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What Time of Day Should I Use Suntan Lotion?

Updated on January 16, 2011

If you want to get a good tan without risking sun exposure then your best bet is to use tanning lotion. If you’ve never used suntan lotion before then you probably have a lot of questions about it. One of the most common questions that people ask about tanning lotion is what time of day it should be used. The answer varies depending on the type of tanning lotion that you are using as well as the results that you hope to achieve. It may also be affected by the type of tanning that you’re doing (such as sunless tan vs. tanning booth). Make sure to consider all of that when making your decision. That said, there are three very common times when people use suntan lotion.

1. At night right before going to bed. Many people say that the best time to use a tanning lotion is at night. One reason for this is because tanning lotion can be messy. Tanning at night means that you are already done with all of your activities for the day. You can take a shower, apply your tanning lotion and then settle down with a book or a movie. There are tanning lotions that you can leave on the entire night. They soak into the skin during the time that you are asleep so that when you wake up in the morning you have a really nice tan. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you have old sheets on the bed because they can get tanning lotion on them and get ruined. If you’re using tanning lotion for the first time then nighttime is typically the best time to try it out.

2. Shortly prior to active tanning. There are many types of tanning lotions that work best when used in conjunction with active tanning. For example, you may apply a tanning lotion before you enter a tanning booth at your local tanning salon. Alternatively, you may apply a tanning lotion before going outside to do some tanning in the sun. The instructions on your tanning lotion (or those provided by your tanning booth instructor) will let you know exactly how many minutes prior to active tanning to apply the tanning lotion.

3. Daily in the morning. Did you know that tanning lotion acts as a moisturizer for the skin? If you already use a daily moisturizer then you may replace its use with the use of a tanning lotion. Make sure that you’re using a tanning lotion that is light and approved for daily use. A tan enhancer is a good choice. This tanning lotion is usually applied once daily in the morning just like a moisturizer. However, like a moisturizer, it may also be applied once at night as well.

If you are just beginning to use suntan lotion then you should take your time to find the right plan for you. The people at your local tanning salon can help you figure out what that plan is including the right tanning lotions to use. They, along with the instructions on the products, will help you figure out which of these three times is the right time for you to put on your suntan lotion.


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  • amybradley77 profile image


    7 years ago

    Good advise, we only get this one time round with our skin. We should all listen to this sort of advise more seriously, today. A.B.


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