Does Oil Make You Tan Faster?

Updated April 17, 2017

Tanning oil should not be confused with other types of oils typically used for cooking or food preparation. This is important to note because these oils are not intended for use on the body. Harmful and sometimes permanent damage can be caused if improper oil is used on the skin in conjunction with exposure to the sun for tanning purposes. Be sure that the oil you are using to tan is, in fact, tanning oil.

How Oil Makes You Tan Faster

Oil used to achieve a faster tan is intended to be applied prior to or during exposure to the sun, in whatever quantity you desire. The skin becomes tan as a reaction to exposure to the sun's UV rays. As the skin warms up and absorbs these UV rays, your body releases additional melatonin, which darkens the colour of your skin; this is essentially what makes you tan. Melatonin is the body's defence against UV rays, as too much exposure to them is harmful; bad sunburns can result in hospitalisation or cause permanent skin damage, blisters and possibly even cancer. The darker the colour of the skin, the more resistant the body is to UV damage. Tanning oil causes the skin to heat up more quickly than it otherwise would upon exposure to the sun, which makes you tan faster.

Benefits of Using Oil When You Tan

While you may not observe the effects of the oil until hours after you have finished tanning, it does make you tan faster. This can be especially beneficial when you have a limited amount of time that you can dedicate to tanning, or if you are tanning on a cooler day. You might be surprised at how much the oil heats up your skin. The oil stays on your skin after you have come out of the sun, keeping it warmer for longer, which also increases the effect the oil has on your tan. In addition, tanning oil has the added benefit of acting as a moisturiser; keeping your skin moisturised and healthy decreases the chances of unsightly peeling as a result of exposure to the sun.

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