Does sunscreen help you tan faster? In short, sunscreen is designed to protect the skin from harmful sun rays and slow down the tanning process, so it does not help you to tan faster. Instead, it’s recommended to use sunscreen with a lower SPF, such as SPF 15 or 30, to achieve a faster tan while still providing some protection from the UV rays.
In this guide:
How does sunscreen work?
Explanation of UV rays and the tanning process: When you’re exposed to the sun, UV rays penetrate the skin and cause the production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. UV rays can be divided into two categories: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are responsible for tanning the skin, while UVB rays are responsible for burning the skin.
How sunscreen creates a barrier on the skin that blocks or absorbs UV rays: Sunscreen works by creating a wall on the skin that blocks or absorbs these UV rays, which means that less melanin is produced, and the tanning process is slowed down. There are two types of sunscreen: chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays, while physical sunscreen reflects them. As a result, sunscreens with a high SPF can block more UV rays than those with a lower SPF, slowing down the tanning process even more.
Why higher SPF sunscreens slow down the tanning process more: SPF stands for sun protection factor, indicating the level of protection a sunscreen provides against UVB rays.
The higher the SPF, the more UVB rays are blocked. Therefore, sunscreens with a high SPF, such as SPF 50, can block more UV rays than those with a lower SPF, slowing down the tanning process even more.
Benefits of Using Sunscreen
Protection from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet radiation is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Conversely, excessive sun exposure can lead to skin damage and heighten the risk of skin cancer.
By incorporating sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher into your daily routine, you can safeguard your skin from sunburn and other harmful effects, enabling you to enjoy your time outdoors with peace of mind.
Drawbacks of Using Sunscreen
The use of sunscreen can impede the tanning process. This is because sunscreen creates a protective layer on the skin, making it harder for the sun’s rays to reach the skin, thus slowing down the tanning process. Also, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the ingredients found in sunscreen, resulting in skin irritation or rash.
How to achieve a faster tan?
Recommendation to use sunscreen with a lower SPF: To achieve a faster tan, it’s recommended to use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30. Sunscreens with a lower SPF will still provide some protection from the harmful UV light, but they will allow more UV rays to penetrate the skin, allowing for more melanin production and, thus, a faster tanning process.
Comparison of different SPF levels and their effects on tanning:
- SPF 15: Permits a maximum of 93% of UVB rays to reach the skin, which means that the tanning process will be slowed down less than with a higher SPF.
- SPF 30: Allows for a maximum of 97% of UVB rays to reach the skin, which implies that the tanning process will be less hindered than with a higher SPF.
- SPF 50: Permits a maximum of 98% of UVB rays to reach the skin, which means that the tanning process will be slowed down more than with a lower SPF.
Tips and tricks for achieving a faster and more natural-looking tan:
- Exfoliate before applying the self-tanner to remove dead skin cells and create a smooth surface for the self-tanner to adhere to.
- Moisturize daily to keep the skin hydrated and prevent uneven fading of the self-tanner.
- Apply self-tanner in circular motions to ensure even coverage
- Use a tanning mitt to apply self-tanner for a more even and streak-free application.
- Apply self-tanner in thin layers and gradually build the color for a more natural-looking tan.
- Use a self-tanning product specifically formulated for a natural-looking tan on the face.
- Allow self-tanner to dry completely before dressing or showering to avoid smudging or streaking.
- Regularly moisturize and exfoliate the skin to maintain the longevity of the tan.
- Consider using a self-tanning product with a bronzer or tinted guide to making it easier to see where you’ve applied the product.
- Avoid sunbathing or using tanning beds as they can cause skin damage, and instead opt for a self-tanning product that is safe and easy to use.
In summary, we understand the desire to achieve a natural-looking tan as quickly as possible. However, using sunscreen may not necessarily help you tan faster. Instead, focusing on protecting your skin from damaging UV rays while gradually increasing your sun exposure over time is essential.