Steps to Getting A Dark Tan in One Day

You have been surprised by a weekend away at the beach but alas you are lily white and desperately need a tan to be seen in your swimsuit.

In essence, you have one day in which to miraculously achieve a tan on your body. The question remains, is this possible? You are probably also going to wonder what the quickest, easiest, and safest way would be to achieve the desired result.

There are a few options that you can try to obtain a tan in just one day, but every individual is different and has a different skin type, so no two people are going to get the same results when using any given method.

There are only four ways in which to change the color of your skin.

  • The UV rays emitted from the sun
  • The UV rays emitted from a sunbed
  • DIY Self Tanners
  • Spray Tanning

In this article, we will discuss the steps that you need to take to get the darkest possible tan in just one day.

# 1 Taking Your Chances in the Sun to Get A Dark Tan in One Day

So, you have decided to do this the natural way and obtain a tan in one day by sitting in the sun.  It is important to note that most people will start to tan within one to two hours while lying in the sun.

Unfortunately, what most people don’t realize is that you can land up with a severe and painful sunburn if you are not cognizant of the precautions that you should take when choosing this method of tanning to your body.

The golden rule is to use sunblock! Even if it is a low SPF at least your skin will be getting some protection from the harmful rays of the sun while you tan.

Steps by Step Guide to Achieving A Darker Tan in One Day in The Sun

Correct Timing

Usually, tanning during peak sun times is a no-go as this is when you can get extremely sunburnt.  If, however, you are willing to take the necessary precautions by using a low SPF sunscreen then the best times in which to get the most UV rays is between 10 am and 4 pm.

Get Creative

Use a reflective piece of material or a towel to lie on so that the sun’s rays are drawn to your body. Alternatively, you can place sunscreen at about 45 degrees of your waist so that the sunlight directly hits your body.

Reapply Lotion After Getting Wet

If you are going to combine your tanning time with some swimming to cool yourself down, then it is advisable to reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours to avoid getting seriously sunburnt.

When You Are Done

It is extremely important to keep your skin moisturized after you have spent several hours in the sun. Moisturizer can be used to help regain any moisture that your skin has lost as well as seal in the golden tone that has bronzed your skin.

# 2 The Sun Bed and Getting A Dark Tan in One Day

Not many responsible salon owners are going to allow you to have more than one session a day on their sunbed. It is also important to remember that under normal circumstances your skin is going to need a few sessions for it to produce the melanin that is needed to give you a dark tan.

There are, however, tanning beds that are available to help you to tan faster. These beds are level 4 and up tanning beds which have extremely fast tanning times. These beds can offer you extremely fast tanning times to guarantee a dark tan.

Unfortunately, this process cannot be rushed, and your tan will normally only be able to darken within 3-5 sessions in the sunbed.

Step by Step Guide to Getting the Best from Your Sunbed Session

Exfoliate and Moisturize the Skin

Always exfoliate at least one to two days before your tanning session to prepare your skin before you tan. This helps to rid the body of old dead skin cells and increases the number of UV rays that can penetrate the skin. Once you have showered and exfoliated then use a light moisturizer to finish the deal.

Use A Tan Accelerator

Invest in a good quality indoor tanning lotion and apply it to all the areas of your body. Remember, the better the product, the longer your tan will last. Many products contain bronzers that are specifically made for indoor tanning.

# 3 DIY Self-Tanning Products to Get A Dark Tan in One Day

If self-tanning products are a relatively new concept to you then it is important to read the instructions on the product properly and preferably go with a slightly lighter-toned formula in case of any mishaps.

Most often than not though, these products are of high quality and if applied correctly will ensure a flawless, streak-free tan.

Step by Step Guide to Getting A Dark Tan in One Day with Self Tanners

Always Exfoliate

If you do not exfoliate properly then your self-tanner is going to sink into any dry skin on the body and leave dark and unnatural-looking patches. Remember to exfoliate any rough areas of the body such as the elbows, ankles, and knees before applying any self-tanning product.

Make Sure Your Skin is Dry

Before you apply your chosen self-tanning product make sure that your skin is completely dry and that there is no water residue left after your bath or shower. If water is left on the skin, then it will dilute your tan and result in unwanted streaks and patches.


Before you apply the self-tanner to your skin it is a good idea to moisturize. Try to use a lighter moisturizer around parts of your body such as your knees and elbows that can tend to turn orange.

Choose the Best Product for Your Skin Type

Self-tanners are available in various types. It is always best for a first-time DIY tanner to use a self-tanning product that has a built-in bronzer so that they can see better when they are applying the self-tanner.

Mousse-like self-tanning products are usually the easiest to use, but there are also sprays that work best to cover hard-to-reach places of the body. If you have more sensitive and dry skin, then it is best to use a gel or a lotion.

Start from the Bottom Upwards

The best way to apply a self-tanner is to start with the lower legs and then work your way up over the rest of the body. Apply the product to the lower leg and then work your way up from the ankle while only just skimming softly over the knees.

Use a mitt to spread any excess product onto the back of your neck, sides of your body, and your underarms. A mitt will help to blend the product evenly onto the skin to produce a streak-free tan.

# 4 Spray-Tanning: A Dark Tan in Just One Session

A spray tan works similarly to self-tanners and contains Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that darkens the skin. This chemical can make you look several shades darker when it comes into contact with the skin.

The spray tanning process is quick and easy. A fine mist is sprayed onto the body as you stand in a tanning booth making the skin turn into a natural shade of golden brown.

Step by Step Guide to Getting A Dark Tan in One Day by Spray Tanning


Before you go for your spray tan make sure to exfoliate and remove any dead skin cells from your skin. This will allow your skin to be smoother and more even when the spray tan is applied

Decide on The Best Shade for Your Skin Type

Ask a professional at your tanning salon for advice on what shade would be best for your skin type. In some cases, lighter skin will only need one layer of spray tan to get the effect that you want. Darker skin, however, may need a few more layers to get the golden glow that you are looking for.

Get the Spray Tan Professionally Done

When it comes to spray tanning make sure that you use only the best professionals. This is important if you want to get the correct coverage, best shade, and minimize any blotches and streaks. A spray tan develops over a few hours and can be touched up every one or two weeks.

Consider Your Skins Safety Before You Decide

There are various considerations to be made before deciding which method you are going to use to produce a dark tan on your skin in just one day. Sun tanning and tanning beds normally only yield the best results over some time.

If you are looking to get a dark tan from the sun or a sunbed in just one day you are very likely to damage your skin or get sunburnt.

DIY tanning products and spray-tanning are best for the skin and can produce the darkest tan in minimal time. These two tanning methods work significantly faster and are safer than traditional tanning in the sun and sunbeds to develop a dark tan in just one day!