Getting a great tan is an easy way to get bronze, glowing skin. Having a tan can mask slight skin imperfections, make you look like you just returned from a tropical island getaway, or even make your muscles look more toned and defined. If you want to get a good tan in one day, prepare ahead and use a few bronze boosting tips to enhance your glow.
Exfoliate and moisturize well before your tanning session to remove dead skin that can block the sun's rays. Use a quality commercial product, a grainy scrub such as brown sugar and olive oil, or a natural loofah. Be sure you don't scrub too hard.
Use a suntan lotion with good moisturizing properties to allow your skin to tan gradually without burning. Pick a lower SPF factor if you are used to tanning and have more resilient skin, and pick one with a higher factor if you burn easily.
Use a reflective blanket, if possible, to make sure you tan evenly on all parts of your body. Rotate every 15-30 minutes so the sun reaches the undersides of your limbs, your neck and shoulders. Lie with your arms and chin up, if possible, and position yourself so the sun's rays are aimed directly at you.
Use a tanning bed and self-tanning lotion if you are cursed with a cloudy day. Tanning for five minutes in a bed is roughly equal to two hours in the sun, so tan for about 15-20 minutes and use a good aerosol self-tanner on areas that aren't as bronze as you would like.
After tanning, wait four to six hours to allow your tan to deepen, then take a quick shower to remove your suntan lotion. Apply a rich moisturizer to your skin while it is still damp. Keep your skin well moisturized to make your tan appear darker and also to make it last longer.
Do not sunbathe during the hottest hours of the day, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., if you sunburn easily. Wear light-colored clothing to reflect sunlight and keep you cooler. Get up every 30 minutes or so to cool off to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Joetta Charnell became a freelance writer in 2009. Now contributing to various websites, her previous work garnered several awards in writing competitions. Charnell earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in African-American studies and biology, both from the University of Virginia.