Best Time To Tan Outside: A Helpful Guide For A Beginner

If you intend to tan outdoors, you may wonder what the best time to tan outside is. Let’s find the answer in this article!
A natural tan is preferable to a fake tan on almost all skin types because they usually last longer and do not necessitate constant spraying to maintain their color.

But how can you achieve that lovely, natural tan? When is the best time to tan outside? When is the greatest time to stay out of the sun?
In this article, we will go through the specifics of this information. So do not miss out on it.

When Is The Perfect Time To Tan Outside?

Based on the region you live in, this timescale may differ slightly. However, in general, the sun is at its brightest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
It is highest in the sky at midday, implying it is most potent (as assessed by the UV index) since the rays must travel the fewest distances to reach Earth.
There will be times during the above timeframe when sunshine is a nice light. It not only gives you a tan, but it also boosts your metabolism and increases your immune system. 
Furthermore, there will be occasions when sunshine is not beneficial to your health. It is because tanning when the sun’s rays are at their highest also leads to a higher potential of damage to your health. 
Therefore, if you do not want to put your health at risk to get a fast tan, go on for the following part!

When Is The Safest Time To Be In The Sun?

Unfortunately, the safest time of day to tan is never. No matter whether you tan indoors or outdoors, UV rays still represent a hazard to your skin, causing skin cancer, premature aging, and other problems.

But if you are looking for the “safest” time to tan outside, which means tanning with the least risk to your health, you should tan before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Because the sun does not shine directly on you at this time, the chances of developing reddish skin are minimal.
This is also when UV is at its weakest. Early morning sun exposure is preferred over late afternoon light exposure because it is more in tune with the circadian rhythm of the human body.
Early morning exposure to light is also beneficial, and it will certainly deliver great results to a dawn simulator light or SAD light (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Likewise, it is the best time to avoid sun exposure since the sun is the most intense during this time.
You should tan before 10 am and after 4 pm with the least healthy risks. 
You should tan before 10 am and after 4 pm with the least healthy risks.

Once it comes to assessing UV intensity, you do not have to be overly technical. You may select the time using the “shadow technique.” When your shadow is taller than you, the UV rays seem less powerful, and you can tan.
Unless you are comfortable with this schedule and are only available during peak hours, you can go tanning in the shade.
Unless it is raining, you may tan even if it is gloomy. Also, you may tan outside as long as the sun is shining and you understand how to protect your skin.
Notably, consider going at a slower speed for more significant results.

When Is The Best Time To Sunbathe For Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is indeed best obtained from the sun. Once your body is exposed to sunshine, cholesterol is converted to vitamin D. UVB rays from the sun strike cholesterol in the skin cells, giving the energy needed for vitamin D production.
So, the ideal time to sunbathe for vitamin D is daytime, from 10 am to 3 pm, particularly during the summer since the sun is at its most intense point at midday, and UVB rays are at their strongest. It implies you will have to spend less time in the sun to get enough vitamin D.
Several studies have also shown that the body produces the most fantastic vitamin D during midday. For instance, three minutes of daytime sunshine exposure three times per week throughout the summer is sufficient to sustain healthy levels in Caucasian adults.

How Hot Does It Have To Be Outside To Get A Good Tan?

You can tan regardless of how hot or chilly it is outdoors. There is no link between temperature and tanning. 
To illustrate, you may ski and still acquire a tan because of the UV radiation on the snow. Also, even though the air temp is quite chilly, you can still obtain a tan. Once the ambient temperature is under the freezing temperature, individuals in colder regions can develop a tan or suffer from sunburn.
Instead, the link is found in the sun’s UV radiation. UVA, UVB, and UVC are the three types of UV rays.

  • First, UVA radiation may cause everything from sunburn and tanning to premature aging as well as skin diseases such as skin cancer. This ray is used in tanning beds and lamps since they do not burn as fast as UVB radiation.
  • Second, the ozone layer, which protects the Earth’s atmosphere from the sun’s rays, is likely to affect the UVB rays. Although UVB radiation is shorter than UVA radiation, they induce sunburn more quickly.

Whether or not such UVB rays occurs is determined by your point on the earth and the thickness of the ozone layer over you.

  • Finally, UVC radiation is the least damaging and has the shortest wavelength of the three UV radiation. Sunbeds should never emit these rays. The ozone layer may absorb most UVC rays if they hit the planet. Yet, they would be the most hazardous when they reach the Earth on any level.
The sun's UV radiations affect your tanning results instead of the temperature. 
The sun’s UV radiations affect your tanning results instead of the temperature.

How Long Should You Lay Out To Get A Tan?

Generally, you may tan for about 10 minutes to an hour when the sun is out. Even so, the optimal time to tan is determined by a variety of factors.

  • The sun’s elevation: The sun’s radiations are greater at higher elevations, which may speed up burning and tanning.
  • Skin color: Those with darker skin tan quicker since their skin contains more melanin, leading them to tan even more since the sun induces melanocytes to generate melanin, which darkens the skin.
  • Moisture: High humidity in moist locations can help maintain a tan from disappearing and can even speed up tanning.
  • The sun’s position: The sun’s position and the time of the day are also important. You are likely to burn or tan the nearer you get to the equator.
  • A break: The longer you are exposed to direct sunlight without taking a rest in the shadow, the more prone you are to tan or burn.
  • SPF in a sunscreen: The SPF of sunscreen can affect how much time you should lay out to get a tan. The greater the SPF, the lengthier you ought to have it before burning. An SPF of 30 will, for instance, keep your skin 30 times more than unless you were wearing nothing.

Overall, it is critical not to be subjected to sunlight for a prolonged time (more than one hour). You may tan more frequently when your skin blackens, but dangerous disorders like melanoma are not worth the brief tanned appearance.
For the best result, start with 15-20 minutes of sun exposure and gradually increase your sun exposure by 5-10 minutes when your skin goes deeper. Every 1-2 weeks, you may gradually extend the time you spend sunbathing, up to 1 hour.

How To Protect Your Skin When Tanning Outside?

Apply a sunscreen

Always use sunscreen with 30 SPF on a minimum and broad-spectrum UV protection. Also, always use tanning oil, including sun protection, to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. 
Remember to use it within 20 minutes after leaving the house. An SPF of 30 effectively blocks UVA and UVB radiations while allowing you to tan. Apply a full oz of sunscreen to your entire body.

Cover up


ear sunglasses with UV protection since the skin around your eyes is more vulnerable than the rest of your face.
If you are out, we suggest that you use UV-protected sunglasses. Additionally, choose a lens size that completely covers the under-eye area.

Get some water

To avoid dehydration and dry skin, drink 15 to 20 glasses of water at a minimum daily. Doing so may aid in the reversal of tanning impacts.


Sun exposure is inevitable if you intend to be outside for a lengthy period. So, exfoliating the skin before applying sunscreen can help clear pores and peel dead skin, resulting in a more even brown.

Change position

When lying in the sun, adjust your angle frequently to prevent prolonged and intense exposure to particular body areas, leading to burns and worrisome tan lines.

Keep in mind the shade

As previously said, you should not expose yourself to the sun for more than one hour per day, even if you have already spent several weeks tanning. As a result, bring a beach umbrella or other shade along with you while you are out throughout the day. 

You can take a beach umbrella, a comfy hat, and other items that will allow you to spend most of the time in the shade rather than in the sun.

Check the time

Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the sun is at its harshest. For this reason, be especially cautious and take frequent pauses, as well as try to cover up and find shade.
You should also reapply sunscreen every two hours, no matter whether you have been swimming, particularly during these hours.

Avoid tanning for too long

Stay out of the sun for no extended than the skin can produce melanin, which is a pigment that causes tanning. It has a cut-off point for everyone, which is typically 2 to 3 hours.
The skin will not become darker in a single day after this period of time. Instead, you may be putting it in danger if you tan beyond that level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are 30 Minutes Outside Enough To Tan?

The hue of your skin determines the answer.

Light to very light skin

It would be yes if your skin is

light to very light. 10 to 30 minutes of tanning in the sun is all you need to perfect your look. If you stay out any longer, you risk getting a sunburn.

Olive-colored or dark brown skin

On the other hand, 30 minutes outside is not enough to tan if you have olive-colored or dark brown skin. 
Instead, you need to spend 40 to 60 minutes in the sun to begin tanning.  You might get a sunburn after that.

Dark brown to black skin

It is important to note that you may not observe a significant difference in the skin color following tanning if your skin is dark brown to black. 
Nevertheless, after 40 to 60 minutes, you may still get a sunburn.

Can You Still Get A Tan At 5 pm Outside?

Fortunately, the answer is yes.
If you are a hectic mother or simply work day and night, the only moment you can tan is after 5 p.m. Even though it will not provide you that golden color as rapidly as early tanning, you may still make things happen.

Tanning after 5 pm is not a bad idea. 
Tanning after 5 pm is not a bad idea.

Also, going out after 5 p.m. is an intelligent plan for people who are new to sunbathing and wish to build up their tan gradually. As opposed to if you go full-on on day one, doing so will assist you in obtaining healthy and beautiful skin.
Furthermore, after 5 p.m., the UV index is lower; thus, the chance of having a sunburn is limited. Then, it is a little safer.

Is It Better To Tan Outside In The Morning Or In The Afternoon?

Even though you may tan in the morning or the afternoon, it is preferable to tan

in the morning, which is particularly important for people with fair, sensitive, and pale skin.
You can tan relatively safely by sunbathing early in the morning once the sun’s radiations are lower and your body is prepared to repair DNA damage.
According to a study published in Science Daily, mice subjected to UV radiation in the morning had a higher risk of developing cancer. 
Researchers clarified that humans and mice come with “circadian clocks” running contrary to each other, meaning that humans are best shielded from the sun’s dangerous rays in the morning, whereas mice are most vulnerable, and conversely.

Is It True That You Tan Faster In Hotter Weather?

The quick answer is no. The air temperature has no bearing on how the sun’s rays affect your skin.
In contrast, tanning in scorching temperatures is highly harmful and can result in malignant cells. Alternatively, you may burn or tan right during the winter. 
Therefore, even if the temperature is ten degrees below zero outside, apply sunscreen if you want to get a tan.

You can still tan in the winter. 
You can still tan in the winter.

If you are a newcomer to the outdoor tanning, this video may help you to some extent:

Final Thoughts

By now, we have already given you a lot of information about the best time to tan outside.
Tanning involves several disadvantages, the most serious of which is skin cancer. For this reason, you should take additional precautions to reduce the danger as much as possible.


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