How to Tan with Sensitive Skin

Everyone has different types of skin. This can make things like tanning a bit tricky. 

Luckily, there are still ways to tan, regardless of whether you have sensitive skin.

This article will discuss ways to tan, such as exfoliating, properly tanning outdoors, and using self-tanners with gentle ingredients.

Importance of Knowing Your Skin Types

Different skin types call for different methods of pre-tanning and tanning. 

So check out what kind of skin type you have before tanning.

Exfoliating with Sensitive Skin

Exfoliating is vital in the pre-tanning process. You will need to do this to take out any dead skin cells, as they can prevent fresh skin from being tanned.

You can exfoliate using physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants.

Physical exfoliation refers to manually scrubbing off dead skin cells using scrubs or brushes. On the other hand, chemicals use lotions or ointments that chemically remove the skin cells.

Exfoliate using physical methods if you have sensitive skin. The lotions and ointments can react with your skin negatively. Avoid using chemical exfoliants if you are sensitive to certain products.

When using physical exfoliants, be patient and scrub gently. Don’t scrub too hard, as you could damage your skin in the process. 


This is the next step before tanning. Do this a couple of hours before and after tanning.

Moisturizing helps your skin stay hydrated, which could be lost after your tanning session.

If you have sensitive skin, avoid chemical moisturizers. Look for alternatives with natural ingredients like aloe vera and oats. It would also be best to avoid products with fragrances as well.


Another important thing to put on while tanning is sunscreen. UV rays found in the sun or tanning beds can negatively affect the skin if left unprotected.

Sunscreen is vital to tanning because it serves as your skin’s main protection against harsh UV rays. 

For maximum protection, go for a sunscreen with SPF 50. A higher SPF level guarantees protection.

Sun Tanning? 

If you have sensitive skin, is it safe to consider sun tanning? It is usually not recommended to stay directly under the sun if you have sensitive skin.

Skin irritation, sunburn, and reddened skin are some of the mild effects that people with sensitive skin can have when exposed to UV rays. Although not as bad, they can still be a bit troublesome to deal with.

However, there are also harsher effects on your skin. These include inflammation, rashes, and skin peeling. While conditions may vary depending on how sensitive your skin is, it is not worth it in the long run.

The same can be said about tanning beds. While people assume it might be safer than sun tanning because of the controlled environment, the UV light found in them is actually more detrimental because of the stronger UV rays.

So is sun tanning a no-go? Not necessarily.

These effects can be found in any skin type. People with sensitive skin will just have to be more cautious about it. After all, sunlight is healthy, so we need to be exposed to it, just not too much.

If you still want to sun tan, then remember two things. One, don’t go during peak hours. Two, don’t spend too much time in the sun.

The sun’s peak hours are between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. These hours are when the rays of the sun are at their strongest. This makes direct exposure to the sun very dangerous.

Anytime before and after peak hours is good for tanning. 

The second point is that you shouldn’t stay in position for too long. A couple of minutes should be ideal. Within those couple of minutes, switch positions to even out the effects of the tan.

Sunless Tanning

So if outdoor tanning is limiting and tanning booths are also something to be wary of, is there another option?

You can go for sunless tanning or self-tanning. This is the safest and most effective way to get a tan without running the risk of the negative effects of sun exposure.

All you need to do, apart from the pre-tanning requirements, is to apply a self-tanner.

Self Tanners

When it comes to choosing tanners, the same thing applies to exfoliating. 

Hypoallergenic self-tanners are the way to go since they do not have ingredients you may be allergic to, which usually involve chemicals.

You want to avoid tanners that are filled with synthetic ingredients.

One way to determine whether a tanner is organic is to see the ingredients. Organic products will likely mention that they are either organically made or 100% vegan.

Common natural ingredients include aloe vera, essential oils, and fruit extracts. 

Suppose you are allergic to aloe vera or certain fruits. In that case, other tanners may have ingredients you aren’t allergic to.

Here are some steps to help you properly apply self-tanners.

First, you should do the pre-tanning requirements, like exfoliating and moisturizing.

Once that is done, you can start applying the self-tanner. You might want to avoid using your bare hands. Self-tanner can stain the palm of your hand, and you wouldn’t want orange palms, now would you?

Use a tanning mitt or a long brush to apply the self-tanner to your skin.

Save the back of your hands and the top part of your feet for last. Focus on areas like the back, arms, and legs first.

One mistake you might make is applying self-tanners to parts such as joints and wrists. Avoid putting self-tanners here, as they darken up faster than other body parts. Wipe them off in case some bits of self-tanner are on them.

Avoid showering right after you apply self-tanner. You will need to wait for it to dry. You might also want to avoid doing any activity that could cause you to sweat. 

Wear loose clothes as well to avoid your clothes coming into contact with the self-tanner, staining them, or even removing them from your skin.

In Conclusion

You don’t need to worry about the restrictions that sensitive skin can have. Although it may require extra care when going into a sun tan or tanning booth, tanning is still possible.

Even so, always do it safely and prioritize your health

For those who are unsure of doing it this way, there is also the option of sunless tanning. Now you can tan without having to worry about getting sunburned.

error: I have disabled right-click on this page. Sorry!