What is the best time to tan? Precautions And Tips

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by Janie Wilson

what is the best time to get a tan

A natural tan looks thousand time better than an artificial tan and this is the reason why people all over the world work hard to remain under the sun and spend so much time on the beach sun-bathing. Yes, they do all this just to get a tan on their skin!

Natural tans tend to last longer than spray tans and do not require continuous spraying to keep up.

But how do you get such a beautiful, natural-looking tan? When is the best time of day to tan? And if you focus on tanning during these peak periods, will it significantly improve the quality of your tan?

In this post, I would like to go into detail about how to get the best possible tan.

What is the best time of the day to get a tan?

best time to get a tan

The best time of day to get a tan is in the morning, when the sun is at its lowest and the human circadian rhythm is at its best. This is especially important for fair-skinned people. Regular sun exposure helps to achieve a basic tan.

Is tanning safe?

Most cancer societies simply cover their ears when they hear the word “tan” and try to ignore that as much as possible.

One can easily understand that position, but there are a number of problems in the real world that cancer societies ignore. If you go to extremes and take the position that it’s not safe to be out in the sun, you could pack up and sit on the couch and watch TV all day. Maybe you would even have a soda and potato chips since everyone likes snacking while sitting in front of the TV.

But that’s not good!

Some evidence suggests that a tan isn’t so bad if you look at it carefully.

Tanning has some quick benefits:

It’s good to be outdoors

Time spent outdoors often involves exercise and other healthy habits.

You get the required daily dose of vitamin D

Sunlight can improve your mood

Many people who get a tan feel more comfortable in their bodies

Many people feel the psychological benefits of tanning

What are the best times to get a tan?

The best time of day to get a tan is in the morning and the best hours to get a tan is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The sun is strongest between 12 and 3 p.m. when its rays are strongest. But for most people, the sun is too strong during this period, and, therefore, sensitive skin will burn and get damaged very easily.

So, it is often wise to avoid tanning during this period and instead choose a time when the sun is less powerful.

Is it possible to get a tan at 9 a.m. and can you get a tan at 3 p.m.? What’s better for the skin?

Both work, but for humans, it seems that a morning tan is better than an afternoon one. This is due to the body’s circadian rhythms and how it reacts to sunlight (Note: this study was done on mice and has not yet been replicated on humans till date).

Morning sunlight can be very valuable for those of us with fair, light, and sensitive skin. If you focus your tanning program on the morning hours, when the sunlight is rather weak and the body is ready to repair DNA damage, you can safely get that all-important foundation tan.

Early morning sun exposure is hugely beneficial and is likely to provide similar benefits to the artificial dawn simulation light or Seasonal Affective Disorder light.

Is it safe to get a tan during the main sunny hours?

Essentially, none of the scientific committees recommend tanning during the main sunny hours. The sun is too strong, and even dark-skinned people can suffer DNA damage. You should avoid tanning during these hours if possible and use a good amount of high factor sunscreen cream.

However, the reality of life is that many of us are forced to remain outside during the rush hours of the day, whether it is in the park, on the beach, running, golfing, etc. In fact, we all want to be outside whenever we get some free time. All these activities can have great health benefits, but they are associated with exposure to the sun.

Therefore, you must pay attention to the sun exposure. Do your best to avoid skin injuries during peak hours.

If you remain in the sun during peak hours, you should not use accelerators or skin oils as they can quickly damage the skin. Yes, these sun creams can help give your skin the deep, luminous tone you so much love to see, but during such hours when the sun is at its fiercest, you should wear sunscreen block instead of an accelerator!

Use a mineral-based broadband sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

You must also pay attention to how much time you spend in the sun during peak periods. If you need to stay outdoors for long periods of time, don’t get into trouble, and use sunscreen to protect yourself!

Types of UV rays

Let us give a short introduction to the types of sunrays to see how they react under different circumstances. There are two main categories of sunlight: UVA and UVB.

UVB rays

UVB rays are the rays that cause skin cancer. This approximately 5% share of the UV spectrum causes burns and skin damage and is the main target of all sunscreens and sun protection products. They only affect the epidermis which is the outer layer of skin. UVB rays are the rays that cause sunburn.

But they also help the body to produce vitamin D, which is an important health benefit.

UVA rays

UVA radiation accounts for almost all the sunlight. UVA rays act on the epidermis and penetrate the dermis. These rays cause tanning of the skin as well as premature aging and wrinkling.

The scientific position has long been that UVA rays do not contribute to skin cancer, but that they cause wrinkles. This is changing and it is now known that both UVA and UVB rays contribute to the development of cancer.

So make sure you have a full spectrum sunscreen lotion that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Consider your skin color

Those of us who have pale skin, perhaps of Northern European origin, the tan and burn take place at a completely different pace than those with olive or brown skin. To determine the ideal time for tanning, you should start with your current base tan level and skin type.

Light skin

If you have extremely light skin, start tanning early in the morning before the sun becomes too hot and powerful. If you start early, you will become less tanned every time you sit down, but the tan will gradually build up.

Dark skin

If you already have a good base tan or if you have relatively darker skin, you can approach the peak times between noon and 3 pm.

You should only go out at this time if your skin is dark enough, and you should be careful about exposure. Always listen to your body, and if you feel that the sun is too intense, seek protection immediately.

Keep your tanning time on schedule

Try tanning yourself at the same time every day so that your skin is regularly and naturally exposed to a similar amount of light. Of course, this can be difficult with changing weather and cloud cover, but you should do your best to maintain a tanning schedule day in and day out.

At no time will it overburden your skin and slowly build up a healthy looking basic tan.

Tanning on cloudy days

What is the best time of day to get a tan on a cloudy day? Just because the clouds darken the sky, don’t think that UV rays will not penetrate! Depending on the thickness of the clouds, up to 75% of the sun’s UV rays can be prevented. But in some cases, thin clouds can block very little UV rays, and by spreading light they can even increase the power of the UV rays.

For these reasons, many people find that they get sunburn more often on cloudy days than on sunny days. It can happen that people underestimate the power of the sun on these days and skip any form of sunscreen cream or lotion, leading to serious burns and skin damage.

You have to decide for yourself if it’s worth trying to get a tan on a cloudy day since it is a risky venture.

Winter tan

It may sound strange, but it is possible to get a tan in winter unless you live in a place where the sun doesn’t rise at all.

If you’re in an area where the sun shines properly in winter, you can  still get a tan, just softer one.

If you’re in a snowy area, you probably don’t want to go out in a bathing suit. But in winter you still have to protect yourself from the sun!

Snow reflects the sunlight, so the sun is relatively stronger in winter than in summer. If you plan to go skiing or winter hiking, etc., you should apply sun blocker!

Can you tan yourself with sunscreen?

tanning on the sea beach

In any case, you can and should tan with sunscreen. This is almost always the right way to get a tan, and you can even use sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50.

Most people who use sunscreen end up not applying as much sunscreen as they ought to, and the end result is that a real application of sunscreen with an SPF 50 will end up with a real protection of about 30 SP.

Use sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and keep your tanning schedule confined to the morning as it is the best time of day to get a tan.

Build a basic brown tan

If you stick to your routine, you’ll end up with a solid basic tan and then you can build up to obtain a beautiful bronze skin.

A basic tan is crucial and helps prevent burns and achieve a good color balance on the skin.

How long should you stay in the sun?

It is best to start by exposing yourself to the sun for about 10-15 minutes in the morning. During this time you should use sunscreen of at least SPF30.

After about a week you can increase your sun exposure to 20-25 minutes in the morning.

Once your body is used to it, you can reach a maximum of 30 minutes. If you are exposed to strong sunlight, you should stop exposure to the sun after 30 minutes and apply a strong sunscreen with a protection factor of 50 SPF during that time.

Tips for sunbathing

Apply the lip balm when tanning

Don’t forget your lips! Your lips can burn just as easily as the rest of your body when exposed to direct sunlight. Don’t forget to use the lip balm with sunscreen!

Protect your hair

Those who have sensitive skin are more likely to have sensitive hair! It’s important to think about how your hair will be exposed to the strong sun while tanning. For safety, you should use a conditioner with UV protection.

Don’t forget the color tone!

As I said, you don’t want to be exposed to the sun for more than 30 minutes a day. And this is for those of us who have been building a basic tan for a few weeks.

Bring a parasol or some other kind of shade with you when you’re outdoors during the day. You should spend most of your time in the shade and not in the sun, so make the most of this time by bringing a comfortable hat, parasol or beach umbrella.

Shadow on the beach

The sun is more intense on the beach. Just as snow reflects sunlight from the ground in winter, warm sand and water from the beach reflect sunlight. Pay attention to the time you spend at the beach and remember that sun exposure increases rapidly.

Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen regularly, especially when you are in and out of the water.

Wrapping up

So, what is the best time to tan? Obviously, the best time to get a tan is definitely in the morning, preferably before 11 a.m. It can be very tempting to go directly to the hot sun during the afternoon rush hour and get as much sun as possible. This almost always leads to burns, uneven tanning as well as skin damage.

It is best to follow a schedule and expose yourself to the sun in the morning when the sunlight is mellow. Let the tan build up gradually over time and you’ll get the best possible results.

If you really want to speed things up, you can complement your outdoor tanning program with tanning lotions, self-tanners or perhaps a spray-on tan. This regimen will surely expedite the tanning process. You should wait 3 to 4 hours before showering in order to let these chemicals settle in completely.

Sunbathing in the morning, the best time of the day to get a tan, will soon make your skin look attractive, deep and radiant! And I am sure that is what mose people want. Go out tanning right now.



Janie Wilson
Janie Wilson

Janie Wilson, a former fashion model and photographer, dedicated beauty expert and prolific writer on all topics related to fashion, beauty, hair and skin care. I started this website a few years ago when I felt that I have had enough of a hectic lifestyle and need to settle down. Presently, I live with my loving-and-caring husband in New York, but I travel around the world pretty often to derive inspiration for my fashion blog. Yes, let me admit that I am fairly obsessed with anything related to fashion and style. All things from fashion to grooming are things I study all the time whenever I get an opportunity, and my biggest joy in life is to help men and women look their best!