Tanning your legs is not impossible, but it can be challenging to handle, especially when the rest of your body is a deep golden brown and your legs are still white and pasty!
It can be tricky to get your legs tan to match the same color as your body while lying on a tanning bed or getting a friend to apply fake tan.
Let’s discuss why it is harder to tan your legs and what you can do to get them to tan faster than usual. Our handy tips can help you to achieve golden brown legs in no time!
Reasons Why Legs Won’t Tan
There are many reasons why it can be tricky to get an even tan everywhere including your legs. It is essential to identify the factors that can affect the tanning of your legs. Bear in mind that all people are different, and there can be many variants.
Here are a few things that play a significant role when it comes to the tanning of the legs:
Melanin can be found in the hair, the eyes, and the skin and is a pigment found in the body. When UV rays penetrate through the skin, the melanin in the body causes the skin to darken.
Natural sunlight and UV rays from a sunbed can speed up the process and make the skin darker by activating the melanin pigments from within the skin. Unfortunately, some areas, such as the legs, are more challenging to darken than others.
Different parts of the body tend to have different amounts of melanin in them. For example, your legs do not have as much melanin as your arms which makes tanning them significantly harder than the rest of the body.
Skin thickness can affect how quickly certain areas of your body tan. Some parts of the body tend to have thicker skin which causes them to battle to absorb the correct amount of UV light.
As it happens, the skin on your legs is generally thicker than the skin on other areas of your body. In turn, that causes the light from the tanning bed to not penetrate the skin on your legs properly to process the melanin needed to get a tan on the leg area.
You will not be able to get a good tan if your skin is dry. Dry skin can act as a reflective barrier to UV light and prevent it from penetrating the skin enough to cause melanin production. Remember that if the UV light cannot penetrate your skin, your tan will not be as dark as you desire.
Also, the skin on your legs tends to be drier than the rest of the body. Even if your legs do tan, if you have dry skin, any exfoliation processes such as shaving and exfoliating might rub your tan away. Shaving and exfoliating can dry the skin out even more and remove the tanned layers of skin.
The Type of Tanning Bed You Use
In the past, tanning beds did not have the same technology that they do today, and a self tanner would be quite disappointed by the dismal tan they would achieve after countless sessions.
Modern technology has made tanning beds better than ever. The problem is still that most of these machines have specialized UV lamps that tan the face and shoulders more than the legs. In most tanning beds, the UV lamp is focused more on the shoulders and torso and not so much on the legs.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Tan in A Tanning Bed?
Exfoliation Before You Tan is The Key!
Please take into account that when tanning, it is the top layer of skin that is the most affected when you lie in the sunbed or outside in the sun. Fortunately, the topmost layer of the skin in the area sheds the most cells, especially during any exfoliation process.
It would be best if you exfoliated before tanning because you’ll remove any dead cells from the top layer of your skin’s pores. Exfoliating results in a new later being exposed to the UV light of the tanning bed.
If you fail to exfoliate correctly before a session, this can negatively affect your tan quality. Never underestimate the power of a good moisturizer.
Freshly exfoliated skin helps your tan last longer and primes it to take in the ultraviolet light from your session. The way to do this is to shower or bathe before your tanning salon appointment and exfoliate your skin with a bath brush or exfoliating gloves to remove any dead skin cells.
It is, however, essential to be gentle and not overdo the exfoliation process as this can make your skin even drier and patchier.
Naked or Not?
Most will agree that tan lines are not the best look to have hence why most people prefer to tan naked on the tanning bed. The advantage is you have privacy and can tan faster due to all the areas of your body having exposure to the ultraviolet rays at the same time.
Not many people want an uneven tan. Just remember that if you tan naked, it is vital to take care of your body’s sensitive parts by using a small towel to cover sensitive areas near your tan line area.
Tanning Lotions and Bronzers
With so many lotions available on the market, there are many tan accelerator options to choose from. Tanning lotions improve your sunless tanner results to ensure a darker, less patchy tan on your legs.
Indoor tanning lotions also contain extra moisturizes to help the skin tan properly and give it an even glow. Many of these tanning lotions contain bronzers and self-tanning chemicals that react with your skin to darken it regardless of light exposure.
These bronzers also help give you a darker tan in less time while you work your way through your tanning sessions. They can also give you the boost that you need to help darken your legs.
Rather Pay More for A Quality Tanning Experience
The advancement in technology has given tanning beds the ability to tan your body much faster than older model tanning beds. It is essential to choose a tanning bed that offers both UVA and UVB radiation. These beds tend to mimic the light emitted from the sun to enhance your overall tanning experience.
These full-spectrum tanning beds are the best ones to use if you want to get a beautiful tan. Always look to make sure that the bulbs on the bed are in good condition and make sure that your chosen salon has tested them regularly to ensure they are performing optimally.
Rotating your body frequently on a tanning bed is the best way to ensure that the bed’s UV lights penetrate all areas of the body. Tie your hair up and take off any unnecessary jewelry or accessories before starting with your session to avoid any tan lines.
Wait to Shower If You Can
It is just as important to take the proper steps after your tanning session as you do before your tanning session. Knowing when to shower after tanning is important. This is especially true if you are using an indoor bronzer.
Try not to shower for at least two to four hours after your session, and always follow the instructions on how to use the bronzer you have chosen.
Use a high-quality body scrub too.
Moisturize Again and Again!
Moisturizing the skin after your tanning session will help make your tan last longer and build up your base color during your next tanning sessions.
To extend the life span of your tan, try to find a moisturizer that has an after-tan extender.
Can I Just Tan My Legs in The Tanning Bed?
Yes, you can. In your first few sessions, you need to part your legs so that the UV rays hit them from all sides. Once you feel that your upper body has tanned darker than your legs, then you can start to cover your upper body and expose your legs only.
How Do You Tan Feet in A Tanning Bed?
Tanning your feet in a tanning bed can be quite tricky. The best way is to place your feet in an upright position so that only the heel of your foot is in contact with the bed. Remember to stretch your feet intermittently during the tanning process.
What to Avoid When Tanning Legs
Now that you know what to do to get your legs tanned, it is also critical to know what not to do!
If you need to wax or shave, do it before your tanning session, as you will not be able to remove hair from the legs for at least two days after your session. If you do shave, then you are shaving away your tan as well as hairs!
Avoid Long Showers
Avoid long showers or baths as the heat from the water tends to open up your pores and reduce your tan.
If you want your tan to last, then you should avoid wearing any tight clothing. Tight clothing will rub up against your skin and cause your tan to become uneven and fade.
How Many Times Do You Need to Go on A Tanning Bed to Get Tan?
Most times, you will only begin to notice results after a few tanning sessions. It may even take several weeks of tanning about three times a week to achieve a decent tan. If you are trying to develop a base tan for a function, you should start your tanning sessions at least two to three weeks before the event.
Is One Tanning Session Enough?
One session will not be enough as the skin needs several tanning sessions to allow the melanin to produce a decent tan. Depending on the melanin levels present in your skin, your tan will typically start to develop within at least 3 to 5 sessions. Perhaps longer, if you have very fair skin.
How Often Should I Go?
Building and maintaining a decent tan is vital to tan regularly and not let too much time go by between your salon visits. Doing this can cause your tan to fade.
The best way for your tan to develop is to only tan once in any 24 hours. Allow a 48-hour gap between each session. Ideally, it would help if you went to the salon about three to four times a week to build your tan and after that one to two times a week to maintain it.
An all-over natural tan can boost confidence and make you feel fantastic. However, it can also become very irritating when your legs are patchy compared to the rest of your body. That can happen if you’re using a spray tan or any form of sunless tan.
It is a good idea to understand how certain things affect the way that your legs tan and how you can speed up the process and have tanned legs in no time! Take time to follow the tips listed above to achieve an all-over golden tanned skin for both your body and your legs.