Whether you’re hanging out by the pool or lying down on the beach, you want to make sure that you’re getting an even tan. No one wants awkward tan lines, but you don’t want to get sunburnt either. From knowing what to wear and how much sunscreen to apply, here are our tips for getting the perfect bikini tan.
First things first, you’ll want a bikini that fits you well. You don’t want one that’s too loose and will hang off your body. You don’t want one that’s too tight and will be uncomfortable to wear all day, especially when it gets wet in the water. Consider different fabrics and cuts to match your style and natural frame.
For minimal tan lines, you can get women’s bikini tops and bikini bottoms with strings. If you want to avoid tan lines from straps on your bikini top, you can go for a strapless bandeau top instead. If you’d rather wear a tankini top instead of a bikini top, we have tips for that, too.
If you want to get a tan but don’t want to wear a bikini, you don’t have to wear a bikini. You can even wear high-waisted bikini bottoms if you prefer more coverage and comfort. If you prefer to rock a one-piece swimsuit or tankinis with swim skirts, you can still tan everywhere else that your skin is exposed. For any swimsuits with straps, you can tuck them into the sides to get a more even tan.
Before you spend the day tanning, take care of your skin first. You don’t want to get uneven tan lines. Exfoliate your skin regularly to help prevent the build-up of dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation helps bring out the uppermost layer of your skin. That way, when you tan, you’ll have a more naturally bronzed appearance. You don’t even have to go to the store to get an expensive skin exfoliant. You can make your own skin exfoliant at home. To make your DIY exfoliant, mix oatmeal or brown sugar with honey. You can rub the exfoliant on your skin before you take a shower, using your hands or a loofah to scrub the mixture away.
Now that your skin is exfoliated make sure your skin is moisturized. Put lotion on any parts of your body that tend to get dryer than others, such as your hands or elbows. Drink plenty of water as well to stay hydrated when you’re sunbathing.
Next, apply sunscreen to your skin. Some people think that in order to get a better tan, they should use a lower-grade SPF. Don’t be fooled. You’ll still get your tan on even with a high SPF. Even with the highest SPF sunscreen, your skin still won’t be 100% blocked from UVB rays. That means you can still tan, but the higher SPF will help prevent sunburns. While you’re at it, consider using swimwear with UPF protection built into the fabric. Take a look at all of our sun protection swimwear for inspiration.
As tempting as tanning oils may be to speed up the tanning process or to get a deeper tan, you’re also more likely to get a sunburn. Skip the tanning oils and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVB and UVA protection. You can use sprays or lotions depending on your preference; just be sure to protect your skin.
Don’t just lay there. Lying down in the same position for hours on end will inevitably result in uneven tan lines. Be sure to rotate from one side to another. You don’t even have to lie down on your back or stomach the whole time. If you want to swim, take a walk on the beach, or play some beach volleyball, go ahead and do it. The point is that you’re not staying stationary in one place. If you do lie down on your back, make sure your arms are stretched out to soak in the sun as well.
You don’t have to tan for hours on end. Doing that can lead to painful sunburns. Instead, take breaks and tan in intervals to avoid accidental sunburns. At the most, tan on one side of the body for up to half an hour. Flip to the other side every 15 to 30 minutes to give an even tan, and rest your skin in between sunbathing.
After you’ve spent the day tanning, take a nice, cold shower. A cold shower will help cool down the heat of your body. Avoid taking a hot shower because hot showers after tanning all day can dry out your skin. You don’t want a patchy or flaky tan, so be sure to take a cold shower instead. After the shower, moisturize your skin with lotion. You can also use aloe vera gel or cooling cream to soothe any sunburns.
With all of these tips in mind, you’re sure to get that bikini tan you’ve been dreaming of. Keep wearing sunscreen, and you’ll have a sun-kissed glow in no time.