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The Best Time to Tan Outside – Tips And Advice


Tan in the sun can be enjoyable. But it can also be hazardous to your skin if you stay in the sun for too long. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can put you at risk of developing skin damage.

It is important to be mindful and show respect to the sun when tanning. It is necessary to select the appropriate time to tan outdoors and take the necessary safety measures.

The best hours for tanning outdoors are before 10 am and after 4 pm. For the strongest tanning effect. 

It is recommended to tan between 10 am and 4 pm. To ensure safety, it is important to follow all safety guidelines when tanning outdoors.

This guide provides you with all the steps necessary to acquire a natural tan when outdoors.

Does Tan Time Make a Difference?

Regardless of the tanning technique chosen, the length of time spent tanning will have a significant effect on the outcome. 

This is especially true when it comes to natural outdoor tanning under the sun’s rays.

Throughout the day, there is a marked contrast in the environment outside. While certain times may be ideal for sunbathing and achieving a tan, other periods could be detrimental to one’s skin and overall health.

The amount of tanning you attain can be significantly impacted by the amount of time spent in the sun, as well as your skin’s health.

The Best Time to Tan Outside?

Getting a tan from the sun is an economical and efficient way to get a glow. Making it an attractive option for a lot of people.

Sunlight emits UV radiation that can penetrate the skin and reach the lower layers of the epidermis. Stimulating melanocytes to create melanin, the brown pigment responsible for tanning.

For those looking to get a dark tan quickly. It is best to take advantage of the strongest sun rays or highest UV index when possible. 

Generally, the sun is at its strongest between 10am and 4pm. Although this may vary depending on where you are located.

It is vital to wear sunscreen between 10am and 2pm since the sun’s intensity is very powerful during that period. According to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 

The UV index is highest at midday. As the sun’s rays have to travel the least amount of distance to reach the Earth, meaning it is the best time to get a tan.

At this time, it is easier to create a darker tan; however, there is a risk of sunburn and other skin damage if you stay in the sun too long. 

To prevent these issues, you should wear sunscreen, eye protection, and drink plenty of water while tanning. Doing so can help protect your skin from premature aging and sunburn.

If you’re looking to get a tan without endangering your skin, the best times to do so are early in the morning before 10 or in the late afternoon after 4. 

The sun’s rays aren’t as intense during these times, making it safer to tan, though it may take longer to get the desired results.

Up to 80% of ultraviolet (UV) rays can travel through clouds and still cause tanning or sunburn. 

Even on cloudier days, early mornings, or late afternoons, one can still be exposed to the sun’s UV rays and experience the effects.

How long do You Need to Tan Outside?

Compared to the more immediate results of artificial tanning, the natural process of tanning is a slower one. 

Variables such as skin type, the intensity of UV rays, and the desired amount of color can all affect the amount of time you need to spend outdoors to reach your tanning goals.

Most individuals can expect to get a tan within 1-2 hours of being exposed to the sun. Although the results of sun exposure may not be immediately visible.

It is essential to not remain in the sun for too long as this could lead to being overexposed to its harmful rays.

Those with fair skin may be more prone to burning if they spend as little as 30 minutes in the sun without protection, such as sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor).

When you expose your skin to ultraviolet (UV) light, it stimulates the production of melanin, which gradually darkens your skin tone. 

While you may not immediately notice any changes to your complexion following a tanning session, you should be able to observe the difference in color over time.

The amount of time it takes to get a tan is influenced not just by the climate of the location but also by the skin type. 

Individuals with lighter skin are more likely to burn quickly, whereas those with darker skin may take longer to achieve a deep tan.

The American Academy of Dermatology states that the primary factor in determining whether you will get a tan or a sunburn is your skin color.

What Factors Affect Tanning

Artificial tanning methods tend to produce consistent results since there are not many elements to consider. 

Conversely, sun tanning may be more challenging since there are numerous factors to keep track of – but if you are aware of them and manage them accordingly, you should be able to achieve the desired outcome.

There Are 8 Factors That Can Affect The Tanning Process:

Skin Color:

The amount of tanning one can get is largely dependent on their natural skin color, with those having darker complexions possessing more melanin in their skin. 

This melanin is stimulated by sunlight, causing the skin to darken more quickly in those with deeper hues compared to those with lighter tones.

The Angle of Sun:

It may come as a surprise, but the hour of the day and the position of the sun can affect the amount of tanning you get when out in the sun. 

If you’re located close to the equator, be aware that you may experience a more intense tanning and possibly sunburn.

If you are located far from the equator, the effects may not be as strong.


At heights, the sun’s rays are more powerful than usually perceived and can give you a darker tan faster. However, it is important to be aware that the risk of sunburn is also greater.


The climate can be an important factor in the tanning process. Humidity is beneficial for tanning as the moisture in the air helps maintain the tan longer than in arid conditions. Therefore, tanning may be accelerated in a more humid environment.


It is advisable to wear sunscreen when tanning outdoors, however, the SPF rating can have an impact on the outcome.

A higher SPF level means you will need to spend more time in the sun in order to get a tan.

Using sunscreen with SPF 30 will provide thirty times more protection than going without any sun protection.


The amount of time spent in the sun can have an effect on the intensity of your tan. If you remain in the sun for an extended period of time without any pauses or protection from the rays, you can build up a darker tan in a shorter amount of time.

Spending just a small amount of time in the sun and taking regular breaks will reduce your exposure to the sun’s rays, potentially resulting in a light and patchy tan.


The attire you have on while tanning can impede the ultraviolet (UV) rays that make contact with your skin.

Even though they do not provide a complete shield, they can restrict the rays that get through and reduce the amount of tanning.


Makeup can function as a shield from the sun’s UV rays, just like clothing. By applying items such as foundation.

Eyeshadow, or blush, you can limit the amount of ultraviolet radiation that reaches your skin.

Using makeup for tanning can result in a blotchy, patchy, or red appearance. To avoid this, it is advisable to wear only a tinted moisturizer or sunscreen when tanning outdoors.

Here Are Some Tips on How to Tan Outside Safely And More Quickly:

Sun tanning is an uncomplicated activity. To get the best out of it, all you have to do is lie down in the direct sunshine and let the ultraviolet radiation take effect. 

Nevertheless, before and after sun tanning, there are a few things you can do to enhance the tanning experience. To achieve a darker and faster tan, it is recommended that you follow these tips.

The Skin Prep:

It is essential to take the necessary steps before tanning to ensure a successful outcome.

To ensure a smooth, even tan, exfoliate your skin at least 24 hours before the tanning session. 

This will give your skin the opportunity to settle and will help prevent a flaky finish.

Prior to tanning, it is important to shave or wax as this can remove the tan if done afterwards, negating the effects of the tanning process.

Keep your skin protected:

Sunlight is vital for your wellbeing, however it can come with potential hazards. It is essential to take the necessary precautions to safeguard your skin and lower the risk of any adverse effects.

Before heading out into the sun, it is important to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to all exposed areas of skin. 

Additionally, a lip balm with SPF should be used to protect the delicate skin around the lips. For maximum protection, it is essential to remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Hydrate Yourself:

Spending time in the sun can quickly sap your moisture. Always bring a bottle of water with you, whether you’re lounging in your backyard or at the beach. 

Make sure you keep drinking fluids throughout the day to make sure you stay hydrated.

It is advisable to refrain from drinking alcohol as it can cause dehydration and even lessen your sensitivity to sunburn.

Keep Changing Your Position:

It is important to remember that when tanning in the sun, you should move around every 20-30 minutes to reduce the risk of sunburn. 

It is not advisable to remain in the same position when exposed to direct sunlight for too long.

Keep moving your limbs to guarantee an even-toned tan.

The Right Food to Eat:

Consuming particular foods before tanning can help you attain a darker colour to your skin more quickly.

Your diet can have a major effect on how your skin tans and certain foods can naturally boost your tanning ability.

Foods such as carrots, watermelon, tomato paste, and tomatoes that are rich in beta-carotene can help darken the skin and provide protection against UV rays.

Choose the Appropriate Time:

If there is one key point to keep in mind when tanning naturally, it is selecting the ideal time.

The sun’s rays are most intense between 12 pm and 3 pm, making it the most efficient time for tanning but also the most dangerous for your skin. 

Accordingly, it is essential to take safety measures and wear sunscreen prior to going out during this period.

If you’re looking to tan with a decreased risk of skin damage, you could opt to do so between 10am and 4pm. While this may require more time to get the desired tan, it can help protect your skin from harm.

Frequently Asked Questions:

To Get a Tan, How Long Must You be Outside?

The amount of time it takes for your skin to tan safely varies based on certain conditions. For those with lighter skin or freckles.

Burning can occur in as little as 10 minutes in the sun, while others may need to stay out in the sun for many hours to get a tan.

Begin by spending 10-15 minutes exposed to direct sunlight and then analyze the outcome.

This should be enough to achieve a tan. If not, you can come back outside for a second round of sun-tanning.

Do You Think Morning Sun is Better for Tanning?

The best time for achieving a sun-kissed glow is early in the day, from 8 am to 11 am, when the sun’s rays are not as intense and can help to provide a tan without risking skin damage.

The morning sun can be beneficial for your skin, providing Vitamin D and promoting good health.

Its rays can improve and enhance your complexion, as well as contributing to a healthier lifestyle.

At 10 am, Can You Tan?

It is possible to tan at 10 am in the morning as the sun rays are not as intense during this time, which might make it safer to get a tan.

Despite the current safety of being outside, it is important to still wear sunscreen. Ensure you apply a sunscreen with a high SPF to cover your skin evenly. 

Follow up with a moisturizer after tanning to help build and maintain your tan.


Sun tanning can be a great way to get a natural tan outside, but you need to be aware of the potential dangers associated with it. 

To ensure your safety, you should always tan cautiously, respecting the sun and choosing the right time to go for tanning. 

The safest time to tan outside is before 10 am and after 4 pm, and the time with the strongest effect is between 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. 

By following these tips, you can get a beautiful, natural tan while minimizing the risks of sun damage.

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