When tanning, most of us want a golden, bronzed glow, rather than a brown tan color. That radiance that the tan gives, whether from the sun, a sunbed, or a self-tanner, will make you look like you’ve spent time basking on a tropical island.
But how do you get a golden tan without turning dark brown? The best way to get a golden tan without turning brown will depend on how you are planning to tan. With all the ways of tanning, you need to properly prepare your skin beforehand, and make sure that it is kept moisturized and nourished, to allow your tan to shine.
To help you get a golden tan without too many brown tones, we have listed all the top tips on what you can do to achieve this, with all the types of tanning available!
How To Get A Golden Tan With Self-Tanner
Self-tanner is one of the easiest ways to get a golden tan without having to spend time lounging in the sun, doing damage to your skin.
The problem with self-tanner, especially those which are not high-quality, is that they can be unpredictable, and many people find themselves with unwanted tones once the self-tanner has developed.
Here is how you can try to get a golden tan from self-tanner, rather than brown tones:
Choose The Right Self-Tanner
One of the most important steps is choosing the right self-tanner to achieve a golden radiance (we love this one from Suzanne Jackson). There are many different self-tanners to choose from, such as sprays, gels, mousse, foams, and more, and most of it is down to personal preference.
A good option to develop a golden glow is a gradual tanner. These are applied over a few days, and gradually build up to a golden tone that you are comfortable with.
Make sure to also match the self-tanner color to your skin tone, and do not choose one which will develop too dark on your skin.
Exfoliate Your Skin
Self-tanner works by reacting with the top layer of dead skin cells, and this makes it important to exfoliate the day before applying the self-tanner to your skin.
If there is a build-up of dead skin cells on certain areas of your skin, you might develop darker brown spots in some sections. By exfoliating your skin, you are removing the build-up of dead skin cells, and therefore eliminating the chance that your skin might turn brown.
Moisturize your skin to prepare it for self-tanner. Dry skin soaks in self-tanner more, which causes darker spots and patches.
Hydrated skin will hold onto a tan much better, and will allow the tan to glow rather than be dull and lackluster.
Mix Self-Tanner With Moisturizer
If you do not want too dark a color, but instead want to benefit from the glow given by self-tanners, then you can mix self-tanning lotion with a moisturizer.
This will lessen the deep color on your skin, but you will still be given the radiance of the self-tanner.
Do Not Overdo It
Applying too much self-tanner at once, and not waiting between applications, is a sure way to develop a too-dark color, and not benefit from the glow a self-tanner would give.
Self-tanners can take up to 2 days to fully develop on the skin, so don’t reapply it hastily thinking that it hasn’t worked.
How To Get A Golden Tan In The Sun
If tanning in the sun is your preference, there are some things that you can do to prevent developing too dark a tan, but still, have that sun-kissed glow:
Using sunscreen is essential when tanning in the sun. Not only will sunscreen help to prevent your skin from burning, but it can also help you develop a golden tan, rather than a brown one.
The sunscreen, an SPF 15 or an SPF 30, will prevent too much melanin from being produced in the skin, meaning it will not turn too dark once you leave the sun.
Instead, it will allow just enough UV rays to penetrate into your skin to give it a golden finish, rather than just darken it as a whole.
Tanning slowly and gradually will be one of the best ways to develop a golden tan. Spending too much time in the sun too often will only lead to your skin burning. If you are naturally darker-skinned, then your skin might turn a dark brown after extended periods in the sun.
To develop a golden tan, spend short periods in the sun every now and then. Up to 15 minutes in the sun every 3-4 days will be more than enough to develop the tan you are looking for, but make sure to still use some sunscreen when in the sun.
Staying hydrated can help your skin glow after a tan. Hydrated skin holds onto a tan much better, and when hydrated, your skin is less likely to burn and peel.
To give you a golden glow while you work on your natural tan, you could use a bronzer. There are varying tones of bronzer to choose from, so you can pick one that would give you a subtle glow, rather than turn your skin a brown color.
How To Get A Golden Tan In A Tanning Bed
Tanning beds offer a convenient way to tan from UV lights, without having to spend time sitting outdoors hoping the weather plays along.
Following the below tips in a tanning bed will help you achieve a golden glow, with minimal brown tones:
Use A Tanning Lotion
There are some great tanning lotions that have been designed to be used in a tanning bed. These are formulated to help your skin make the most of the UV rays in the sunbed, and keep your skin nourished throughout.
These lotions accelerate the tanning process, so you can achieve a sun-kissed tone quicker, and have to spend less time on the sunbed.
Choose a tanning lotion that will help you achieve a more golden tone, rather than one that will give you a dark color.
Have Regular Sessions
You need to work on your tan, and one tanning session is not enough to build a golden tan. Speak to your tanning technician at the salon to work out a tanning schedule for your skin, and let them know what your tanning goals are, so you can develop an effective and safe plan.
Make sure to leave a few days between sunbed appointments to allow your skin to recover, and to make sure that your skin does not burn.
Use a low SPF when in a tanning bed, applied all over your skin, focussing on the sensitive areas such as your face and neck. The sunscreen will help to filter out both UVA/UVB rays (if it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen), but still, allow you to tan.
This will prevent your skin from burning or tanning too dark and will help you develop a golden glow instead.
Moisturize After Tanning
Keep moisturizing your skin after spending time in the tanning bed. The UV rays can continue to dry your skin out, even when you are out of the rays.
Hydrating your skin will help a radiance develop on your skin, and will prevent your skin from becoming dry, red, and from peeling.
There are some post-tan moisturizers (like this sun-sealer from Maui Island Secret) that are created for this specific purpose, and they can help extend the life of your tan too.
How To Get A Golden Tan
There are a few ways to develop a golden tan, rather than developing a brown tone. You need to prepare your skin for tanning by exfoliating and moisturizing it, and then use the tips from above for the specific type of tanning you are going to be using.
When it comes to developing a golden tan, the best way to do so safely is by using a self-tanner. If you are wanting to tan in the sun or in a sunbed, then use sunscreen along with a tanning lotion to protect your skin and to make the most of your time spent tanning.
How many days does a tan last?
A tan will last between 7-10 days. The tan develops on the top layer of your skin, which naturally exfoliates and sheds off after a week. Once these skin cells are shed off, the tan disappears along with it.
You can use tan extenders to extend the life of your tan, but they will only keep your tan around for a few days longer. They also help the tan fade more evenly too.
How long does bronzer last?
A bronzer, whether found in self-tanning formulas or in tanning lotions, will only last as long as it takes you to shower.
Bronzers offer a temporary dark glow to the skin while your tan develops underneath it. Once you shower or get wet, the bronzer will wear off and wash away. Bronzers work well as a guide to show where you have applied self-tanning lotion to your skin, which is why they are so popular.
Best Tanning Lotions Without Bronzer