Even though suntanning carries a number of health risks with it, a good tan is still highly coveted. Sun-kissed skin takes time to achieve and develops over several periods of exposure. If your body has tanned faster or deeper than your face, you may need to pay special attention to your face. The skin on your face is extremely delicate, so exercise care and use the proper technique when exposing your face to the sun.

Things You'll Need


Exfoliate your skin using a gentle facial sponge. Use small, circular motions to slough off dead skin cells and even the skin’s surface. Smooth skin will produce an even tan.

Massage your favorite facial moisturizer into your skin. Work the cream into your entire face, including your neck. Move softly and gently around the eye area. Wait at least 10 minutes for the moisturizer to fully penetrate your skin.

Apply a dime-sized amount of sunscreen to your palm. Dab a dot of the cream to each cheek, your forehead, bridge of the nose and chin. Gently rub the cream into your skin, being careful not to rub too hard in the sensitive eye area. Sunscreen will filter most of the UVA/UVB rays while enabling a tan. Opt for a higher SPF if you burn easily, or are fair skinned.

Set your clock. If you are using a tanning bed, follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. Most tanning beds do not recommend longer than 10 minutes of light exposure. If you are going outside, limit your exposure to 30 minutes for fair skin or 45 minutes for darker skin tones. Avoid exposure during the sun’s peak hours, from noon to 3 p.m.

Wear your protective eye goggles, if you are using a tanning bed or close your eyes if you are tanning outdoors. UVA/UVB rays can cause eye damage so avoid opening your eyes during the process.

Replenish lost fluids by drinking at least one glass of water following suntanning. Tanning can cause the upper layer of your skin to lose moisture, so stay supple by drinking water afterward.

Apply moisturizer to your face following the tanning period to rehydrate your skin.

Repeat Steps 1 to 7 each day, for at least one week, or until you have achieved the level of facial tan you’d like. A good tan requires repeated exposure in order to build and deepen the color.

Tips

  • For a natural-looking tan without the health risks, try a spray tan or sunless tanning product. Sunless tanning products are available in most pharmacies and beauty supply stores. Check your local listings for spray tan companies.