It is obvious that certain times of the day are hotter than others, and it is during the hotter times that your skin is likely to burn or tan easier.
You might think this means you should hop into the sun when it is at its hottest during the day, but this could lead to a burn instead of a tan!
Can you actually tan or burn after 4pm? You can tan after 4pm, and your skin can also burn when in the sun after 4pm too. A general recommendation is that you should tan before 10am and after 4pm, to gently build up a tan.
If you are not an early riser, then tanning after 4pm might be the best option for you. The sun’s rays are weaker at this time of the day, but they are still strong enough to help you build up a tan, and they are still strong enough to lead to sunburn if your skin is left unprotected.
Read on to find out more about tanning after 4pm, and what is the best option for your skin!
Can You Tan In The Evening?
You can definitely tan in the evening, and many consider this to be the best time to tan. Sitting out in the sun at midday, when it is at its hottest, especially if you have fair skin, will likely lead to sunburn. Midday sun is most harmful to skin, so it is better to avoid it.
For this reason, it is considered best to tan before 10am and after 4pm. In the evening, the sun is weaker than what it was a few hours ago at midday, but it still emits enough UV rays to tan your skin.
The sun after 4pm is less harmful to your skin, and the weaker rays are best at developing a tan without causing too much burning. Even though the sun is weaker at this time, it is best to still use some sort of sun protection while tanning or when out in the sun.
So if you are thinking of tanning, then you should consider only stepping out into the sun after 4pm. You will definitely be able to build up a tan, and it is a little bit safer to do so!
How Well Do You Tan After 4pm Vs Earlier In The Day?
Some people think that tanning when the sun is at its hottest during the day is best, as you get maximum UV rays on your skin, and therefore believe this is when you can tan darkest.
It is definitely true that you would tan quicker at midday than you would in the evening, but it is also true that you are far more likely to land up with sunburn instead of a tan.
If you are just starting to build your tan, or if you have fair skin, you should seriously consider avoiding the midday sun. In this case, tanning after 4pm is definitely the better option.
If you have already developed a darker tan and have a naturally darker skin tone, you might be able to get away with tanning at midday, but you would still be doing more damage to your skin. Even darker skin tones would still be able to build a tan after 4pm, but maybe just a little slower.
In any case, we would always recommend tanning in the evening where possible, and if you can’t then it is best to try and tan in the morning before the sun becomes too hot. You will be doing your skin a favor in the long run!
Why You Should Tan After 4pm
There are some very convincing reasons why you should consider only tanning after 4pm (we think it should be everyone’s first option).
Here are some of the main reasons why you should tan in the evenings:
Easier On Pale Skin
Those with fair and pale skin will likely experience sunburn when tanning during the day, so tanning in the evening when the sun is weaker is a no-brainer. Pale skin will still be able to tan quickly after 4pm as well, so there are lots of benefits and few negatives!
Gentler On Sensitive Skin
Some people experience skin sensitivity when out in the sun, and this is even more exaggerated when the sun is at its strongest.
If your skin becomes sensitive in the sun, then tanning when the sun is weaker will lessen the sensitivity that you feel. You should experience less irritation of your skin, and the UV rays will not be as harmful.
If your skin continues to be sensitive, it is best to avoid tanning in the sun altogether.
Building Base Tan
A base tan is so important to be able to build a darker golden tan after some time. A base tan is a slow, gradual tanning of the skin, from which you can build a darker tan on.
You do not want to tan too dark or too fast when building a base tan, and spending a few minutes in the weaker sun is the best way to do so.
So, if you are needing to build up a base tan, then spending time in the sun after 4pm will give you the best base tan possible, with less damage done to your skin.
Sitting in the sun at midday can be hot, sticky and so uncomfortable. The benefit of tanning in the evening is that it is usually much cooler, and while the sun will still be on your skin, its rays will not be as strong, and you can enjoy your tanning time instead of spending your tanning sessions sweating!
Some people really battle spending time in the heat, and you also do not want to get hot and sweaty halfway through the day, especially if you cannot wash off until later on.
A logistical reason as to why tanning in the evening is better is because you would probably only be done with work or school then, and it would be when you have some free time to soak up the sun!
Can You Still Burn After 4pm?
Don’t think that just because the sun is weaker after 4pm, that you will not burn. If you can tan after 4pm, you can burn after 4pm!
For this reason, you will still need to apply sun protection when heading out into the sun in the evening, even if you are tanning.
Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that because the sun is weaker and is about to set, it will not damage our skin and we are fine to carry on as normal. For your skin’s sake, stop thinking this!
Even exposure to the sun in the evening, especially if it is often enough, can cause damage to your skin, and it can cause premature aging of your skin too.
It obviously is even weaker when the sun is out in winter, but you do still need to be wary of burning, so it is best to just always be prepared.
Do You Need Sun Protection After 4pm?
As you can still burn after 4pm, you would still need to wear sun protection in the evening, unless your plan was to burn. Wearing sunscreen is not just for preventing burns, but you should wear sunscreen when you are tanning too.
When you are trying to avoid burning, you should opt to use the highest protection sunscreen you can. SPF 50 or an SPF 30 are good options, and you need to remember to reapply them regularly.
If you are trying to build a tan in the sun after 4pm, you should apply an SPF 15 or SPF 20 to your skin. This might seem like it would prevent your tan, but it instead prevents your skin from burning, and helps your tan develop a darker, browner color, instead of being bright red!
You might not remember to carry a bottle of sunscreen around with you every time you step outside after 4pm, and because you can burn in the evening, then you should look to include an SPF moisturizer or lotion into your skincare routine, to make sure that you at least have some protection.
It is so worth getting into the habit of applying sunscreen to your skin, tanning or not, to give your skin the extra protection it needs to not burn and to fight against premature aging that is caused by the sun.
Tips For Tanning After 4pm
If tanning after 4pm sounds like something that you want to try, have a look at the below tips on how to make the most of your time in the evening sun, to develop a gorgeous, even tan!
A good way to make sure that your skin tans properly in the sun, and to ensure that your tan sticks around for longer, is to exfoliate before heading out to tan in the evening.
Exfoliate your skin in the shower the night before, or the morning of tanning, if you are going out into the sun after 4pm.
Exfoliating helps to remove the build-up of dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin, making way for newer cells to be tanned. These skin cells will last for longer on your skin before naturally shedding off and taking the tan along with them.
Keep your skin hydrated leading up to your tan. Hydrated skin holds onto a tan much better than dry skin, and your skin will fair better in the sun if it is not dry.
Your skin will also be less likely to peel after exposure to the sun if it is kept hydrated and nourished. Remember to keep up with the moisturizing routine with hydrating lotion after tanning too – to keep your skin glowing.
No matter what time of day you are spending out in the sun, you need to use sunscreen. When tanning after 4pm, you can get away with using an SPF 15 or SPF 30 (we love this sunscreen from Banana Boat). This is essential in preventing your skin from burning
Do not spend ages in the sun the first few times you are tanning! Even in the evening, you should spend a maximum of 10-15 minutes in the sun tanning. Gradually tanning for shorter periods and extending your time by a few minutes after a while, is the best way to tan.
Slow and steady is much better than quick and burnt, your tan will look better, and your skin will be much healthier for it!
Use Tanning Products
Tanning products, such as tanning accelerators or tanning oils, can help to tan your skin quicker while spending less time in the sun.
Tanning products will not only help you to tan quicker, but they will also keep your skin nourished while exposed to UV rays. Your skin can become damaged and dry when in the sun, and these tanning products can help to counteract this.
Should I Tan After 4pm?
If you are planning on tanning, then it is best to do so after 4pm. However, if you have fair skin, or have sensitivity to the sun, then you might be better off with having a spray tan done or using fake tanner.
These do not require you to spend any time in the sun, and if you choose gentle, natural products, then they do little to no damage to your skin, and instead, they can give your skin a glowing radiance, and a natural-looking tan!
Using spray tans and tanning products can help prevent premature aging from the sun, and they can save you the time you would be spending laying out absorbing UV rays.
They do fade after a week or two, but they are safer to use than sitting in the sun developing a tan, and in the long run, your skin will be much healthier for it.
You can and will tan or burn after 4pm, so it is vital to use a sunscreen to ensure that your skin is taken care of, and you aren’t left with a peeling sunburn!
Tanning is best done in the evening, after 4pm when the sun is weaker. Tanning at midday might be tempting, to make the most of the UV rays that the sun has to offer, but this can be incredibly harmful to your skin, and your chances of landing up with a sunburn are much higher.
Gradually build up a tan in the evenings, spending 10 minutes in the sun every now and then, and enjoy the comfort that the cooler evening brings, instead of feeling hot and sticky in the midday sun, roasting away.
No matter what time of day you are planning on tanning or being outdoors, make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to reduce the damage done to your skin, and to keep your skin happy!
Can you get a tan after 5pm?
You can still tan after 5pm, although the results might take longer to develop and show. It is considered safer to tan later in the evening as the sun won’t be as strong.
Can you tan in the winter?
You can tan in the winter, as the temperature of the air does not determine how much you tan. The sun might be weaker, but it is still there, and you can still tan (and burn) slowly in the colder months.