How To Tan Faster: 5 Must-Know Hacks


Apr 14, 20237 min read


  • Eat foods rich in Lycopene to reduce sunburn response and prevent burns that hold you back from tanning faster.
  • Use skincare actives that boost melanin production to enhance your skin’s tanning biochemistry and tan faster and darker.
  • Tan every other day to help your skin to tan quicker due to your skin’s natural biology and energy.
  • Avoid direct sunshine during peak hours (10am to 2pm) to initiate your skin’s tanning biology and prevent a sunburn.
  • Exfoliate weekly to remove dead skin cells that make it harder to see the dark bronze below, but use a tan-supporting SPF to prevent sunburn and skin sensitivity.
Darker faster. Give me bronze now. Summers are short and you've got no time to waste. You might be surprised to learn that tanning is a chemical reaction and it can be hacked naturally. Even more surprising is the fact that you can totally speed up the time it takes you to tan. You can tan faster. You can tan quicker. The best part? Some of these how to tan faster hacks can also help protect your skin against sunburn, which is why we’re big personal fans of #1.


1. Tan faster by eating foods rich in Lycopene

It’s an antioxidant you can find in food and live, published studies show it can help to reduce your skin’s sunburn response by up to 40%[i]. Which is huge! Getting a healthy dose of lycopene can, therefore, help you prevent a burn which holds you back from tanning faster and darker. More about this in tan faster hack #3.
The best natural food for getting a lycopene dose is tomato paste or puree. It’s most bioavailable this way and because lycopene is fat-soluble, if you pair with a drizzling of olive oil – your body’s going to absorb the maximum it can


2. Tan faster and darker by using a tan accelerator

How fast you can tan for most people depends solely on their body’s biochemistry. How many pigment cells it has (aka melanin cells), how many more it can make and how fast it can make them. Not so many people know about this how to tan faster hack. There are skincare actives which can boost your skin’s own melanin production. You put them onto the skin and they enhance your skin’s tanning biochemistry. This was the founding principle behind our innovative sun care system - and this exact type of skincare active can be found inside our Tan Boost Technology™ which is a staple of both our Base Tan & Smart Screen products. 


3. Tan quicker by tanning every other day

The science on this one is shocking. A study published in October 2018 shows us that skin exposed to UVB every other day vs. every day gets a darker tan faster[ii]. Scientists believe this tanning faster hack is due to your skin only having a set amount of energy, called ATP. It can either use this energy to give your skin a tan or use this energy to help heal a sunburn. This shows just how important it is to work with your skin’s natural biology. Defending your skin against sun stress helps your skin to thrive and when your skin thrives it tans faster.


4. Tan faster by tanning at the right time

Many people believe that a sunburn turns into a tan. But that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, a sunburn can completely ruin a tan. When you've been burned, you can’t be in the sun without pain. Your skin looks red, blotchy and you feel like you’re on fire, always. It also looks likely that having a sunburn actually hinders your skin from initiating its tanning biology. Which means you’ll want to be out in the sun only when your risk of sunburn is least. Well over half of Earths UV dose pounds down between the hours of 10am to 2pm[iii] so we say it’s best to avoid direct sunshine at these peak hours.

5. Get a tan faster by exfoliating weekly *proceed with caution*

Use this how to tan faster hack with caution because if you don’t you will almost certainly get a sunburn. Why? Because this tanning hack is the only one that actually works against your skins natural biology. One of your skin’s best defenses against UV light is the layer of dead skin cells that sits on the surface of your skin. In fact your skin actually thickens in response to UV light[iv]. However this thick, dead skin is making it harder to see the dark bronze below. Knowing this, you ca gently exfoliate your skin once per week to keep that flakey skin at bay and prevent a patchy or uneven tan.
Be warned though, even though this hack can tan faster and darker, you will have less natural protection from the sun once those dead skin cells have been sloughed off. So if you plan to exfoliate, be sure to use a tan supporting SPF to prevent sunburn and skin sensitivity. 
[i] The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 131, Issue 5, May 2001, Pages 1449–1451
[ii] Mol Cell. 2018 Nov 1;72(3):444-456.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.09.022. Epub 2018 Oct 25.
[iv] Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jun; 14(6): 12222–12248.
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