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How to Make Your Tan Exactly as You Want for Light & Dark Skin

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I declare us fortunate! Finally, we can manage the bronze shade, and we can decide its intensity even when returning from vacay. If you want your light skin to stay the same after long walks on the seafront, you can do it. Likewise, if you desire a light golden hue or an intense caramel bronze, it’s just as simple. And if you have olive or dark skin and you don’t want to darken it too much, you only have to use some key products. Briefly, the secret is to control the production of melanin (skin pigment) and maintain the bronze intensity you want. It may not seem easy, but it’s simpler than you think if you follow these tips.

What to do to avoid tanning

Avoiding tanning in the vacancy can be challenging — especially if you’re on a tropical island like the one I’m dreaming about now — but with the right products and tips, you can get what you want in no time.

How to avoid tanning if you have light skin

You have to keep in mind two words: protection and hydration. First upfront, it’s crucial to support the skin’s barrier. As the temperature rises, the skin’s capillaries weaken, and it becomes excessively red. Two weeks before the holiday, you should start applying moisturizers and serums rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids (to increase the elasticity of the capillaries). We like this moisturizing gel by Elemis with cucumber, kiwi, and aloe vera – you can check it on Amazon here.


On the beach, always apply high protection products and, preferably, in the most creamy and emollient textures. Here are the best sunscreens without oxybenzone and octinoxate. An important step is not to forget reapplying protection every two hours or after swimming (even if the formula is waterproof). And for the face, always use special-made products! Also, during the holiday, you could replace the showers with long baths — it will diminish the melanin effect.

How to avoid tanning if you have dark skin

In this case, the amount of melanin in skin tissues is higher. To avoid tanning, you must control its action. So, two weeks before the holiday, apply a vitamin C cream on your body and a vit C serum on your face every day. Also, it’s essential to exfoliate one time a week your face and body (as you usually do, I hope). Once at the beach, use an SPF 50+ sunscreen in the first week, then SPF 30 to give your skin a nice glow without letting it darken too much. 

What to do for a moderate tan

To keep a moderate tan is all about limiting your staying in the sun and using sunscreen, OFC.

If you have light skin

The secret is to start with short exposures in the sun at the right time interval — before 11 AM and after 3-4 PM, never in between! Then, you can gradually decrease the SPF value. In the first three days (because this is how much time the production of melanin takes to activate), it’s OK to use SPF 50, then lower the values, but never below 20. It would help to cleanse your skin with oil-based formulas to avoid dehydration, and don’t forget about an after-beach product with an illuminating effect.

If you have dark skin

You have to wear SPF 30 every time you go out in the sun. BTW, It would help if you take as many baths in the sea as possible — experts say that sea salt has a mild exfoliating action, which cleans pores and helps oxygenate the skin. In the evening, to keep the tan even and avoid the unsightly accumulation of melanin, alternate the scrub with emollient cleaning products. You can try L’Occitane Softening Shower Cream.

What to do for an intense tan

Not that it’s healthy, but an intense tan is sexy, and sometimes we can have it (with limits, though)! With proper care, it’s easy to obtain a fantastic tan all summer long.


If you have light skin

You need to help your skin produce more melanin. You can take supplements or organize your diet to benefit from extra beta-carotene (precursor of vitamin A). The higher the concentration of beta-carotene in the body, the easier it will be for the skin to tan and become more resistant to the sun’s action. Once you reach the beach, it’s good to always start with SPF 50, no matter how great the temptation and joy of a fast-tan is. You can then gradually lower the protection value, reaching up to a minimum of 15 SPF after a week. 

Are you that white that you turn red? Then you have to cover yourself with a T-shirt and a hat — if you get sunburnt, all the effort will be in vain. Two-three hours a day are enough to get a tan; you definitely must be patient. Another tip: always keep thermal water on hand, which you can spray on your face and body. But be careful — after each spray, you should lightly tap the thermal water with a napkin. In the evening, to intensify the color, use a product after the beach with a self-tanning effect. Check out on Amazon this one with organic and natural ingredients.

If you have dark skin

You will not encounter difficulties in obtaining an intense tan, but you must keep in mind that protection is a must, even if it’s lower. If you tan quickly, it doesn’t mean you’re safe from premature aging caused by UV rays, and you must be careful. For the same reason, don’t forget to moisturize your skin every day thoroughly!

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