The ultimate guide to tanning on your lunch break

18 April 2018, 15:00 | Updated: 19 June 2018, 15:41

Sunbathing Asset

The sun is finally shining and now it's all about getting that glorious tan!

There's nothing worse than being stuck in a hot stuffy office knowing that the sun is gleaming outside. With your lunch break your only chance to get some much needed Vitamin D, it's important to make the most of it. 

Here are the top tips for tanning quickly on your lunch break.

Read more: The high street's cutest accessories for the perfect summer picnic


When's the best time to tan?

The sun is usually strongest between 11am-4pm, so make sure you're basing your lunch around these times.

However, it's always crucial to keep an eye on skin health and safety - and if you're not a fan of natural rays, there are plenty of excellent fake tans available right now

Experts recommend using a minimum of SPF 30 sun cream to get a good strong tan, whilst staying burn-free. 

Bianca Estelle, Skin Specialist, Medical Aesthetician over 15 years and Founder of bea Skin Care, explains: "Regardless of whether you’re in tropical climates or the midst of a British winter, harmful UV rays are still hard at work and without adequate protection (I suggest a minimum of factor 30) you’re at risk of sun damage, increased signs of ageing and most severely, skin cancer." 


How do you get a tan quickly?

It's easy to think that British sun won't burn you - but that's not true. The whole 'not putting suncream on else I won't tan' is a myth. You can actually tan better through a layer of suncream as it will prevent your skin from burning. And after burning comes blisters and peeling. If you've ever got badly sunburnt you know that it can ruin the rest of the sunshine-filled days as you're too uncomfortable to sit anywhere other than the shade.

Credit: Getty 

What outdoor location is best to tan?

If you're in a flat open space, such as a field, you're less likely to be running from shade spots. Aiming for a hilltop will get you maximum sun tan potential, as you'll be more exposed to the sun, and generally there will be a nice breeze flowing to keep you cool(er) at the same time.

In London, the likes of Primrose Hill and Parliament Hill are amongst some of the best tanning locations.

If you are lucky enough to have access to an outdoor pool, you're also likely to tan quicker as the sun's rays will bounce off the reflection of the water. If you don't have your own pool, a nice location near a lake or river will also help your bronzing session.


What position should I lay in to get the best tan?

First up, rotate! You don't want to look like a sausage cooked on one side. Your back needs some exposure just as much as your front. Also make sure you lay flat in direct sunlight (after you've put your suncream on, of course).

If you've got a reflective sheet or towel to lay on, this will help focus the sun on you too.

Credit: Getty  

How can I get my legs to tan quicker?

Legs are notoriously harder to tan due to the thickness of our skin there. Legs can also produce less melanin than the rest of the body, so this restricts tanning potential too.

Experts also say that regular shaving is NOT good for working up a tan, because you are essentially exfoliating the skin and removing your tan.

Using a SPF15 'protective oil' rather than a sun cream may also let the sun work its magic quicker on your legs due to the ingredients.


Can I tan in the shade?

Yes you can, but obviously not as quickly. This is due to the secondary radiations bouncing into the shaded environment. So if you find yourself on a hot but cloudy lunch break, there's still hope!

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