Worry-Free Tanning Secrets: How Long Does it Take to Get the Best Tan Safely?

Summer is fast approaching so you’d better get ready with your summer body! If you don’t have enough time to get to your desired size, worry not! You can still look slimmer by getting a tan! Yes, that much coveted glowing and sun-kissed skin is not just an eye-candy, it will actually make you thinner than what you really are...but how long does it take to get a tan?


Before We Go Ahead and Proceed...Safety First

Is tanning safe? In the modern world where we live in, you will hear a lot of contrasting views regarding tanning. Actually, there are more people who would tell you that it’s bad for your skin. To tell you honestly, I have been tanning my skin for several years now and I never had any sign of skin issues.

People are talking about RISKS and POSSIBLE dangers when the fact is, there are also studies that prove how tanning can be beneficial to your skin’s health.What’s even funnier is that people relate tanning and sun exposure to skin cancer. Their basis? THEORIES. Yes, excessive sunburn is detrimental to your skin, but we are talking about mild exposure in tanning.

Let’s talk about FACTS. Look at this statistic from CDC.

​Isn’t it funny to find out that the skin cancers and melanomas are prevalent in cold regions like Washington and Montana, while uncommon in hot and sunny areas like Arizona and Texas? Too much for the cliche, right? It’s still up to you whether you would consider tanning or not, but since you are already reading this article, let’s get it on!

3 Ways to Get A Tan

In order for us to get a clear picture of the actual waiting time, we need to break down the three different methods of tanning. Each method offers various waiting time and results. People reportedly suffered sunburns are not doing it correctly. The result also varies depending on your geographic location and your skin type.

#1. Sun Tanning

get the best tan by sun tanning

This is the most common tanning method. In fact, if we talk about tanning in general, this is what automatically pops up in mind. The most beautiful results are those that are acquired in a gradual and continuous process. This means you shouldn’t sun tan in one go.

In order to get a nice and healthy tan, prevent yourself from overdoing it. Sun burns are not only unsightly, it is also painful. This is a slow process can that last for weeks and even months!

Recommended Way

  • Apply a sunblock with SPF 30 or higher every time you go for a sun exposure then spend 15 minutes under the sun every day for 4 consecutive days. Make sure that you do this routine around 8am-10am and avoid doing it during noon time.
  • Rest on the 5th day. This will allow your skin to recuperate. The actual tan shows after 24-48 hours. This rest time will give you an idea how your skin reacts to your tanning routine. If you are too fair that your skin don’t show visible results, just do the entire thing again on the 6th day adding 5-10 minute increments.
  • Make sure to evaluate your skin’s reaction and moisturize often to prevent your skin from drying and irritation.
  • If you are trying to cheat and use tanning accelerator products, use it sparingly and not daily.

#2. Machine/Bed Tanning

get the best tan by bed tanning

This one is more modern and quicker. You can regulate the amount of UV that penetrate your skin. Though it is a quicker way to get to your desired results, it still has a long wait time, especially if you are going to take the safer way.

This method makes use of UV rays that are directed to your skin. Few seconds inside the tanning bed could equate to several minutes under the sun. You need to be really careful and prevent yourself from staying overtime-it’s called tanning and not toasting, after all!

If you are expecting lesser time spent for tanning, yes. You only spend around few minutes inside the machine, however. It still a lengthy process that could take weeks since you have to do it gradually.

Recommended Way

  • Start with 2-3 minute exposure to check your tolerance and how your skin would react. It may not seem very effective, but this is testing your skin’s reaction and building up on your tan-not burning your skin in a snap.
  • Just like sun tanning, don’t do it all in one go. Don’t schedule it on a daily basis so that your skin can recuperate. You are dealing with direct exposure to UV rays here. On top of using the tanning bed, you are also exposed to other UV radiation sources, so doing on a daily basis can be too much UV exposure.
  • If there’s still little result, increase your exposure for around 5-10minutes after a week of tanning “every other day”.
  • Remember to only gradually increase your time and keep your patience in order to prevent your skin from burning.
  • Also, apply SPF lotions and creams before the actual procedure. This will filter UV rays and will keep the process healthy for your skin It is also very drying, so if you could get your hands on something that has moisturizers, you’re doing great! You can try Mesoestetic Complete Moisturizing Sunblock.

#3. Spray tanning

get the best tan by spray tanning

This is the quickest way to do it! People who are opposed to sun tanning and bed tanning find this form of tanning “acceptable” since it does not require you to spend time under UV rays. If you are a busy person, you might want to try this method first so you’ll see the results right away.

At first, you might think that spray tanning is like applying a semi-permanent makeup to your skin. Well, it’s acceptable for you to think that way, but the actual ingredient that gives your skin that bronze or tan color is called dihydroxyacetone(DHA). It is a very short process that will give you the result in just few minutes- (as soon as the product dries).

The only downfall of this method is that it can only last for a maximum of 10 days. Easy come, easy go, isn’t it?

Recommended Way

  • The recommended way to do it is just to go to the salon or ask a technician to visit your home. It’s rare to achieve a nice and even finish all by yourself.
  • Exfoliate prior to the procedure because the longevity of the result depends on your skin’s cellular growth. If there is a fast skin turnover (growth of new skin cells), then the old skin (top layer of the skin with bronze color) will be shed off.
  • Keep your body as bare as possible-free from moisturizers, lotions and deodorants that would potentially prevent DHA from penetrating your skin.
  • If you have to do it on your own, start from the lower half of your body so that the application won’t be altered from bending down.
  • If some areas are uneven, you can try squeezing lemon juice on the darker areas to even out the skin color, right after the procedure.
  • Give the product ample time to be fully absorbed by your skin and preventing showers, hot tubs, and swimming pools within 24-48 hours.


how long does it take to get the tan

It’s true that we can take different paths toward a single goal. In tanning, you can choose from a long and slow route to get a longer lasting result or take the express route and enjoy your tan for a week. Whatever your desired route will be, always remember to do it the safe and gentle way.

The amount of time needed to get a tan depends on your skin’s current color and reaction to the process-it can be lengthy. The only express route is the spray tanning. You can’t expedite any other route without ending in a disaster like what other people are saying.

How about you? What’s your stand in skin tanning? Are you okay with it, against it, or undecided? Feel free to comment down below!

Ella Jones

Hi . My name is Ella Jones . I’m a blogger, shopaholic, and beauty-obsessed blogger from NYC, armed with a Professional MBA from Fordham and a License in Cosmetology from Empire Beauty School in my hometown of Brooklyn. I’m the proud owner of a successful salon and beauty parlor in the city, and I’ve started this blog to share my beauty secrets with you.

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