How Long Should I Sit in the Sun to Get a Tan?

By Rebekah Richards

Sun exposure can cause sunburns, skin cancer, eye damage, immune suppression and premature aging, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. You should not spend time outside or in tanning beds in order to get a tan.

Tanning is Unsafe

Sunless Tanning Provides an Alternative

Sunless tanners provide a safe way to get a bronzed glow without the risk of skin cancer. Sunless tanning sprays, gels and creams include dihydroxyacetone (DHT), a chemical that darkens the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Bottom Line

Sun exposure causes many health risks, including skin cancer. Always wear sunscreen and protective clothing when you are outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you want a tanned appearance, consider sunless tanning products.