can tan anytime as long as the sun is still out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a tan when it’s cloudy or snowy. You need to understand that the UV rays is what helps your skin to increase the production of melanin thus generating the tan color but not the sun’s light. The intensity of the UV rays will mostly depend on the time of the day. So when you sunbathe, you get a tan which is your skin’s way of protecting you from further damage from overexposure to UV rays.

Understanding the intensity of the UV rays

The strength of the sun’s UV rays in the morning is very different in the afternoon. The UV intensity is highest at midday that is around 10 am to 4 pm. Most people carelessly hurry to get their tan during these peak hours and end up getting sunburnt or even worse. It’s better to gradually build your tan which helps to intensify the shade of your tan with time and this way you can sunbathe without getting burned.

The strength of the sun’s rays depends on the seasons. During the colder months, the rays are mild, but from May to August the sun is closer which means the rays are more intense and chances are higher for getting a sunburn. The altitude and latitude are other factors that determine the strength of the sun’s rays. An increase in your altitude means less light scatters which increases its intensity, so the closer you get to the equator, the stronger the sun’s rays become.

When is the Right Time to Tan Outside?

If you have sensitive or very fair skin, it’s always advisable to sun tan outside when the sun’s rays are mild to avoid getting a sunburn.

For many reasons, the best time to tan outside is between 10 am in the morning to 4 pm in the evening. The sun’s rays at this time won’t fall directly on your skin so you’re less likely to end up with reddish skin.

You can use your shadow to analyze the UV rays intensity and know the best time to tan outside. When your shadow is taller than you, the UV rays are less intense and that’s a good time to tan. It’s to consider a slow pace when tanning to get the best results. Most cancer organizations, recommend the best time to get a tan outside is with the morning sun or afternoon if you want a light tan.  Don’t be tempted to lie in the sun for a prolonged period so that you can look like your tanned friend because this can lead to burnt skin or even worse like cancer.

If you aren’t free during the less intense hours, you can tan under a shade, even indirect rays can give you good results. You can also tan during a cloudy day, but this is still dangerous to your skin. Tanning on a cloudy day is simply burning your skin because the UV rays filter through the clouds but the UVB rays that are responsible for turning your skin to that golden tone can’t filter through clouds.

Tips on how to get that healthy tan outside

Prolonged exposure to sunlight can lead to many physical changes on your skin like age spots, wrinkles, freckles, and a change in the texture of your skin. To avoid such effects and before you take out your beach towel and lay it out in your backyard and sunbathe to achieve a safe sun-based tan, there are a few things you need to know.

Eat a Healthy Diet

For your skin to function properly, you need to consume the right kind of food. Eat some sun-friendly foods that will help to increase the production of lycopene in your body which is your body’s own SPF. Such foods include watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, and tomatoes. Antioxidants like polyphenol can also help in giving you a great natural tan so try eating more of chokeberries, dark chocolate, green tea, and star anise. Also, foods like pomegranates, carrots, almonds, and leafy greens like kale, green lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard can help in protecting your skin from too much exposure and sunburn.

Exfoliate Your Skin

To get the best tan possible outdoors, you must exfoliate your skin first before exposing it to the sun. Removing the dead skin cells from your skin’s uppermost layer exposes fresh skin, evens out your skin tone, removes oil and dirt that can clog your pores, and prevents acne. You can buff of scrub the dead skin cells off by using scrubs like sugar, oatmeal, or an exfoliating glove. The less dead skin cells build-up, the shallower your skin layer will be and the longer your natural tan will last. By exfoliating it also allows you to tan more easily as the tan will appear and fade evenly.

Don’t use Tanning Beds

You can’t equate tanning indoors with sunbathing because you’re using the wrong kind of UV light. Tanning beds emit large amounts of UVA with no UVB and UVB rays is what will stimulate the production of vitamin B. The bad news is that UVA rays have the ability to penetrate deeper into your skin’s thickest layer, the dermis which can cause wrinkles, premature aging, and even suppress your immune system. It also increases your risk on skin cancer.

Use a Sunscreen

After exfoliating, it’s time to put on some sunscreen, but not all sunscreens are the same. The best sunscreen for tanning should contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide, also look at the SPF number as it extends the time you spend under the sun without suffering any additional skin damage.

A higher SPF number means it can provide better protection against UVB rays, though not against UVS rays. Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out to lay under the sun, and also reapply the sunscreen after every 25-30 minutes when you’re out in the sun.

Sunscreens that have a broad spectrum formula can protect your skin against both UVA and UVB rays. If you have fair skin, you naturally have low amounts of melanin which makes your skin vulnerable to the sun’s carcinogenic UV which can cause reddish burns on your skin if you don’t apply the right SPF.  If you have darker skin, you produce more melanin than those with white skin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get sunburnt. The safest way of exposing your skin to the sun is by reapplying the sunscreen early after exposing it to the sun. This will help in reducing the UV rays damage to your skin.

Tan at the Right Time

Remember, your skin has a cut-off point for tanning which is when it stops producing melanin, the tanning pigment. To achieve an even tan, you should lie on your back for around 20-30 minutes, then on your stomach for another 20-30 minutes and not beyond these times. This will prevent you from getting sunburn or a UV skin damage. You should also choose the time during the day for you to sunbathe. During the hot summer, the UV ray are intense from around 10 am to 4 pm, stay in the shade during these times.

Wear Shades and a Hat

It’s important that you protect your skin if you need to go out during the hot summer days. Wear a hat with a wide brim to protect your face and ensure that your ears, forehead, nose, eyes, and scalp are well covered. You can also use shade caps that has fabric draping down on the sides that you can use to protect your neck. Sunglasses help to protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Your eyes and the skin around them are very sensitive to UV rays and if not protected properly, you can develop eye problems like cataract and even cancer.

It’s also a good idea to wear clothes with long sleeves to cover your arms and pant that cover your legs. You should also cover your chest and back as these are your body parts that are overexposed to the sun’s rays and common places where that melanoma form.

Stay under the Shade

You don’t have to bask in the sun the whole day to achieve a tan. Taking breaks from the sun ill help in reducing the intensity of the UV rays and your risk of getting sunburnt so that you get a healthier and long lasting tan. If you sunbathe the wrong way, you will definitely cause skin damage like dehydration because of staying in the sun for too long. If you’re not careful your blood pressure could also drop significantly which can cause you to get a heat stroke. When too much UV radiation penetrates your skin, it can cause a change in your skin cells which can lead to DNA damage, premature aging, sunburn, and even skin cancer.


Tanning is a great way of achieving a natural bronze skin whether you use a natural or artificial method to get the results you want. When you know the best time to tan outside, you can achieve a healthy tan without getting sunburnt or overexposing your skin to UV rays that can damage your skin. Tan safely and always remember to wear sunscreen.

See also

Can you tan after 4 Pm. 

Can you tan when its cloudy?