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Summer is here and getting a nice tan can be tricky if you don’t know how to protect your skin and common mistakes to avoid.

Prep Your Skin

Exfoliate: exfoliation is an important step before exposure to the sun. It allows the skin to shed dead cells that accumulate and can prevent a uniform tanning. That being said, it’s essential to be careful and never forget to apply sunscreen, because exfoliation removes the “fine protective layer” on the surface of your skin, which makes skin more vulnerable to UV rays. It is therefore recommended that you wait a few days between exfoliation and sun exposure.

Make sure your diet is rich in carotene and vitamin E: Thanks to their antioxidant properties, foods that are rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, such as lycopene, could improve your skin’s protection against UV rays. The best sources of carotenoids are carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, squash, broccoli, mangos, apricots, kale, peas, tomatoes and melon. Vitamin E contained in vegetable oils, almonds and nuts also provides protection from the sun.

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Here are some do’s and don’ts for getting an even tan that lasts without getting sunburnt.


  • Turn your body often: lay on your back, your stomach and on the sides.
  • To get an even tan, change position of your arms and legs frequently.
  • Check the UV index at least every hour.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating fresh fruit.
  • Be patient – the slower you get tanned the longer it will last.
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  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 for the body.
  • Use at least SPF 30 or even 50 for the face.
  • Make sure the sunscreen is broad-spectrum, protecting against both UVA and UVB.
  • Apply the first layer at home, before going out in the sun.
  • Reapply every two hours or after swimming.
  • Check the expiry date – sunscreens only last up to 3 years!
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What to wear

  • Have at least two different bikinis of different models to switch between to avoid sharp tan lines. 
  • Wear sunglasses and a sun hat.
  • If you have long hair, tie it up.
  • Once you have finished tanning for the day, put on a long beach dress that also covers your shoulders. 
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  • Firstly, don’t rush to get as tanned as possible.
  • Don’t ever trust that any sunscreen is water resistant.
  • Just don’t think that sunscreens with a high SPF protects your skin longer than ones with a low SPF.
  • Never tan when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, from 11am to 3pm
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*This holds for countries that use daylight saving time (DST) in the summer. In countries that don’t use DST (Thailand for example) the sun is at it’s highest point at 12pm, meaning you should avoid the sun from 10am to 4pm
  • Please don’t forget that tanning is damaging to the skin in the long term and increases the risk for skin cancer.
  • Don’t fall asleep while tanning
  • Do not drink alcohol before, during or after tanning as it can lead to dehydration
  • Don’t think you’re safe from the sun in the shadow or if it is a little cloudy.
  • And lastly, if your skin gets sunburnt, don’t make it worse by more sun exposure until the redness has disappeared.
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