For some of us, waiting weeks to develop a tan just doesn’t cut it. We want a tan, and we want it now! Tanned skin does help to hide blemishes and to give an even tone, and a golden glow does look gorgeous.
When you don’t have weeks to spend to develop a tan, how can you get it done in one day? You can use a self-tanner at home, get a spray tan, or spend time in a tanning bed. Sunbathing is an option, but only with sunscreen. Self-tanning at home is an easy and quick way to get a dark tan and is also the safest method.
There are so many options available for those looking to tan fast, and you can choose the method that suits you best. Whatever you choose, remember to give your skin some protection, and moisturize often to allow your skin to glow.
Keep reading for the step-by-step guide to getting a dark tan in one day with these four methods.
How to Get a Dark Tan in One Day
You will know your skin best, and this will help you decide which of the below methods would help you achieve a dark tan in one day, without damaging your skin or leaving you with some odd-looking patchy streaks!
Method 1 – Sun Tanning
Sun tanning is the most traditional method of giving your skin a dark tone, but it is also one of the most dangerous methods. You need to ensure that you properly protect your skin, while still allowing it to utilize the rays of the sun for the best results possible.
Protect Your Skin
You will need to apply a base lotion or oil that has a low SPF to your skin. The lotion or oil will help you tan quickly, but the low SPF will give your skin some protection.
- Choose a lotion or oil with an SPF between 4 and 15, which will also depend on the level of your base tan. If you have a tan already, you can go with a lower SPF, however, if you have fair skin, an SPF 15 would be best.
- Choose a spray or oil to get a more even tan. This spread easily over the skin, giving an even finish with no patches.
- Don’t forget to wear lip balm with SPF15. Without protection, your lips will be left chapped and sore.
This is my favorite sun-tanning oil with SPF 4 for natural suntanning.
Just like a rotisserie chicken, you will need to turn over frequently. This will help you get an even tan all over. Turn over ¼ of the way every 30 minutes.
Start on your back, turn over to your left side, then onto your stomach, and then onto your right side. Make sure your arms and legs get even exposure to the sun as well, to avoid tan lines.
Make The Most Of The Sun
While tanning out during the hottest hours of the day is not advised, you should make the most of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm.
This should only be done if you have proper protection and if you are only planning on spending one day in the sun.
You can choose to use accessories such as a reflective sheet or towel to focus the sun’s rays onto your skin. Layout a reflective towel or place a sunscreen at 45-degrees at your waist to make the sunlight hit your body.
If you get wet, you will need to reapply the suntan lotion, and remember to reapply it every 2 hours for the best protection.
Once you have finished tanning, you should apply an aloe-based moisturizer to your skin. This will help keep your skin moisturized and replenish any moisture lost in the sun, and seal in the bronze tone of your skin.
Method 2 – Self-Tanning
Self-tanners are an absolute gift to those who want an instant tan at home, without having to step foot into the sun. You need to understand how self-tanners work before you know whether they are suited for you.
The active ingredient in self-tanners is DHA, which reacts with the dead skin cells on the skin to create a darker pigment.
Choose Your Product
There are so many types of self-tanners to choose from, such as lotions, foams, creams, gels, sprays, and oil. You will need to do a little bit of research, and understand your skin, to know when is best for you.
It is best to choose a non-comedogenic self-tanner to avoid clogging your pores.
The quickest way to get a dark tan fast is to use an express self-tanner. The St. Tropez Express Self-Tanner is my absolute favorite when I want a quick tan.
You will have to use gloves when applying self-tanner, to prevent your hands from turning bright orange. Once you have used the gloves to spread the self-tanner all over your body, rub a small amount of the lotion onto your hands to match the rest of your body.
Get An Even Spread
The hardest part of self-tanning at home is getting the product to be evenly spread on your skin. To get this done, move your hands in a circular motion on your skin to avoid any streaks. Focus on areas that are hard to reach, and ask for help if you need it. Take it slow to make sure all areas are covered.
Apply a moisturizing lotion to your skin daily to help maintain your tan and to help prevent your skin from drying out.
Applying a self-tanner will give you a dark tan in one day, but it is not permanent. You will have to reapply the self-tanner in a week or so, but it is still the best option to self-tan at home without any damage done to your skin.
Sophia Pruett on YouTube has an amazing tutorial as she takes you step-by-step through her personal self-tanning regime. I enjoyed watching it and I think you will too! She also uses a lot of the same tips that I’m always sharing, which is even better!
Method 3 – Spray Tan
A spray tan works the same as self-tanners, with DHA used to darken the skin. You will need to visit a spray tan salon to get this done unless you have the setup at home.
Choose Your Shade
If you have light skin, you will need around one layer of spray tan to give you a beautiful glow. However, darker skin might need a few more layers to get a glow.
Exfoliate Your Skin
You will have to exfoliate your skin before going for your spray tan. This helps to remove excess dead skin cells, allowing your skin to be more even when the spray tan is applied. Make sure to use an exfoliating scrub which is oil-free so there is no residue left on your skin.
Visit A Professional
It is a good idea to get a professional to spray tan your skin. This way you can be sure you will get the right shade, and an even coverage, without streaks and blotches. This tan will develop over a few hours and will need to be touched up every one to two weeks.
Keep your skin moisturized after a spray tan to help it remain radiant and even.
Method 4 – Sun Bed
If you want to tan the more natural way, but don’t necessarily want to go into the sun, you can opt to take some time to tan in a sunbed.
Sunbeds have ultraviolet light bulbs that emit UV radiation like that of the sun. They are not the safest option, but they will give you a tan fast.
It is so very important to wear goggles when in a tanning bed, specifically ones that have been created to protect your eyes against UV rays. You can either buy your own or rent them from the tanning salon.
Use A Tanning Accelerator
You don’t want to spend too much time under the UV rays, so a tanning accelerator will be your best bet to help you make the most of the time of your time in the bed. Tanning accelerators help your skin tan faster, but also contain ingredients that protect your skin from damage and from drying out.
Set Your Time
For those with fair skin, you should only spend around 10 minutes in the tanning bed. Those with dark bases can spend up to 20 minutes in the bed. Any longer and you will cause damage to your skin and land up burnt.
Once you have finished your tanning session, you should apply moisturizer daily to prevent your skin from drying out. An aloe vera based gel or lotion will help to keep your skin nourished and hydrated, preventing it from drying out, and allowing your tan to glow.
How long should you tan to get a dark tan?
The answer to this depends on your skin tone. For those who have a darker skin tone, they can develop a dark tan within 20 minutes to an hour.
However, someone with a fair skin tone might have to spend a few sessions in the sun to develop a darker tan. That being said, both dark tones and fair tones need to wear protection in the sun.
How long can a tan last?
A tan is not permanent, but with good care, you can extend the life span of your tan for a long time.
This takes regular maintenance and you will need to put some work into it, such as spending time in the sun once a week, applying self-tanning lotion weekly, or keeping a routine at your local spray tan salon.