Despite having a great tanning bed, it may not be easy to get a perfect tan with it. Some parts of your body will naturally soak the rays up without a hassle. However, this is not the case for other parts of the body, such as your legs.
Since they are more resistant to tan, achieving an even color can be tricky, and that can keep you from rocking those short dresses you’ve been looking forward to wearing.
This guide will cover how to tan your legs in a tanning bed to get the most of your session. You will also look at the science behind legs not tanning easily and tips on how to mitigate this when you go for a session.
Why Legs Don’t Tan Like Other Parts of the Body
There are so many reasons why the legs don’t tan like other body parts. They include,
Lower Melanin Levels
To get that sun-kissed glow, you need melanin — that’s the pigment found in your hair, skin, and irises that brings about color. Melanin darkens the skin when it is exposed to UV rays. Sunlight is not the only thing that can activate melanin pigments — UV lamps in tanning beds can do so as well. Still, it may not work for some stubborn areas of the skin.
All parts of the body have varying melanin levels. The legs lack this pigment compared to other parts of the body, like the arms. Therefore, it may not tan as deeply as other parts.
The thickness of the skin can also affect how it tans. Body parts that have thicker skin may have difficulty absorbing UV light. This will make it challenging to get the perfect tan on those parts of the body.
The skin on the legs is thicker than the arms, torso, or face skin. This is why it may prevent the light from the tanning bed or sun from reaching the melanin and giving you your desired tan.
Dry skin can be a problem during a tanning session. When skin is dry, it can form a reflective barrier to the UV light. This means that it won’t be able to reach the melanin. Ultimately, the melanin will not get darker, and the tan will be uneven.
Also, since the legs have drier skin, it exfoliates quicker. In the process, your tan will be rubbed away quickly. For women, shaving regularly and exfoliating could dry out the skin and remove the tanned layers of the skin.
Tanning beds didn’t used give the best results in the past. After numerous complaints, the manufacturers decided to be more innovative. Newer tanning beds have more specialized lamps. These lamps tan the shoulders and face properly but still neglect the legs.
Aeration and Blood Circulation
Aeration and blood circulation can affect the result of your tan. If you wear lots of tight jeans and leggings, it could reduce aeration and blood circulation on your legs. The skin’s ability to breathe freely is essential for a beautiful color. Aside from preventing your skin from getting enough air, tight jeans also create friction that rubs away the tan faster than usual.
Scrubs and Hot Baths
Long baths can also affect the tan on your legs. When you take hot baths, you stand the risk of removing the tan because the skin becomes a lot softer which will speed up the skin renewal cycle.
You may also be tempted to use exfoliants and scrubs in the bath. Scrubbing your legs unnecessarily can remove the tan shabbily and lead to uneven tan. When you are gentle with your tanned skin, the result will be even and beautiful.
How to Tan Your Legs in a Tanning Bed
There are a few tricks to ensure that your legs get tanned evenly. It will take you more time, but you will get the results you want. The best way to ensure that your legs tan evenly is to get into the proper tanning positions during the session. You may also need to alternate between different positions from time to time during the session.
The feet may not be as problematic as some other body parts. If you want an even tan on the feet, you need to take the proper position on the tanning bed. When you lie facing up, put the outer edge of your feet on the tanning bed. During the process, point the toes until your feet get full extension and hold for as long as you can, and then take it back to the original position. You may need to repeat this a few times to ensure that the tan reaches all the parts of the feet.
Thighs and Legs
To get evenly tanned legs and thighs, there are a few things you can do. On the tanning bed, lie flat on your back. Naturally, this would cover most of your front thigh. However, it may not be enough for the sides and back of your thigh. You need to make it possible for UV radiation to reach those other areas.
For the inner thigh, you may need to spread your legs slightly and rotate them outward to expose your inner thighs. Do this while lying on your back and facing up. It is not comfortable but the even results will be worth it. You can also lift your up legs slightly in the same position to allow UV radiation to cover more parts of the front of your thighs (and it’s a good ab workout too).
To cover the knee area, bend your knee slightly as you lay on your back. It does not need to be too high. Just let your heel come close to the tanning bed from above. For the back of your legs, turn around and lay on your stomach. Use your toes to elevate your legs to create a gap between the bed and your legs. It should also help create a more even color.
Tips For a Darker, Longer-Lasting Tan on Your Legs
For better tan on your legs, it would be best if you exfoliate your legs before any tanning session to remove dry skin that blocks UV light. The skin will then be clean and soft, and the tanning will be more even on the legs. However, exfoliating after a tan could be counterproductive.
Don’t Shave or Wax Your Legs After
Do your hair removal before your tanning session and avoid any shaving or waxing afterward. If you must, give it one or two days. Shaving and waxing are exfoliating processes and can ruin your tan because they could remove the top layer of the skin.
Always keep your legs moisturized before and after tanning. Moisturizing your legs will produce better tanning results since the skin of the legs are dryer than other parts. When the skin is soft and hydrated, it makes it easier for UV light to penetrate the skin and quicken the melanin production process.
Use Tanning Solutions
There are tanning solutions on the market made specifically for the legs. You can use them along with a tanning session. They can cover the uneven areas if all else fails. You can also use tanning accelerators and sunbed creams.
Sunbed creams can benefit you in so many ways. It mostly makes the tanning process a lot more effective.
Don’t Wear Tight Pants
You may not know yet, but wearing tight pants can affect your tanning results. Oxygen is an integral part of the entire tanning process. When you wear tight pants, you constrict oxygen flow to the legs. The same applies when you wear tight shoes. It would be best if you avoided tight pants and shoes so that your skin can get enough energy to tan properly.
Don’t Use Products that Promote Skin Renewal
It does not help to use anti-aging products or skin toners that contain alcohol. These products help renew the skin and make it soft, and that would usually be desirable, but they would also speed up the skin renewal cycle and make your tan fade faster.
After your tanning session It would be best if you don’t scrub daily or use loofas or other exfoliating products. Do not exfoliate more than once a week. While it may not seem practical, it is necessary to help keep the tan on your legs.
Lastly, avoid long hot baths. This does not only burn the skin; it also removes the tanned part of the skin on the legs. You will end up having an uneven tanned leg or patches on other parts of your body. Ugh.
Use Aloe Vera
One excellent way to refresh your skin after a tanning session is using aloe vera. During each session, the skin is exposed to UV radiation and will suffer some heat exposure. Aloe vera can soothe and replenish the skin to keep it cool, nurtured, and soft. The substance has cooling and natural healing properties.
Reduce Tanning Sessions Per Week
After three to four sessions, you will likely develop a base tan. When this happens, you can study your skin’s behavior when it comes to tanning beds. This will determine the number of sessions you should do per week.
Anything more frequent than twice a week is not recommended. The reason is that you want your skin to rest between sessions and give it enough time to deepen the tan. When you reach your target skin color, you may only require one session per week to maintain that consistent tan.
The legs are the most difficult to tan compared to all other body parts. One of the reasons for this is that the legs are dryer than other parts of the body. Ensuring that your legs are moisturized constantly after and before tanning will help produce an even tan on your legs and make it last longer. Don’t let your skin get dry and flaky.
Your position on the tanning bed could also be responsible for the uneven tan. Use the tips above during your next tanning session, and you’ll have a perfect sun-kissed tan. Also, for a deeper tan, you can use a tan accelerator to enhance the tanning process.
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