How to Tan Faster and Darker Outside: 7 Tips for a Glowing Tan

If you’ve been searching for how to tan faster and darker outside,  you have come to the right place!

Getting a natural tan outside looks and feels better than an artificial one. From the time I’ve spent trying to get a good suntan, it requires much more than laying on the beach with a sunhat.   

Read on to discover some of the best tips and precautions to get a natural and glowing tan.  

7 Best Tips to Tan Faster and Darker Outside

If you’re planning to spend hours in the sun for a good tan, you need to take additional measures to protect your skin.

Excess sun exposure can lead to skin problems like melanoma and skin cancer due to the sun’s harsh UVA and UVB rays. 

To tan faster and darker outside while avoiding excess sun exposure include: 

1. Exfoliate

woman exfoliating her skin before tanning, one important tanning bed tips

Before leaving your home, you need to prepare your skin for a tan. Exfoliating is one of the best ways to tan faster because you are getting rid of the dead skin cells first. 

Without exfoliating, you might end up with flaky skin after a couple of hours in the sun. No one wants to leave the beach with reptile-like skin, so it’s best to exfoliate before tanning. 

2. Use Tanning Accelerators

If you’re looking for how to tan faster and darker, using tanning accelerators could be a good option for you.

Tanning accelerators [1] have been found to help users tan more frequently. 

Most accelerators have ingredients for all skin types that promote your skin cells to produce melanin. You can quickly get a bronze glow from using tanning accelerators.

It would be best to use tanning accelerators with caution because excess use can lead to acne and rushes. 

3. Change Positions Frequently

How often do you turn over when sunbathing?

close-up shot of a lady's legs while tanning

Most people will stay in one position and have different skin tones on their bodies. 

To prevent this, make sure to change positions frequently. 

Aside from changing positions for a more even tan, you can also take breaks from the sun. You are less likely to sunburn when you get some shade between tanning. 

4. Use Oils

oil-based cleanser

Oils with naturally occurring SPF can help you tan faster. These oils include avocado oil, carrot oil, and raspberry oil.

Don’t throw away your sunscreen bottle yet because these oils only offer additional hydration sun protection. 

5. Use Sunscreen with SPF 30

lady in white bikini using tingle tanning lotion

Wearing sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from harsh sun rays. But the type of sunscreen you wear matters. Always wear sunscreen with SPF 30 when you go tanning. 

While sunscreens with SPF 15 can work, you need products with SPF 30 because it is strong enough to block UVA and UVB rays from the sun.

Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you leave the house for proper protection.

6. Choose the Best Tanning Time

What time of day do you go tanning? To get a natural suntan, you should tan when the sun’s rays aren’t too strong.

The Sun’s UV rays are strongest between noon and 4 pm. Tanning at this time can lead to skin damage. After 4 pm, the sun’s rays are much weaker.

7. Limit Your Exposure to the sun

Yes, while this sounds counterproductive, you don’t want to damage your skin while trying to get a glowing tan. Melanin is responsible for tanning, but it also has its limits. 

Depending on your body’s melanin production, you shouldn’t spend more than 2-3 hours in the sun without sun protection.

After 5-10 minutes, UV radiation becomes harmful to fair-skinned people. (2)

Tanning outside for more than 3 hours will not make any significant changes to your skin tone; it only damages your skin. 

How to Get the Best Tan in One Day

lady in yellow and white bikini

Wondering how to get the best outdoor tan in one day? The best solution could be using tanning accelerators. The results are quick, and they leave your skin with a rich and golden glow that will last long.

If you’re planning on going for a sun-filled holiday, having some tanning accelerators can help!

“The best way to reduce your likelihood of developing skin cancer is by practicing sun safety”- Skin Cancer Foundation. [2]

When enjoying your time at the beach, the last thing you want is a nasty sunburn. So here are some safety precautions  you should take when tanning outside:

  • Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. 
  • Always protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses. 
  • Frequently roll over and change positions to tan your entire body evenly. 
  • Put on at least SPF 30 sunscreen to parts of your body that will be exposed to the sun. 
  • Avoid falling asleep in the sun. 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol because it can be dehydrating. 

How to Get a Glowing Tan in One Week

The tan you get depends on more than the hours you spend soaking in the sun. Each person’s skin type is unique and tans differently.

So you shouldn’t expect to have the same tan as your friend. 

Melanin production is responsible for tanning your skin, hair, and eyes. Staying in the sun for longer won’t work.

All you will do is put your skin at risk of skin cancer and other skin ailments. 

The case against Tanning Beds

tanning bed

While most people will opt to use a tanning bed, it isn’t the safest option. The American Academy of Dermatology states that approximately 7.8 million adults in the US still engage in indoor tanning. [3]

This number is dangerously high. 20 minutes of a tanning bed session is equivalent to three hours on the beach without sun protection.

The high UVA and  UVB rays from tanning beds are in no way suitable for your skin.

In this Youtube Video, Mayo Clinic Radio hosts  share the risks associated with tanning beds and how to protect your skin while tanning:

So what’s a safer alternative to getting a glowing tan in one week? Spray Tans & tanning lotions. 

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Tan Fast in Tanning Bed?

Use Spray Tans and Lotions

Spray tans are excellent because they pose less risk to your skin and overall health.

Instead of baking like a potato in the sun, you can use a spray tan that matches your skin tone and get your desired tan. 

a woman squeezing tanning lotion on her hands

Make sure to use spray tans that are natural and organic and don’t strip your skin of any color.

The problem is that Spray tans don’t offer the same coverage as Spray lotions or creams. 

How To Tan Outside Without Burning

a sexy body of a tanned woman

Getting a beautiful glow from tanning can do wonders for your mood and appearance. Only if you’re careful, that is.

No one wants to leave the beach with bad sunburns. It is worse when your skin starts peeling because it’s flaky.

To prevent burning when tanning outside, try out these tips:

  • Choose a waterproof sunscreen and wait 15 minutes before getting into the water so that the product can work. 
  • Avoid peak hours. The sun’s rays are strongest between noon and 3 pm, so these are the hours to avoid if you don’t want to cook in the sun. 
  • Start slowly. If you spend 20 minutes in the sun today, add 5 minutes the next day. Do this for a week, and you will get an even tan that lasts longer without the risk of sunburn. 

If you already have a bit of sunburn, don’t worry. There are solutions to get your skin moist and glowing again. While sunburns happen often, the damage is more challenging to get rid of.

Every blistering sunburn you get during your childhood increases your chances of developing melanoma, the American Academy of Dermatology states. 

To help with sunburns, take a cold shower and apply moisturizer immediately. Choose one with soothing products like Aloe.
 You’ve probably seen many after-sun beauty products containing Aloe Vera.

Aloe has cooling and healing properties to soothe your skin’s sunburn. 

How To Make a Tan Last Longer

If you’re tanning using the sun, the amount of time your tan lasts depends on many factors. 

Usually,  a tan from the sun lasts between 7 to 10 days. It can also fade within the same time because of the natural turnover of your skin cells. 

If you’re wondering how to make your tan last longer, you first need to take precautions before tanning outside. 

Here are some of the best ways to make your tan last longer: 

  • Re-apply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming in the ocean or pool. 
  • Generously apply sunscreen on your feet, ears, scalp, and other hard-to-reach parts of your body.
  • Drink plenty of water and protect your eyes using sunglasses. 
  • Use an after-tan lotion to help your tan last longer.  

After-tan lotions prevent peeling and reduce the risk of sunburn. These tanning lotions help retain your skin’s elasticity and avoid dryness which is common after tanning. 

Regular tanning outside is your best bet to make your tan last longer. 


Does Coconut oil make you tan faster? 

No. While coconut oil offers some protection against the sun’s UV rays, it isn’t advisable to use it when exposed to the sun for more than 20 minutes.
Coconut oil doesn’t offer the same kind of protection against sunburn or other forms of skin damage. 

Is 20 minutes enough to tan outside? 

Yes. Your skin starts tanning immediately it is exposed to the sun. If you have fair skin, 20-30 minutes can be enough to tan using sunlight. If you have darker skin,20 minutes will not be enough to get a visible tan. 

Does seawater help you tan faster?

Yes, seawater can help you get a darker tan outside. Seawater helps remove dead skin cells from your skin and increases the amount of sun hitting your skin. 


Tanning outside is fun, and you get to relax while taking in the much-needed Vitamin D from the sun.

You can get a glowing tan without sunburn or other health risks like Skin cancer with the proper precautions. 

These precautions include wearing SPF 30 sunscreen, limiting the time you tan outside, and using tanning sprays.

Now that you know how to tan faster and darker outside, ensure you prioritize your health and tan the right way. 

couple tanning at the beach


  • 1. Herrmann JL, Cunningham R, Cantor A, Elewski BE, Elmets CA. Tanning accelerators: Prevalence, predictors of use, and adverse effects. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2022 Apr 25];72:99–104. Available from:
  • 2. Tanning [Internet]. The Skin Cancer Foundation. Available from:
  • 3. Indoor tanning [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 25]. Available from:
About Sylvia K

Sylvia is one of the most joyful people you’ll ever meet. She is a high advocate of self-love and encourages women to take care of themselves both mentally and physically. She loves girly talks especially salon talks (a little gossip doesn’t hurt) and spends most of her free time on skincare or hair care. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. Find her on LINKEDIN. Learn more about her HERE.