Why Won’t My Legs Tan? How to Tan Your Legs Properly.

woman tanning legs

While a smooth and even tan can give you a much-needed confidence boost, an uneven one can hamper it. Often, different parts of your body can develop an uneven tan, especially your legs.

If you’ve ever had an uneven tan, you must be wondering why won’t my legs tan? Well, you’re certainly not alone because a lot of people face this issue.

Everything from your skin type to the method of tanning you opt for can impact how your legs tan. However, there are a few tips to help you make sure your legs tan like the rest of your body. Keep reading to know the causes and remedies of uneven tan on your legs. 

Why Your Legs Don’t Tan

Legs can be the hardest body part to tan, especially the lower part. Due to this, people often wonder why don’t my legs tan anymore? There are a lot of factors that contribute to it, and they are:

Different Melanin Production:

Melanin is the chemical produced by your skin that determines skin tone. The more the presence of melanin in the skin, the darker the skin tone will be. However, your body doesn’t produce melanin in an even manner.

The skin on your legs produces much less melanin when compared with the rest of the body parts. It is the primary reason why you don’t get a tan on your legs.   

Thicker Skin:

Why do legs need longer to tan? Besides the uneven production of melanin, the skin of your leg is also thicker than other parts of the body. Given the thickness, it becomes immensely difficult for UV radiation to penetrate.

Since UV rays cannot reach the cells called melanocytes located at the deepest layer of your skin, it affects the production of melanin. You get a light or uneven tan on your legs because of the thickness of your skin. 

Low Blood Circulation and Aeration:

The circulation of blood and aeration can also significantly impact the development of the tan. If your wardrobe is majorly occupied by jeans or leggings, the chances of aeration are less. Your legs tend to stay covered most of the time, except when you are tanning.

Even though you are tanning during a specified period, the skin’s ability to breathe and prolonged exposure to the sun can affect the shade of tan you develop. 

If you’re opting for a spray tan or self-tanner, clothes rubbing off on your skin might also strip away the tan. 

Hair Removal:

For a majority of tanning methods, the chemicals bind with the top-most skin layer to give you a tan. Removing unwanted hair from your skin by shaving or waxing can remove the top layer of the skin and also strip away the tan with it. 

Dry Skin:

The thick skin of your legs can often get dry. When you tan, exposure to UV radiation and chemicals can also take away the moisture from your skin. Dry skin can reflect the UV rays rather than absorbing them and also exfoliate quickly, leading to light tan. Proper moisturization is essential to achieve a darker shade of tan. 

Scrubbing Legs:

If you are fond of long baths, they might be the reason that you aren’t able to get a proper tan on your legs. Extended exposure to water can lighten the tan. Besides that, scrubbing or buffing the legs might also hinder the tan from developing and staying. 

How Can You Tan Your Legs Properly?

In case you are unable to tan your legs properly, you must take extra precautions to get the desired results. Here are a few essential and effective tips to keep in mind if you’re wondering how to tan your legs in a tanning bed:

Wax Before Tan:

If you have hair on your skin, it is wise to wax or shave a day before. It will ensure you have smooth legs and don’t have to remove the hair right after tanning.

Exfoliate 24 hours Prior:

Use a gentle scrub to exfoliate your legs at least 24 hours before the spray tan. It opens up the skin pores to ensure your skin can hold the tan easily and develop into a darker shade. Giving the gap of a day will give your skin enough time to settle and be prepared for the tan. 

Moisturize Your Legs:

Keep your skin nourished by using an organic moisturizer until the day of the tan. Apply it gently over your legs to heal any dryness and prep it for the tan session. Avoid using a lotion or cream on the day of your tanning appointment.  If you are tanning in the sun you can apply lotion 20-30 before going for a sun tan – how long before tanning should I apply lotion.

Wear Loose Clothes:

Wear loose clothes not only when you are heading to your tanning appointment but also after tanning. It is important to allow aeration and blood circulation to ensure you can develop a darker tan on your legs. Wear loose dresses or skirts to allow plenty of air and circulation of blood. 

Post Tan Care:

Once you have tanned, you must still be cautious not to interfere with the tan. Avoid exfoliating, waxing, shaving, or scrubbing your skin for at least 3 days after the tan. Doing so will remove the top layer of your skin and also strip off the tan along with it.  

Besides that, continue moisturizing your legs and other body parts to prevent your skin from getting dry or shedding the color. You will be able to develop a dark tan and also retain the same for a longer period. 

Related Questions:

Why Does Tan Not Stick To My Legs?

The skin of your legs is not only thick but also dry, which often makes it tougher to tan. Due to this fact, the skin on the legs is constantly regenerating, making it more difficult for tan to stick.

Moreover, your legs are in close contact with the clothes that leads to the removal of tan.  

How Can I Tan My Legs at Home Fast?

How to tan legs at home? If you want to quickly tan your legs at home, you must prepare your skin first. You can exfoliate and moisturize your skin well before tanning. Post that, you can lounge in the sun or use an artificial self-tanning product to get a darker tan on your legs.  

How Long Can It Take to Tan Your Legs?

The time your legs need to tan can depend on the method you choose and your skin type. If you’re opting for sunbathing, you might need to spend at least 2-3 hours in the sun to develop a dark shade.

For self-tanners and sprays tanning, you must leave the product on your skin for around 4-6 hours to see a dark color. When it comes to tanning beds, you can get the desired level of tan within 10-15 minutes.  

Why Is My Skin Not Tanning Anymore?

There are plenty of reasons which might be hindering your skin from tanning. The primary reason is the low level of melanin produced by the melanocyte cells present in your skin. Besides that, dry skin can also affect your skin’s ability to develop and retain a tan. 

Why Don’t My Legs Tan Like My Arms?

Your arms get more exposure to UV radiation from the sun, which triggers the production of melanin giving you a darker tan. The level of melanin in your legs is much less as compared to the arms. Apart from that, the skin of the arms is thinner and gets ample air and blood circulation, making it turn dark quickly. 

Scroll to Top