How to Tan Without Burning

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Tan Without Burning. Most health officials agree that tanning in any form is not good for your skin. But for those who must tan, there are a couple of options to choose from.


Start with 10 or 15 minutes of exposure to the sun or a tanning lamp, and gradually increase the time as your body becomes more tanned.

Start with a sunscreen with an SPF factor of under 15, but no less than 8.

Keep skin moisturized with after-sun lotion--preferably with aloe--to make your tan last.

Tanning Lotion

Buy cream or spray-on tanning lotion.

Test the product on a small area of skin for adverse reactions.

Scrub away dead skin with a loofah pad before applying lotion.

Rub tanning lotion into skin thoroughly. (You may want to wear rubber gloves to do this.) Pay special attention to the backs of your knees, elbows, ankles and tan lines.

Wipe away excess lotion to avoid an uneven or creased tan.

Wash hands (or gloves) thoroughly with soap and water after applying lotion.

Wait 15 minutes before getting skin wet.


  • Some medications (especially acne medications) lower your resistance to sun. If you are light-skinned, you are more prone to sunburn than people with darker complexions. Start with only a light coating and then layer to obtain the color you want. Most tanning lotions do not contain sunscreen. You can also use tanning pills, which contain color additives.

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