How to Tan With Fair Skin and Freckles? We Finally Found It Out!

Having gorgeous fair skin hurts badly when you spend hours in the harsh sun or sunbed but never get the long-lasting golden tan. What you take home are sunburns and more freckles only. Seeing other fair-skinned folks having a pretty good, or sometimes the best, tan that you might have dreamed of hurts even more.

Can ‘you’ ever achieve the same golden glow if you have fair skin? Absolutely yes. You needn’t despise your skin type – fair skin tends to get sunburns damn quickly and naturally produces fewer amounts of melanin, a protein responsible for the bronze pigment.

The secret lies in your choices before, during, and after your tanning sessions. First, you must revise your tanning practices or add-in and throw out a few products from that routine. Then come foods and tweaks to make things work.

We kept this in our minds and jumped into the web to bring about all that helpful stuff for you. So, let’s dive into it right away!

1. Get Knowledge About Sun Hours

Lack of this knowledge may not be an issue when you’re sun-tanning in the winter season. But on hot summer days, it’s crucial to choose the safer hours of the day.

Tan when the sun is significantly less bright. And the ideal time for this is before 10 AM and after 4 PM.

During these hours, the UV index or rating is lower. More specifically, an excellent rating for this testing period is a UV index of 1-3, which you can check online or on a weather app.

2. Go Slow; Build Your Tan Up Slowly

Going fast and furious is not something for fair-skinned individuals. Start this way:

  • If tanning in the sun, keep your first tan between 15 and 20 minutes. Then increase by 5-10 mins each day. Drop that extra time down if your skin starts getting red or burnt.
  • If tanning on a sunbed, stay there at most 3 mins during the initial days. Also, take a 24-36 hours break in each session instead of going regularly. Again, as your tan develops, put in time increments gradually but only 1-2 mins each session.

Now is the time to try new things.

The chances of developing a tan are higher if you tan the way above. But what many people see after sticking to this routine is just a couple of bronze layers on the body. So if you see the same and want something more than that, here’s the deal-winning strategy!

  • Expand your tan span during the ideal sun times (before 10 after 4 PM) to around one hour in the sun and 15-20 mins in the sunbed. There’s a huge possibility that your body won’t get burnt as it has already adapted to the heat. However, wearing sunscreen of SPF 20 will keep you on the more cautious side.

If you still see there’s just a little or no tan at all but skin sensitivity and more prominent freckles, then there’s something a bit risky to try out now:

  • Go tanning during peak periods of the day (between 10 AM to 4 PM) when the UV index is 3-5. Stay there for 15-20 mins and gradually increase the duration.

Still not seeing any tan but more freckles and sensitivity? No worries, my dear friend. All hope is not lost. Just stick to method No. 1 above and go a little ‘fake.’

This idea creates a pretty smooth path to the next tip:

3. Use Self-Tanning Lotions and Sprays: The Fake Solution!

Who knows how you have achieved that golden glow unless you tell your best friend about it? Yep, only you are the one who knows that! There’s nothing to feel ashamed about going fake.

Freckles are a buildup of melanin formed when fair skin is exposed to the sun. A self-tanning lotion or spray accommodates your short-term outdoor/sunbed tans and gives you a natural-looking, beautifully bronzed tan without altering your inner skin. The best part? You stay at home and eliminate the risk of more freckles!

But remember that these products won’t even out your freckles but minimize their appearance.

4. Allow Your Skin to Rest

No matter the tanning method, resting your skin is the key to safely achieving desired results. The production of melanin cells in your skin continues for a few hours after a tanning session ends. You don’t need to prolong the session, as your skin cells have already been stimulated to create tanning effects. If you’ve tanned in the morning, you might have noticed your skin getting brownish in the evening.

So, allow your skin to rest for at least 24 hours. Even a shorter break will let the results come out of your skin.

5. Never Forget to Moisturize

The more your skin is moisturized before, during, and after a tanning session, the safer and more effective of a tan you’ll get on the fair, freckled skin. Both internal and external moisturization is essential.

Drink plenty of water and eat juicy fruits. Alongside, use a high-quality moisturizer that not only intensely moisturizes your skin but also forms a protective layer to save it from getting burnt or becoming sensitive.

6. Use Sun Protection (Sunscreen)

For fair-skinned individuals, facing the sun without sun protection means a self-imposed defeat. Okay, you’re right. But “How can I tan with sunblock all over my skin?”

Well, the purpose of sun protection is to protect you from burning, not from tanning!

Those who claim they got a beautiful tan a few days after they got burnt aren’t fair-skinned like you. They have another type of skin, i.e., olive. If you don’t protect yourself from burning, all you’ll get is your skin flaking out in a lizard-like fashion and lots of pain for many days.

The point here is that if you protect your skin from burning, you’re allowing it to produce more melanin which means a beautiful tan without sunburn.

Some More Info on Sunscreen You May Like

Not only do sunscreens safeguard your skin from the sun, but they also help prevent freckles from forming. But, stressing on ‘prevention,’ they won’t eliminate freckles!

Even if you aren’t planning to tan, you should wear sunscreen year-round, even when it’s cloudy. Also, you must keep in mind the proper usage of any sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology offers these tips:

  • Use a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply it to the bare skin for at least 15 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Reapply it every two hours and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

7. Feed Your Skin While Tanning

If long-term tanning sessions aren’t something you can afford, then certain foods can help. But first, you must introduce to your body foods rich in l-tyrosine, a building block of melanin production. Melanin does nothing but protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation and skin burns.

These foods include chicken, turkey, fish, soy products, peanuts, almonds, bananas, avocados, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. In addition, melanin production is also believed to be supported by antioxidant-rich foods like dark berries, dark chocolate, dark, leafy greens, and colorful vegetables. However, science continues to emerge on the possible melanin-boosting properties of these superfoods.

8. Use Broad-Brimmed Hat

If your face doesn’t get a bronze-color golden shade, you want it to look like a resting place of freckles. While your body is getting a tan, your face needs to be covered time by time to prevent sensitive areas like your ears and neck from getting burnt. A broad-brimmed hat is key to saving all those areas, from your scalp to your beauty bone.

Smaller-brimmed hats provide reasonable protection to the scalp, forehead, and nose but almost none to the neck and ears.

9. Tan Regularly

Staying irregular or simply giving up is the biggest mistake our fair-skinned folks make. The root of achieving your dream tan is first developing the initial base tan. Then, as mentioned earlier, slowly build your tan and do it regularly so that you don’t fall behind and have to start things all over again from scratch!

Once developed that initial tan, you can expand the tan duration, though consistency is the key.

Final Thought

Nothing can stop you from achieving the beautiful, head-turning tan unless you are willing and prepared to do that. We have done what we could to kick it off and reconsider the entire process and products you may use. But, finally, we wish you a tan that most people are jealous of!

Important Questions

Are All Freckles Sun Damage?

No, freckles aren’t a sign of sun damage. Instead, they’re a buildup of melanin produced by ‘melanocyte’ cells in our body. Our skin’s exposure to sunlight encourages melanocytes to produce more melanin, and freckles form when this protein accumulates. So, as a blessing in disguise, freckles protect the sensitive areas of our skin from the sun’s UV rays.

Are Tanning Beds Safe?

When compared to sunlight, they aren’t. But that’s not to say you can’t even get tanned on a sunbed. It’s best to consult a tanning expert or a skin specialist to get suggestions on how much and when you can safely tan on a sunbed.

When maintaining your skin’s golden glow and the safety of your skin and hair is the primary focus, 2-3 sessions per week is the key. This directly translates to resting your body for a minimum of 24-48 hours before the next session. However, The European Standard advises not exceeding more than 60 sessions per annum for the greater good.

Also, your very first tanning session should last around 5-7 minutes, which you can expand as your body adapts to tanning effects over time. 

Can Tanning Hide Freckles?

It can’t. The more you expose your freckled skin to UV rays (either from sunlight or a sunbed/booth), the higher the chance of more freckles and worsening existing ones. However, to lighten the appearance of freckles, use sunscreen as a must-have during each tanning session, even if you aren’t tanning.

Can Sunburn Turn Into a Tan?

Yes, but it all depends on the type of your skin. If your skin produces more melanin, the more likely it’s to turn into a tan, and vice versa. Fair-skinned individuals fall into the latter category, while those with olive skin may get tan after a few days of healing from sunburn.

Also Read: Can I Tan in A Tanning Bed with Wet Hair?

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