Exfoliate your skin well in the shower every morning using a loofah or exfoliating scrub. Whether tanning in the sun, in a tanning bed or with self-tanning lotions, exfoliated skin provides a smooth, even surface for tanning.
Keep your skin well moisturized. Moisturizing regularly is a key to healthy skin; even more critical if you're going to expose your skin to the sun.
Prepare for lying in the sun by applying a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 half an hour before lying in the sun. This gives the chemicals in the sunscreen time to absorb.
Avoid the sun during the peak hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sun's rays are most damaging then; try to limit your tanning time to mid morning and late afternoon. Fair-skinned people should spend no more than half an hour to an hour in the sun initially. This gives you time to build a base or see if your skin will tan at all. If you feel the sun's rays getting too intense, get out of the sun no matter how long you've been out. Very light-skinned people can burn after only minutes in the sun.
Apply self-tanner or visit a spray-tan booth at a tanning salon. This can be your only method of tanning or a supplement to time spent in the sun. Either way, it provides fair-skinned people a darker tan than they might be able to achieve naturally. Spray-on or self tanners are a great alternative for people who are unable to tan in the sun at all, or simply want to avoid sun damage but desire a tan.
By: Liz Turner
Use water. Spritz yourself with a spray bottle while tanning and drink lots of water while out in the sun tanning. Hydration has been known to deepen the color of a tan. Plus, good old H2O is just the best for you anyway and your body can always use water for healthy skin.
Layer your self-tanner. If you start out as medium skin and use self-tanner for a week, switch your self-tanner to the next level and try a tanner for tan or medium-dark skin tones. Many self-tanners are formulated to stretch across a spectrum and once you've hit the highest level, it is time to use a darker formula to deepen your tan.