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How to tan faster outdoors

Updated April 17, 2017

There are many tanning options available to get your most fabulous tan. But while tanning cream or artificial tanning beds work quickly, you can tan faster outdoors--if you do it right. Not only will you get a great tan faster, you'll also absorb all of the healthy vitamins from the sun's rays--and it will be completely natural! Here's how to tan faster outdoors.

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  1. Tan outdoors during tanning hours. Typically these range from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. , but the peak hours for the sun usually fall between noon and 2 p.m., or whenever the sun is at its highest point and appears to be directly overhead. By choosing to tan outdoors during the time when the sun is strongest, you will tan faster. If you have an extremely fair complexion, you may burn within a half an hour, so be careful.

  2. Check the day's UV Index. The higher the index, the faster you will tan outdoors. The UV Index can be found on websites such as weather.com by typing in the zip code of your tanning location (see Resources below). If you are serious about tanning faster, the UV Index should be at least a 6.

  3. Apply a tanning oil product to your skin before tanning. This will hold in your skin's moisture and help the temperature of the skin to heat quickly once outdoors. Most oils remain on the skin even after you go inside, which helps your tan develop without you ever knowing it.

  4. Face the sun strategically. To get a tan faster outdoors, you should be sure that the sun is hitting you at the strongest angle possible. Look at the ground to see where your shadow is being cast, then position yourself so that you are directly in line with your shadow. The stronger the sun hits you, the faster you tan!

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