You’ve spent months, maybe even years, building up a gorgeous, natural tan, but all of a sudden, your skin stops darkening and you are stuck at the same tan color no matter what you do.
Many people have found themselves in a position where their skin refuses to tan anymore, even if they spend more time tanning.
So, why are you not tanning anymore? One reason you would stop tanning at a certain point is if you have reached your tanning plateau. There are various skin types, and all have a plateau as to where their skin will stop tanning, and where their skin cannot get any darker. However, other factors might stop you from tanning too.
There are a few reasons why your skin would stop tanning at a certain point, and understanding the reasons, and your skin type, can help you overcome this and try to develop your tan further.
Why Your Skin Stops Tanning
To understand why your skin won’t tan anymore, you need to look at the various reasons that could be causing it and see which you think relates to you.
There are quite a few factors that go into building a good, natural tan, and some of them are not as obvious as others.
These are some of the reasons why you might not be tanning any further, and why your skin is prevented from getting darker:
The more you tan, the thicker your skin becomes. The tanning plateau for various skin types differs, but once you reach this point, it can be difficult to tan any further.
As your skin darkens, it becomes thicker. It eventually gets to a point where your skin is so thick that the UV rays cannot penetrate through the upper layers, and a further tan cannot be developed.
At this point, you are just causing further damage to your skin by staying in the sun trying to tan, and you will not actually be achieving anything other than damage.
If you notice that your skin just will not tan any further, and you think it might be because your skin has tanned too much and has become too thick, then it is best to take a break from the sun for a while.
High Sunscreen Protection
Wearing sunscreen when tanning helps to prevent sunburn, but using the right level of protection means you can still develop a tan.
One obvious reason that you might not be tanning anymore is if you are using sunscreen which is too strong, and which gives your skin too much protection and does not allow it to tan.
As you build a tan, your skin develops natural protection against the sun. This, along with the sunscreen, might prevent you from tanning any further.
You should always practice safe tanning, but if you think that your sunscreen might be too strong, you can use lower protection for a tanning session and see how it goes. Make sure to simply use lower protection, not zero protection at all.
Your skin develops a natural resistance to the sun once it has been tanned for some time, and when a base tan has been developed.
This minimal sun protection offered by a base tan can actually have an effect on how well you can tan over time.
If you usually spend 15-30 minutes out in the sun, this might not be enough anymore if you have developed a darker tan.
You might have to extend your time tanning by a few minutes, or tan more often. Increase your time spent in the sun slowly and minimally, as you don’t want to overdo it and then land up with a sunburn.
The Wrong Clothing
Your clothing might be stopping you from tanning further. If you choose to wear a shirt or a full-coverage swimsuit when tanning, these could definitely get in the way of developing a tan.
There are some types of clothing or swimsuits that allow you to tan through the fabric, but there are many that don’t.
Consider changing the clothes you tan in for smaller options or look online for tan-through swimwear or clothing that will allow you to still feel covered up while developing a tan.
Increased Water Intake
Did you know that your water intake can affect how you tan? Your skin needs to be hydrated in order to tan, and you can improve how well you tan by drinking some more water.
When you have a healthy intake of water, your skin cells are hydrated, which improves the darkening and the glow of your skin.
Being hydrated also means that your skin will develop a darker tan after being in the sun, and your skin will not just dry out and peel.
Not only can drinking enough water help you develop a darker tan, but you can extend the life of your tan by staying hydrated afterward as well.
How Do You Get Past A Tanning Plateau?
A tanning plateau happens when your skin has become too thick from previous tanning, and the UV rays cannot penetrate down far enough to help you develop a tan.
When this occurs, spending time in the sun trying to tan will only cause more damage, and will only make it more difficult to tan at a later stage.
Once your skin has reached this plateau and time in the sun does nothing, you might be looking for a different way to build on your tan.
The best way to do this is to use a tan accelerator or a similar tanning lotion. These can work wonders for helping your skin cells be more receptive to UV rays and developing a tan, even if your skin has thickened through extended tanning.
Your skin would not only feel thick, but it would likely feel dry too. Tanning lotions are packed with hydrating and nourishing ingredients, and when these are applied to the skin, they can help to soften the skin so they are more receptive to the UV rays.
These tanning lotions mean that you will be able to tan once again in the sun, and hopefully develop a darker color if that is what you are after.
There are three types of tanning lotions to choose from, depending on what you are looking for:
Tan accelerators help to stimulate melanin production in the skin, which will give you a darker tan in a shorter amount of time. These also help you develop a tan once you have left the sun.
They are full of hydrating ingredients, which give the skin a boost of moisture to make it more receptive to UV rays and allow the skin to make the most of the UV rays to develop a darker color.
Not only are tan accelerators good for helping you get passed a tan plateau, but they can also help to even out patchy areas and tan lines.
That’s What Sea Said Tanning Lotion Accelerator
The That’s What Sea Said Tanning Lotion Accelerator is a great option to get past a tanning plateau. It was formulated to help you develop a dark tan, by being ultra-hydrating and moisturizing to the skin.
It contains no bronzer, so will apply clear to the skin. With the proprietary tanning accelerators, the lotion stimulates melanin production in your skin to accelerate the natural tanning process, while also including ingredients that keep your skin looking young and nourished.
Reaching a tanning plateau means your skin is likely dry, and this tanning accelerator contains all the hydration it needs to combat this.
Tingle lotions work a little differently from tan accelerators which deliver deep hydration to the skin in order for the skin to tan quicker. Tingle lotions work by increasing the blood flow to the surface of the skin, giving the skin a tingling feeling, which in turn allows you to tan quicker.
Your skin might appear a little more red when using this lotion, and afterward too, as there is more blood at the surface of the skin, but this will turn into a brown shade soon after. The presence of more blood means more melanin production and a darker tan.
Tingle lotions help you get past a tan plateau by encouraging more blood flow at the surface of the skin, instead of the UV rays having to fight to penetrate further down to develop a darker tan.
Devoted Creations White 2 Bronze Tingle
The Devoted Creations White 2 Bronze is a tingle lotion that creates an intense tingle on the skin, rapidly increasing blood flow and allowing the skin to produce more melanin and tan darker quicker.
With delightful rain-kissed leaves fragrant, and a tingling sensation on your skin, this might become your new favorite tanning lotion to help you pass a tan plateau!
However, this lotion is not for those who rarely tan or are starting out with pale skin, as it is very potent and can result in irritation for sensitive skin types.
Bronzers are a mix between an instant tan and a tan accelerator. You will get the benefit of hydration and nourishment from a bronzer lotion, which helps your skin make the most of UV rays and tan better, but they will also give you a temporary dark glow.
Not everyone is a fan of bronzer lotions, as they can be difficult to apply evenly, but if you have reached a tan plateau and you want an instant bronzed glow, then they can really help to give you this, as well as some extra hydration to build up a tan in the sun.
Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator
With the Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator, you will achieve a deeper, darker tan, even if you think your skin has finished tanning.
The instant bronzer helps to intensify your bronze glow as you tan, and rich Australian naturals such as Kakadu plum help to fight off free radicals to protect your skin from excessive damage.
The tanning intensifier contains a combination of advanced ingredients which help to prepare the skin to tan darker, while still ensuring skin is kept hydrated and nourished throughout.
With the added bronzer, your skin will glow as you tan, and well after too.
Does Your Skin Stop Tanning At A Certain Point?
If you think that your skin has stopped tanning and you are battling to get it to tan darker, the last thing you should do is spend more time in the sun.
Melanin is what creates a darker pigmentation on the skin, resulting in a tan. Melanin is produced when your skin is exposed to UV rays, but everyone’s skin has a melanin cut-off point, where no melanin will be produced after this time.
Usually, this is after around 2-3 hours in the sun, which is way longer than what you should be spending in the sun anyways.
After 2-3 hours, your skin will not tan any darker, and you are just highly increasing the risk that you will land up with sunburn and skin damage.
It is only recommended to be out in the sun for 30-45 minutes if you have tanned, darker skin, as this is enough time to develop a tan, without risking too much damage to your skin.
How To Tan When You Have Stopped Tanning – Without The Sun
When your skin stops tanning, it is likely due to you spending too much time in the sun already and your skin has become too thick from tanning. Once this happens, it is a good idea to take a break from the sun.
If you think that avoiding the sun is best for your skin, but you still want a bronzed glow, then you could look to use self-tanners or spray tans.
These are all safe, sunless ways to give your skin a radiant tan, without having to worry about sunburn or damage to your skin. You can also find the right tan tone to match your skin type, making it look as natural as a suntan would.
Why Am I Not Tanning Anymore?
There are a few reasons as to why you are not tanning anymore, but one of the most common reasons is that you have tanned too much previously, and your skin has become too thick for the UV rays to penetrate through, so your skin doesn’t tan.
To counteract this, you should hydrate and moisturize your skin, and use tanning accelerators or lotions to develop a tan in the sun. These will help soften the skin and increase melanin production to produce a darker tan.
Once your skin has reached a tan plateau, it is a sign to take a break from UV exposure, so why not consider using a self-tanner or spray tan to develop a gorgeous, sunless glow going forward!
Why do I burn and not tan?
Your genes might play a big role in why you burn and do not tan. Pale and fair skin tones do not contain a high level of melanin, which means that their natural protection against the sun is decreased. This results in burning rather than tanning.
Why do my legs not tan?
Many people find that their legs do not tan. This is because the skin on your legs does not produce as much melanin as the rest of your body, which means that your legs cannot develop as dark a tan.