We’ve all been there. The sun has disappeared and you’re feeling pastier than ever. All you need is a little bronzing to get you feeling alive again! Well, we’re here to help.
Today we’ll go through some methods you can use to get tan in winter and ask whether it’s best to go natural or take the cosmetic route.
And we’ll also be talking about a tanning method you want to avoid at all costs if you want to look after your skin!
Getting an AU Natural Tan in Winter: Is It Possible?
Many of us want to know how to get naturally tan in the winter. But the truth is that it’s hard, and depending on your work and home life it might be impossible.
This isn’t just because the sun isn’t around – in fact in late winter, the sun can be super bright and low in the sky! – but because it’s just too cold to be outside. And if you go outside a lot when it’s cold, your skin can be in danger of drying out.
That being said, if you wrap up, moisturize and venture out enough, you can get some color in your face if you don’t mind the cold.
Here’s how you can do this:
- Go on regular walks rather than exercising at the gym
- Sit by a desk in the sun if you can while working
- Rather than taking the car to the shops, walk or take the bus
Unfortunately, that’s about it for natural methods for tanning in the winter. But even if you don’t end up with a glowing tan, you’ll certainly get more Vitamin D, which is essential for bone health!
Can Sad Lamps Give You a Tan?
You might have heard of SAD lamps, made specifically for people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Because these lamps help you produce more Vitamin D, you might expect to get a cheeky tan while you’re at it.
That unfortunately is not the case. You need the UVA rays found in tanning beds or actual sunlight if you want to get naturally tan in winter.
There’s just gotta be a better way! So why not take things into your own hands and visit the tanning beds?
Are Tanning Beds Worth It?
You’ve probably heard people talk about how quick and addictive sunbeds are. And they’re not wrong!
Once your base tan is developed (which can take several sessions), you can hop in whenever you want to top up. And while you’re in there, you don’t really have to do anything… Easier than self-tanning, right?
A tan from a sunbed might feel like a permanent change but after about a month its effects start to fade. And so what began as a mess-free fix becomes a money-draining cycle. Habits like this are hard to break, trust us.
And if you get more tan than you bargained for, tough luck! You’ll just have to live looking like an oompa loompa for the next four weeks. Not very winter chic.
If that wasn’t enough, the increased cancer risk that comes from frequent tanning bed use is pretty staggering. Check out the NHS’ article on tanning bed safety if you want to know more about that.
So what about spray tanning?
The Benefits of Spray Tanning
Spray tanning is a clear winner when compared to using tanning beds. Its effects might not last as long and the session itself takes a little longer, but it is much better for your skin.
A spray tanning session might take up to 20 minutes. While that might sound like a bother, it’s still less time than most people spend doing their makeup!
To get the most out of your spray tan session, make sure your skin is hydrated, that you’ve exfoliated any rough areas, and make sure to tell the person tanning you what areas you want to focus on and which ones you don’t want to be too dark. Simple!
In winter, many spray tanning establishments will have special deals. But if the process still seems too expensive (or just plain awkward), the self-tanning lotion is your best bet.
The Obvious Solution: Self-Tan Lotion
This is by far the most cost-effective way to get a tan in winter. And you can do it in the comfort of your own home!
Not only is tanning from home a great way to abide by social distancing regulations, but it can be a relaxing part of your self-care routine. Stick on your favorite show or do a call with your mates, and take your time with it.
You also have a lot more control over how you tan yourself at home. And if you go too hard on some areas, just use some lemon juice (on your body – never your face) or some exfoliating scrubs to rectify it.
Whatever you do, go for a tanning lotion that is oil-based. This is because tanning oil is easier to apply and will make for more even coverage.
If you want to save money, and your skin health, the self-tanning lotion is definitely the way to go. Or just wait around until summer!
After all, a just-back-from-the-beach tan when it’s freezing out might just end up making you stick out like a sore thumb. (Or maybe that’s what you want – we’re not here to judge!)
No matter what method you opt for, remember that skin health comes first. Daily cleansing, moisturizing, and SPF use are important all year round and will lead to more skin confidence in the long run – even on your palest days!
Joan S. Wilson is a lifelong makeup and skincare enthusiast. She used to work as a makeup artist for 5 years. Joan is always curious and wants to learn more when it comes to makeup and skincare. She tries her best to make other people’s skin health better. This is why Joan is so passionate about writing articles on beauty topics. She always looks for products that are high-quality, dermatologist-tested, and does that it says on the label. In every article, she shares her knowledge to make your life healthier and happier!