If you ask for a reason why people tan their faces, the only reason I’d be able to give you, and perhaps the most obvious one, is because of personal preference. Like how the grass always looks greener on the other side, people born with white, fair skin find tanned skin more attractive, while people born with naturally tanned skin find white and fair skin more beautiful.
Tanning can be easily achieved by going on one beach trip and soaking over the sun over time, but they can cause uneven tanning, especially on parts covered by clothes. At the same time, the face can or cannot be tanned, depending on the situation at hand.
Over the years, tanning has gotten a bad reputation, unlike how whitening isn’t considered stigmatic. Is it because tanning is deemed to be harmful to the body? If so, is there a way on how to tan your face naturally?
What is tanning?
Natural tanning happens because of UVA. The sun’s rays have two types of ultraviolet radiation that affect the skin, UVA, and UVB. UVB affects our skin through sunburns, damaging the epidermis of the upper layers of the skin. Meanwhile, UVA causes tanning, which penetrates the lower layers of the epidermis. Because of the UVA, cells called melanocytes produce melatonin and causes browning or tanning of the skin.
Tanning the body is way easier as compared to tanning the face. A bit of significant sun exposure can help in achieving a tanned body. Even if there are uneven areas, like the elbows or the ankles, they are generally unnoticeable. However, tanning the face requires attention and specific methods to achieve a flawless, natural-looking tan.
Tanning the face isn’t that difficult or different from tanning the body. In the end, it all boils down to how you control the darkness of the tan as compared to the tan in your body. After all, you wouldn’t want an obviously uneven tan, do you?
So how to tan your face naturally, you say? Here are some ways.
Tan with a mousse
Self-tanning using beauty products isn’t anything new. Over the years, people who wanted o to achieve a natural-looking temporary tan have used various self-tanning mousse, whether in the body or the face.
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to get a self-tanning mousse with a guide color to guide you where to apply. Also, it’s essential to wear a tanning mitt when using tanning mousse and apply them in lengthways motion in a clean sweep and equal pressure to ensure the tanning mousse is evenly distributed and spread over your body. Applying circular motions can result in uneven distribution of the product.
In applying the mousse on the face, use only one coat compared to two coats on the body. Also, try mixing half a pump of self-tanning mousse with a moisturizer on your tanning mitt, this time pressing onto the face and blending carefully.
In the sun
One of the more popular ways to tan the body and the face is to be in direct contact with the sun. Because of the UVA radiated by the sun, people have different lengths of time to achieve their desired tan based on their type of skin.
Prolonged exposure to the sun is always not a good thing. You are risking yourself of various skin diseases like skin cancer, even when wearing sunscreen.
So, how to tan your face in the sun? To get the best (and safer) results for tanning under the sun, one of the most important is applying the right sunscreen. Not just any sunscreen, but the right one. Look for a sunscreen that has a broad spectrum and not just the SPF levels. For SPF levels, choose a sunscreen with an SPF level of 30 since this can give you enough protection from UVB and UVA but not strong enough for you not to get tan.
Remember to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out.
Also, to avoid burning just one part of your body, change positions frequently. Eat foods rich in beta-carotene and lycopene, and do not expose your skin to the sun for too long, 2-3 hours at most.
Using a tanning bed
Another popular and less natural option we will share is how to tan your face on a tanning bed.
Before going on a tanning bed, make sure you shower and exfoliate because UV rays in tanning beds can’t penetrate the skin that’s dirty and dry. Make sure to put on tanning lotion before going on the tanning bed, and remove any makeup and fragrances. It is also recommended to build a base tan before going to a tanning bed to avoid irritation in the skin. You can do this even by a simple outdoor activity that will expose your skin to natural sunlight pre-tanning bed sessions.
You can wear a swimsuit or be naked when getting into a tanning bed, but do remember that swimsuits will give you tan lines over the covered skin. Make sure to have tanning goggles and wear lip balm with SPF to avoid burning the lips.
Choose a tanning bed with low or medium pressure for a more natural-looking tan as they emit UV rays that are more similar to natural sunlight. You can also choose a high-pressure tanning bed for a long-lasting tan, although they are usually the most expensive.
Tanning beds will have personalized buttons for you to control airflow and lights, as well as visible timers for you to know if your designated tanning session is done.
Flip into different positions each time, like bending your knees and flipping into your stomach to receive an even tan.
After the tanning bed session, wait for 3-4 hours before showering and maintain it by revisiting your salon.
Another tanning method is one called spray tan. All forms of self-tanning include an active ingredient called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that interacts with our body to make us tan. You may think DHA is similar to paint, but it is more like a chemical reaction of the amino acids on our skin with the DHA in the spraying tans.
While you can do self-tan, it is more recommended to see a qualified spray tanner who can use a tool like an air gun to spray it over your body while avoiding the eyes, mouth, and nose.
The most important way to keep the tan on longer is by exfoliating before the spray tanning session. Also, avoid wearing perfumes, creams, lotions, and makeup.
Spray tan results can take 12 hours to be visible, so make sure you don’t get wet before then. Also, avoid tight clothing before your tan becomes visible.
A spray tan can last from five to twelve days. A few tips on how to help them last longer is to take lukewarm showers using a pH-balanced body wash and keep yourself hydrated all the time.