Getting a perfect tan is a process. You have to control exposure to get an even tan without overexposure to some body parts.
When the sun is too hot, you get sunburns instead of darker skin. If you stay out for only a few minutes, you may not tan evenly, especially on your legs.
Legs are troublesome for many as they take too long to get a basic tan. It’s so frustrating to spend hours tanning, and you can’t wear shorts or dresses because your legs are not looking up to the challenge.
Are you among those asking, why won’t my legs tan? Keep reading because I have a few tips for you.
Why Won’t My Legs Tan Like the Rest of My Body?
No one tans expecting to get an uneven outcome. But it happens, and our legs give us poor results almost every time. Why does that happen?
Most of the time, it’s due to:
Low Melanin Levels
Melanin is the source of skin color. When it’s high, you have darker skin. Your skin reacts to the sun by increasing melanin. That’s why when you tan, the melanin levels increase naturally, and you see your skin darken.
Different skin types have different melanin levels. It also varies across body parts, and the legs have naturally low melanin levels. Even when you expose your legs to the sun or other tanning methods, they won’t darken the way your face will.
It might look like the body has the same skin density, but that’s not the case. The process of tanning legs takes longer because they have thicker skin. It’s structural, so it’s beyond your control.
You’ll spend up to two hours outside to bask until your legs darken as much as your face. That’s not good, given that overexposure puts you at risk of sunburns.
When you tan artificially using tanning products, you only affect the outermost layer of your skin. Your spray tan doesn’t have the effect the sun has on melanin cells. On top of that, legs have dry skin that exfoliates faster. So after tanning, the top layer exfoliates, leaving you with a new, lighter layer. This process is faster if you shave or wax your legs regularly.
More energy works on the middle part of the body, reducing the attention given to the face and the legs. Unless you’re using tanning technology that lets you concentrate on one body part at a time, your legs won’t have satisfactory results.
Tips to Tan Your Legs
Despite all the reasons stated above, you can still improve the tanning process by doing the following.
Exfoliate Before Tanning
It’s an essential step that removes dead skin cells so you can tan smooth, clean skin. When you do that, you’ll not have to shave or wax a few days after tanning and remove the tanned skin. Exfoliating before basking outside is also beneficial.
Moisturize Your Legs
We put so much love, care, and resources into taking care of our faces and forget to do the same to our legs.
Turn your attention to your legs, invest in a good moisturizer, and hydrate your legs before and after tanning.
Hydrating them also prevents unsightly outcomes like cracked skin from overexposure.
Tan the Correct Way
When tanning outdoors, lie flat to give your legs an even tan. The best time to do so is before 10 am or after 4 pm when you’re less likely to overexpose your skin to UV rays. On top of that, change your tanning position to have even results. Spread out your legs as you lie on a lounge chair so that your inner legs get an even tan.
You can cover up your upper body and concentrate on getting similar tanning results on your lower body.
If you’re using spray tan, let it dry before dressing up, or you’ll have uneven tanning.
What to Avoid
We may have mentioned a few DON’Ts already, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat them for emphasis.
We’re talking about:
Shaving or any other hair removal method will strip off the tanning work when you tan using sprays or other artificial methods. Shaving increases cell turnover, so you’ll lose the tan in a few days.
Tight clothing or fabrics that rub your skin will cause it to dry up fast and start exfoliating your tan. Therefore, avoid skinny jeans or leggings if you want your skin tan to last a few days.
Too much sun exposure can cause sunburns that’ll take away all the gains of spending your day in the sun. Thus, prepare your skin well so that the few minutes you’ll spend outside will tan your skin without burning it.
Which Body Part Tans the Fastest?
It varies, but the face tans faster for some people. The tanning process depends on the skin type and its level of melanin. Since legs have less melanin than other body parts, they take longer. Your upper back may even tan faster than your legs. Even the outside of your arms tans faster than the inside.
Do You Tan Better With Shaved Legs?
Yes, you’ll tan better when your legs are smooth without a barrier between the light and your skin.
On top of that, the wax or other substance used in hair removal may stay on the skin and prevent your spray tan from holding. After shaving, exfoliate your skin to prepare it for tanning. If you do so after, you risk losing the tan as you get rid of the dead skin cells.
Some reasons that prevent your legs from tanning are beyond your control. For example, you have no control over the low melanin levels in your legs. Also, the legs have dry skin that exfoliates faster when you overexpose it to the sun.
A few other situations are within your control. When you moisturize your legs, they’ll not lose the tan fast. You can also exfoliate them before tanning to work with smooth skin. Thus, do what’s possible to get that enviable tan.
Tanning sessions can take five minutes or a couple of hours. Two main factors responsible are the source of light and your skin tone. If you have fair skin, you'll take longer to see it change to a stunning darker[...]
We use coconut oil in so many ways that it's almost correct to say it's a super ingredient, whether in cooking or beauty. If you haven't heard, there are also people using it as a tanning oil. Tanning is a[...]
Tanning is about controlling when and how much sun exposure you get. When it's too much, you get sunburns. When overexposure prevails, you may get skin problems. Therefore… There's a tendency for people to tan on overcast days because it[...]