Can You Tan Without Lotion?

Tanning lotions have been formulated to help capture the UV rays while tanning to speed up and improve the quality of your tan. Many of these lotions consist of natural ingredients like jojoba oil, coconut oil, coffee oils, and more that keep your skin moisturized and intensify your tanning process. However, others contain sunscreen and chemicals that are harmful to your skin.

Can you tan without lotion

So can you tan without tanning lotion? This will depend, if you’re using an indoor tanning bed you need to use a tanning lotion to help you tan evenly and achieve a darker color faster. Tanning lotions are designed to moisturize and nourish your skin and help you tan in a tanning bed where your body is exposed to high levels of UVA and UVB rays so you can tan faster that can be harmful to your health. If you have very fair skin and want some color, you’ll need to use a tanning lotion, but you’ll need to be careful. You’ll need to remember that a tanning lotion and sunscreen are very different things. A tanning lotion will help you get a tan while sunscreen will protect your skin from burning.

Benefits of using tanning lotion

Whether you apply lotion or not when indoor tanning is a personal choice based on why you’re choosing to use a tanning bed. But before you use a tanning bed, you should consider the risks, weigh the pros and cons, and visit a dermatologist.

When you use a tanning lotion in an indoor tanning bed, it helps to keep your skin hydrated and achieve a more even tan because dry skin doesn’t tan evenly. The tanning bed bulbs are very strong which can dry out your skin faster than the sun because of their intensity. Tanning lotion will help speed up your tanning process. You can also opt to wear sunscreen that will allow you to tan and still protect your skin from the intensity of the UV rays. Go for a full-spectrum sunscreen that will protect your skin from most of the UVA rays in the tanning bed.

Why you should skip using tanning lotion

If you live at high altitudes where you don’t get enough sunlight in the winter, you can use a tanning bed with UVB rays for a limited time to help your body absorb some vitamin D. you don’t need to use a tanning lotion as this will prevent vitamin D synthesis.

You can also choose not to use tanning lotion because you’re trying to live a more natural lifestyle and these lotions contain synthetic chemicals that are harmful to your body.

Many tanning lotions with sunscreen as part of the lotion use sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and avobenzone, harmful chemicals that get absorbed into your skin. It’s safer to keep your sunscreen separate from the lotion, this way you can choose a safer sunscreen that contains zinc oxide. You can also pace the time you spend tanning and still protect your skin from burning.

Many tanning lotions aren’t water-resistant, so you’ll need to keep reapplying every time you get in the water. The same applies to sunscreen, you should reapply after a few minutes even if it’s said to be waterproof.

Sensible tanning

As mentioned earlier, if you’re using a tanning bed to achieve an even tan, you’ll need to use a tanning lotion to encourage an even tan and keep your skin moisturized. However, tanning beds aren’t a good choice and it would be better to use a quality sunless tanner or a spray tan instead.

Outdoor tanning is also a better choice since you only have to spend a few minutes exposed to the sun early in the morning and late in the evening. This natural tanning will help darken your skin on your face, hands, and legs if you wear short skirts and shorts. You can also get a tan while driving your car or riding your bike when the sun is shining through the windows. However, you need to be careful because you can get sunburn.

Alternatives to tanning lotion

The damage done by tanning beds is irreversible and increases your risk of burns, premature aging, irritation, eye damage, and changes in your immune system. Several alternatives will protect your skin and still give you a perfect tan.

Sunless tanners

If you want to get that sun-kissed look without sacrificing your health, self-tanners if applied properly and correctly are safe to use. You don’t need to use a tanning bed or go to the beach to get a perfect tan, you just need to apply the self-tanner on your skin for that natural tanned look while protecting yourself from the UV rays. Sunless tanners are a convenient shortcut to tanning without the associated risks. However, make sure that you don’t inhale the mist during application. Most sunless tanning products don’t contain sunscreen so they can’t protect your skin from sun damage. The self-tanners that contain sunscreen have a low SPF that will not protect your skin from exposure to harmful UV rays.

Spray tans

If you want an easy, quick, and full-body tan, a spray tan will be a perfect choice. Spray tanning is an artificial way of getting that golden bronzed look thanks to the DHA, the active compound in the spray. It reacts with the amino acids in your skin to change your skin pigmentation. A spray tan will give you better results than a self-tanner, but for a more natural-looking tan, you should go to a professional. You must exfoliate beforehand and make sure you drink plenty of water this will help your tan to last longer. Allow your tan to dry completely and wear loosely-fitting clothes to avoid staining them.

Tan towels

A tan towel is the fastest way of getting a natural tan. It contains a self-tanning formula that reacts with the amino acids and proteins on your skin to give you a healthy glow. Applying this product is not very easy. You need to first put on gloves and rub the towel evenly all over your body, but make sure you rub the towel sparingly on your elbows, ankles, and knees to avoid getting streaks and stains. However, don’t use this product on your face. Remove the gloves and rub your hands with the towel for a finishing touch.

The tan towels are safe to use and only last a few days so you can repeat the self-tanning process. You can use the tan towels when you don’t have time for a tan appointment and although the results aren’t perfect, you’ll have glowing, radiant skin. However, cleanse your skin before using the towels to allow more color to be absorbed. Make sure it’s completely dry before putting on your clothes, but don’t wear bright clothes. You can only use the towels once.

Basking in the sun

Getting a little sun is good for you, it uplifts your spirits, mood, and helps your body increase the production of vitamin D and nitric oxide in your body. Vitamin D is responsible for healthy bones, your immune system, and lung function. People with fair skin only need to spend very little time in the sun to get enough vitamin D while darker-skinned will spend a long time in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D. No matter your skin type, it’s always a good idea to wear sunscreen if you’re going to be in the sun for a long time.

Later you should apply a moisturizer to moisturize and soothe your skin to prevent inflammation and irritation. Although getting some sunshine is good, getting too much can really hurt. If you stay out in the sun you only increase your chances of getting sunburnt and getting skin cancer.

Here are a few things you should know about the sun and your skin.

  • The best time to bask in the sun is early in the morning or late evening when the sun’s rays aren’t very strong.
  • You only need a short time in the sun to generate a good amount of vitamin D.
  • Whether your skin burns easily or not, it’s always a good idea to wear protective clothing if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun.
  • A combination of the sun and water can cause you to get a sunburn because the sun reflects off the water. This means you can easily get sunburnt by lying next to the pool for long periods.
  • You can also get a sunburn in winter, especially if you’re surrounded by lots of snow.

Your skin tone matters

If you have very fair skin, tanning can be a very difficult process most of the time. Each person has unique skin which mostly determines how dark your skin gets when exposed to the sun. People with light skin, blond and red hair, and blue eyes have less melanin which makes it difficult to develop a tan without burning or turning red in the sun. So you should be careful with sun exposure and you should take your time to build a base tan.

If you have darker skin, you have more melanin so you’re less likely to develop a sunburn. However, you can still develop a sunburn and risk cancer just like light-skinned people. Melanin is naturally produced by your body to help protect the deep layers of your skin from damage. Even if you don’t get burnt, the sun can still cause some significant damage to your skin.

Tanning precautions

You can make tanning slightly safer if you do it for a short period, stay hydrated, wear eye protection, and wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ on your body and lips. You should also avoid drinking alcohol because it will cause you to get dehydrated very fast, falling asleep while basking in the sun, and wearing sunscreen with a lower SPF of 30+.

Also don’t forget to keep reapplying sunscreen after every 2 hours if you get in the water, drink plenty of water, wear a hat to protect your hands, shoulders, and back, and sunglasses for your eyes, apply sun protection on your ears, the top of your feet, and other areas you missed, and turn frequently so you can get an even tan without burning.

Final thoughts

Although tanning lotion will help moisturize and even the tone of your tan to give you darker skin, you can still tan without using tanning lotion. Most tanning lotions don’t contain a sunscreen and aren’t waterproof so you need to use a separate sunscreen to protect your skin from the UV rays.