When is The Best Time of The Day to Tan Outdoors?

If you love being outdoors in the sun catching the sun’s rays, and getting fresh air, tanning outdoors is a decent way to get the natural tan you desire. It is essential, however, to take heed of the best times to tan outdoors.

If you want to achieve the fastest tan in a short amount of time, then being outside when the sun’s rays are at their strongest is best. It is important to remember that UV rays can be dangerous if you do not stick to the correct safety procedures when basking in the sun.

In this article, we will delve a little deeper into what times of day are the best to tan in and when to tan if you have sensitive skin or the type of skin that tends to burn quickly.

When is The Best Time of The Day to Tan Outdoors?

The best time of the day to tan outdoors is from 08:00 to 11:00 am for people with sensitive skin. For non-sensitive skin types, the best time of day to tan outdoors is from 2 pm to 4 pm.

When Are the Sun’s Rays at Its Strongest?

In general, the sun’s rays are generally powerful between 10:00 and 16:00 (4 pm), with the strongest rays being emitted between 10:00 and 14:00 (2 pm). The sun is at its highest point in the sky at 12:00 (midday) because the rays have the shortest distance to travel to earth.

With this being said, it is essential to remember that you can still get tanned or sunburned in the early afternoon or late afternoon. Yes, you can get a tan even on cloudy days!

If you are tanning from 10h00 to 14h00, you will definitely get a tan quicker, but it is critical to remember that some sunscreen should be used to get the best results without just burning your skin. If you burn, you will peel. If you peel, you will be right back where you started!

Morning Tanning is Best for Sensitive Skin

When it comes to skin that tends to burn easier, then the best time to tan is in the morning between the hours of 08:00 and 11:00. If you decide that you would rather suntan when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, then your skin may be burnt and damaged.

If you have sensitive skin, it is essential not to take that chance and instead begin tanning to build up a base tan. This way, your skin will be stronger and more resistant to burning when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

For people in this category, tanning during peak hours will likely result in a painful sunburn. In actual fact, some people may burn within 5 minutes if they choose to start their tanning regime during peak hours.

Simply put, it is good practice to avoid tanning when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, especially if you have a tendency to burn. Tanning in the early morning can be invaluable to those who have fair, sensitive skin. Focus on a tanning schedule in the morning when the sun is at its weakest.

How to Safely Make the Most of The Sun

Basking in the sun will not always lead to skin damage or cancer if you tan responsibly.

Always make use of a light UV sunscreen that can minimize the risks associated with tanning outdoors in the sun, especially if you have chosen to tan during the hours that the sun is at its strongest.

Essentially the choice is yours as to what times you would like to tan in the sun, but scientists and doctors agree that morning tanning is best if your skin is not used to the intense rays that are emitted by the sun during 12:00 and 16:00 (4 pm).

For Those Who Want to Tan During Peak Times

Although most scientists will shun the notion of tanning during peak sun times, it is possible if your skin already has a good base tan and you wear sunblock.

The reality of the situation is that most people looking to achieve a deep golden tan are going to want to tan outside during peak hours, especially if they are at the beach or other local hangouts. The trick is to be cautious to prevent skin injury and burn when the sun’s rays are strongest.

It is essential to use a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

It is also a good idea to limit the length of time your skin is exposed to these rays during peak tanning times.

Do not use any accelerators or oils on the skin during peak times, as this can cause the skin to burn and damage quickly. If you choose to wear skin tanning accelerators, instead use them when the sun’s rays are at their weakest and choose a light sunscreen during the hours that the sun is strongest.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that tanning in the morning or late afternoon will not give you the bronzed look that you desire. However, being patient and tanning in the mornings and late afternoons can provide you excellent results while at the same time minimizing your risks to sunburn and skin cancer.

Patience is key. Yes, it may take a little longer to get the tan you desire, but it is better to take your time with the tanning process and build up a base tan without being burned to a crisp!

If you want to speed things up a bit but still be safe, try tanning between 09h00 and 11h00 so that you can still absorb a decent number of rays but will still miss the high-intensity rays of the sun that can cause you to burn. During these times, the sun’s rays will still have enough intensity to ensure that you start to achieve a base tan and end up with some color.

While you’re waiting for the right time, you can get to work making your own DIY tanning oil that uses natural ingredients.

Tips and Precautions When Tanning Outdoors

If you choose to tan outdoors, then there are a few precautions that need to be adhered to for your skin to become less vulnerable to sunburn and skin damage.

What to Do

  • Water, water, and more water! Stay hydrated at all times.
  • Wear products that contain an SPF on your lips as well as the top of your hands and feet.
  • Eye protection is essential. Wear sunglasses that are 100% UV resistant.
  • Wear a hat to protect your face and eyes from burning.
  • If you are swimming during your tanning session, remember to reapply some sunscreen at least every two hours.
  • Rollover frequently so that you can tan all sides of the body and burn one place of the body.
  • Interestingly enough, eating certain foods with high levels of lycopene can also make your skin less vulnerable to sunburn.
  • Take it easy, go slow, and don’t spend too much time in the sun all in one day.
  • Make your sessions between five and ten minutes long, depending on your skin tone. You can increase these sessions over time.

What Not to Do

  • Do not fall asleep in the sun. You will wake up sunburnt and in pain.
  • Do not wear sunscreen with an SPF of less than 30.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol as this can cause dehydration and also impair judgment.
  • Do not lie directly in the sun for more than ten minutes at a time. Move about and change your tanning positions.

When is The Best Time of The Day to Tan Outdoors?

Types of UV Rays

It is wise to understand the difference between the different UV rays emitted by the sun and how your skin can react to these rays.

There are two types of rays that are sent down to earth from the sun:

UVB Rays

UVB Rays account for approximately 5% of the portion of the ultraviolet spectrum. These rays can cause sunburn and skin damage in the absence of sunscreen. UVB rays impact the outer layer of the skin only, which is why they are notorious for causing sunburn.

However, the rays help the body produce vitamin D, which has massive benefits to a person’s overall health and well-being.

UVA Rays

UVA rays are what make up most of the light that is emitted from the sun. UVA rays are not absorbed by the ozone layer, and about 95% of the rays that reach the ground are UVA rays. These rays are even able to penetrate through clouds and windows.

UVA rays penetrate the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and then make their way down to the skin’s dermis. If precautions are not taken to protect your skin from these rays, they can cause premature aging and wrinkles.

They do, however, account for how your skin tans, but make sure to use a sunblock to protect yourself from the dangers of these specific rays. UVA rays’ tanning effects can usually be seen right away on the skin and usually the primary type of light used on a sunbed in a tanning salon.

Your Skin Colour Matters

Some people are born with very pale skin that easily burns when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. There are, however, others that are born with slightly olive or brown skin. It is important to determine when the most ideal time is to tan for your specific skin type. This will help establish the current base level of your skin tone and how much time you can spend in the sun during your tanning sessions.

# 1 Light Skin Tones

It is important for those who have a lighter skin tone to start their tanning sessions in the early morning before the sun’s rays get too intense. Start out early and build up a base tan before attempting to tan later in the day.

# 2 Dark Skin Tones

Those lucky few who already have a good base tan or naturally darker skin can tan during the higher UV ray times between noon and 3 pm.

Only tan during peak times if your skin is already quite dark, and be careful not to overexpose yourself to the sun’s rays at one time. Listen to your body. If you feel that the sun is getting too intense on your skin, then sit for a while in the shade.

Keep to A Tanning Schedule

For your skin to get used to the sun, try and stick to a tanning time that is best for your skin type and involves similar amounts of UV rays during each session. If your tanning session starts at 09:00 am, then stick to this time for all of your sessions until you have reached a decent base tan.

It is best to try and stick to one day off and one day on a tanning regime so that your skin has time to heal from your previous session. This way, you won’t be over-exposing your skin and build up a healthy-looking base tan.

Outdoor Sun Tanning Myths

There are many myths about outdoor tanning. These myths are not true.


I will not get sunburnt if it is overcast.

This is highly untrue. UVA and UVB rays cut straight through the clouds and can cause the same amount of sunburn as they would on a day without clouds.


Over-exposure to the sun will cause a deeper tan.

Again, not true. If you believe this myth and try to go straight for the peak tanning times for long periods, you will get sunburnt and then peel. Waste of time!


I already have dark skin, so I can expose myself to the sun as much as I want to.

This is a common and sometimes painful mistake to make. You can still damage your skin if you are already tanned. Yes, it may take a while longer for you to burn, but you will burn.

At the Proverbial End of The Day

If you want to look tanned and radiant, you need to combine strategy with safety. Speed things up using tan-promoting products, lotions, and sprays, but only during the safer times of the day. These products tend to increase the level of melatonin in your system and help you get the glorious tan you have been waiting for. Stick to the rules, and your tan will follow!