How to Get the Darkest Tan

Updated February 21, 2017

Dark tans hide skin flaws and gives your body a healthy, bronze glow. The depth of your tan will depend on your individual skin type, but for most, it is possible to get a dark tan. Get a dark tan by tanning regularly using the best techniques possible. Whether you tan indoors using tanning equipment or prefer the outdoors, you can achieve your dream tan and feel confident in every summer outfit you wear.

Shower and exfoliate your skin using warm water and a body scrub before your tanning sessions. This will remove any dirt and dried skin cells that would hinder your tan. Women should shave their legs, too.

Pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Never rub your skin.

Apply tanning lotion to your body. Use tanning lotion specific to the type of tan you are getting. Indoor tanning will require a lotion that allows UV rays. Outdoor tanning lotions contain ingredients that block UV rays. Never use outdoor tanning lotions in a tanning bed. You could damage the equipment.

Put on your bathing suit. Go outdoors and tan for fifteen minutes while lying on your back. Then turn over and tan for fifteen minutes lying on your stomach.

Increase your tan time by a minute each day until you reach twenty-five minutes on each side. Use a timer to keep up with your tanning time.

Tan indoors by following the tanning regimen prescribed your tanning facility.

Rinse off with cool/warm water after tanning. Pat your skin dry with a towel.

Apply a skin moisturiser to your body to keep your tan from drying and fading. Use a moisturiser that contains a bit of bronze colour to enhance your tan.

Change your tanning lotion to a product with a higher tanning intensity. These products are called "tingle" lotions. Tan using the tingle lotion until you are as dark as you want to be. Tingle lotions have active ingredients that cause microcirculation. As skin heats up,the lotion produces a warming sensation that may cause the skin to tan quicker and deeper.

Maintain your dark tan by tanning once or twice a week.


Wear white clothing to offset the look of your dark tan. Test tingle lotions on a small patch of skin before applying it to your entire body. Some people have allergic reactions to stimulating lotions.


Using tanning beds can dramatically increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Protect your eyes during tanning by wearing sunglasses. Avoid tanning your face unless necessary. Use make-up products to give your face a tanned look.

Things You'll Need

  • Body scrub
  • Clean towel
  • Tanning lotions
  • Bathing suits
  • Timer
  • Skin moisturiser
  • Tingle tanning lotions
  • White clothing
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About the Author

As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.