The Best Methods For Getting A Tan … And Which One Works For You

The Most Common, Yet Effective Ways of Tanning Your Skin

Here are some of the most effective ways of getting a tan, as well as some common-sense tanning guidelines that will allow you to make the most out of your bronze skin tone.

Sun Tan

The undisputed champion of tanning is still the most natural method of getting a tan: to go out, lay under the sun and bask in its warmth. No other method comes close.

Sun tanning is easy enough. It allows you to get an even tan across your entire body. It allows you to enjoy the outdoors and forget about your cares while gaining that golden glow.

This natural method allows tanning enthusiasts to get the deepest tan that lasts weeks, if not months. It’s a rich, vibrant, radiant tan as long as you have the right SPF protection.

It’s important to turn over every half-hour or so to avoid sun-burns. It is also best to exfoliate your skin to make sure you don’t have any ugly scars or spots affecting your color.


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If lying on the beach with nothing but a towel to protect against the hot sand isn’t for you, you can use tanning oils to speed up the process, allowing you to spend less time sunbathing.

Pros:

  • Even, long-lasting tan
  • All-natural
  • Cheap, easy to do anywhere

Cons:

  • High risk of sunburns
  • Higher risk of skin cancer

Self Tan

For those who have a photoshoot coming up or can’t make the trip to the beach just yet, there are now several reliable methods for getting a tan from the comfort of your own home.

These methods include lotions, sprays, and other methods that are easy to use, easy to apply, and allow you to avoid harmful UV rays while still reaping the rewards of an amazing tan.

It’s important to look at the ingredients of your self-tanning products. You must make sure they’re all natural and will not cause any negative health impacts on your organs.

Pros



  • Easy to do, can be done at home
  • Almost instant tan

Cons

  • Uneven, splotched color if you aren’t careful

Tanning Bed

Tanning beds are another common method of getting a natural tan without exposing yourself to the elements. They allow you to control the environment and give you the perfect tan.

These beds are great for those looking for a quick fix in the middle of cold or rainy weather. You can get your tan while indoors and have something to show off even if the weather’s rough.

As long as you wear protective eyewear, have good music playing, and don’t spend too long in the machine, you should come out with that golden glow and a smile on your face.

Pros

  • Quick, even ran
  • Can achieve tan regardless of outside weather

Cons

  • High levels of radiation
  • Claustrophobic (confined space)

Spray Tan

While this method may be viewed as cheating for sunbathing purists, spray tans are a staple for bodybuilders and bikini competitors looking to accentuate their hard-earned bodies.

They allow the body’s features to really pop, showing off everything you’ve worked hard to achieve. When applied properly, they also allow the palest person to show off their sun kissed skin.

It’s important to go to a professional tanning spot and not have your friends do it, especially the playful ones. This will allow you to get even coats and a quality look.

Pros

  • Quick method, easy to cover the whole body
  • Applied by professionals

Cons

  • Can produce unnatural chocolate or orange color
  • Can cause skin irritations

Bronzing

Bronzing is the spray tan you can do yourself. It is easy, painless, and allows you to enjoy your tan without having to get stuck with it like an actual sun tan.

A high quality bronze tanning spray shouldn’t just give you a fake layer of tan. It should also nourish your skin as it does it, giving you added benefits instead of just artificial coloring.

Bronze tans last slightly more than a week when applied properly. It’s best to hold off on showering until you have given your bronzer time to set, or else it’ll make you look like you’re melting.

Pros

  • Easiest to apply and remove
  • Enriches skin while giving you a fake tan

Cons

  • Comes off quickly, washes off

Method to Avoid

While the methods mentioned above have been found to produce that perfect golden glow, this method is going to yield worse results for you, and your long-term health.

Tanning Pills

Tanning pills can be viewed as a cheat code for tanning. There’s no need to spend hours under the hot sun if you can just take a pill and change your skin color at home.

At least, that’s what would happen if tanning pills did what they promised.

Instead, tanning pills use canthaxanthin, the active ingredient in food coloring, which can cause liver damage and impaired eyesight if you aren’t careful.

Pros:

  • No need to actually tan your skin

Cons:

  • Health complications
  • Artificial Ingredients

Conclusion

Overall, the best method of tanning is the one that you enjoy doing. It should be safe for your skin and should not leave you with sunburns, rashes, or other worse side effects.

Your tanning method should last for as long as you need it to and shouldn’t take forever to develop. You can try these different methods and see which one gives you the best results.

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"Dr. Harry Delany is a renowned Harlem born and raised surgeon, the son of the great jurist and civil rights leader, Hubert Delany...." This monthly post is made in partnership with Harlem Cultural Archives.

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