So, this might seem a bit odd, but there is some very sound logic to this question!
There can be no debate that tanning under the sun’s rays can damage your skin. The penetration of the UV radiation into your skin can cause lasting damage which affects you and your health for the rest of your life.
Because we cannot change how harmful the sun’s rays are to our skin, we can try and avoid the maximum damage done to ourselves. There are ways to work around it all and still be able to tan, with a minimal amount of damage to our skin.
This doesn’t necessarily involve the use of sunscreen or some magical product – although wearing sunscreen is always recommended – it is just about timing and knowing when it is safest to go into the sun.
For this reason, you should look into the idea of tanning at 6 pm. Yes, as in night time 6 pm. If you are lucky enough to still have sunshine at this time of night, then this is the best time for you to tan!
If you think about it, it is a bit of a win-win. You will be able to spend the stinking hot days indoors with aircon, and only go out to tan when it is cool and quiet.
Being able to successfully tan at 6 pm will depend on the season you are in. In winter, the sun sets earlier and it will probably be quite chilly, you more than likely won’t want to be outside in your bikini or swimming trunks. Depending on where you live, in summer if the sun is up, you will still be able to tan and it won’t be as hot out.
Summer is the perfect time to tan outdoors at 6 pm, and in any case, you want a tan for summer more than for any other season, right?
Altitude plays a part
The higher your altitude, the more potent the sun’s rays will be. At higher altitudes the air is thinner and cleaner, making it easy for the UV rays to pass through; thus making them more potent when reaching your skin. So if you are high up in the mountains during summer, you most probably could get a pretty good tan at 6 pm.
Being close to the equator
Your latitude also plays a big part in how potent the sun’s rays will be at certain times during the day. The sun’s rays are more direct closer to the equator. They will be hitting you straight on if you are at the equator, making them quite dangerous if you do not take any precautions.
The sun’s rays are less direct the closer you get to the poles, making it more difficult to tan any time of day there.
How long do you need to spend outside at 6 pm to tan?
How long you need to spend in the sun at 6 pm to tan will vary depending on many factors.
What season you are in will dictate whether or not the sun is actually out at 6 pm to tan. There is no point standing outside in autumn trying to tan under a full moon – it will not work.
The higher up you are on land also affects how long you need to spend tanning. The higher you are, the stronger the sun’s rays will be.
Being close to the equator is always good – you probably have beautifully hot days in summer and can tan at 6 pm all year round. However, you need to be careful not to overexpose your skin to the sun.
If you are lucky enough and there is still sunshine at 6 pm, it will probably take an hour or two over a few nights to gradually build up a tan. You will still need to have sunscreen on, just to give your skin a buffer from the more harmful rays of the sun.
By going outside for a few hours each night when the sun isn’t strong, you are saving your skin from a vast amount of damage. Direct, harsh sunlight will do a lot more harm than less direct, softer sunlight in small doses. This way you will give yourself a beautiful, even and gradual tan without harming your skin permanently.
Going into the sun during the day when it is at its strongest and blasting your skin for a few hours will result in you suffering from sunburn. This sunburn will turn bright red and your white blood cells will rush up to fight the irritation. This will cause your skin to peel and instead of a golden tan, you will be left with red, dry, scaly skin; definitely not as appealing as obtaining an elegant tan slowly through light exposure.
Beware of cloudy days
If you find yourself wanting to tan at 6 pm and it is still light outside, but it is cloudy, don’t get yourself down. The sun’s rays can still make it down through the clouds, penetrating through the cover to reach your skin. Many people underestimate how much UV radiation actually passes through the clouds, and don’t use sunscreen or they spend way too long in the sun expecting nothing to happen.
This is usually the time when people become most burned and when the most damage is done, as there is no protection on the skin.
The upside to tanning when it is cloudy is that it is cooler and you won’t feel the heat of the sun’s direct rays on your skin. When you see it is cloudy out or even partial cover, remember to protect your skin with sunscreen. Even if you are looking to tan, you need to give your skin some moisture and resistance to the sun’s damaging rays.
The best way to tan is gradually. Don’t try to get it done all in one go, that only works when using spray tan or applying self-tanning product from home. Although these offer a quick fix and a bronze tan, being out in the sun actual stimulate endorphins, and just makes you feel better.
Finding yourself outside during the day
If you have no option other than being outside during the day when the sun is at its strongest, you definitely need to take some precautions to protect your skin and your body. The UV radiation will just damage your skin, and over time it can cause long-lasting effects that cannot be reversed.
Find shade – Simple solutions are always the best solutions. Carry around an umbrella or find comfort under a tree. Shade will protect you from the sun’s rays, but you still get to be outside and enjoy the beautiful day.
Wear sunscreen – You should always have sunscreen on. Even the minimum of SPF30 will make a big difference in protecting your skin from the UV radiation. It will also give your skin that extra moisture on those hot days. You can also buy beauty creams and makeup that have SPF factors built in. This is really handy for throughout the day, even when walking to and from the car.
Sun hat – A sun hat that covers your ears, gives shade to your face and covers your neck will save you a lot of pain after a hot day; the bigger the better. Your scalp often gets burned quite badly, as it is facing directly to the sun. This causes dry scalp and dandruff. A good sunhat will protect your scalp from sunburn and also save your neck from becoming painfully red as well. The skin on your face is also really delicate, and quite different from the rest of your body, so protect it as much as you can with a good sun hat. You also don’t want to walk around with a red Rudolph nose either.
Tanning done differently
There might be many different reasons why you would want to try tanning later in the day. Obtaining a tan the natural way, using the sun, can be so rewarding, and if done properly it can also cause minimal damage to your skin.
If you want to avoid the tanning salon and not have to worry about lathering yourself evenly with self-tanner, finding a way to tan safely in the sun will be your answer. If you are able to tan late in the day, you won’t be putting your skin in harm’s way, and you can tan comfortably without getting too hot or sweaty.
The best way to build up a tan is slowly and gradually. You will be able to do this by choosing to tan for an hour or two later in the day. There really is no point in trying to have a bronze tan if you are going to do it in an extreme manner and if you end up destroying your skin in the process.
Healthy, undamaged skin looks so much better in a tan. Look after your skin and don’t expose it to the midday harmful rays of the sun. It will reward you with a beautiful summer kissed tan that you can be proud you got naturally.