The safest way to get a good tan is to use sunless tanning products, according to the Mayo Clinic. These products give a person's skin a healthy glow while avoiding the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet, or UV, rays.
The National Institute of Health says the best ways to keep the skin healthy is to limit time in the sun, use sunscreen and avoid tanning. Sunless tanning products are the safest choice for a tanned look.
Step 1: Exfoliate
Before applying the product, exfoliate to remove excess dead skin cells. Spend some extra time on thicker areas of skin, such as the elbows and knees. This helps ensure the product goes on as smoothly as possible.
Step 2: Apply the product in sections
Start with the legs, then the arms and finally the torso. Be sure to wash hands in between each application. This helps avoid discoloration on the palms of the hands. If using a lotion, apply it in a circular motion. On joints such as elbows and knees, wipe the area with a damp towel. This helps to ensure the color is as even as possible.
Step 3: Allow the product to dry completely
Prior to getting dressed, be sure the product has time to dry completely. Wait a minimum of 10 minutes before dressing in loose clothing. Try to avoid showering or sweating for 3 hours.