How to Prevent Freckles while Tanning

Freckles are clusters of tan-colored circular spots that may appear singularly or in clusters overlapping each other on the skin. They are much more noticeable on fair-skinned people. These are often brought out by the sun and tanning. Here is how to prevent freckles while tanning.

Wear Sunscreen

If you must tan, wear a sunscreen with at least a UV protection of SPF 30+ (sun protection factor), and only tan for the amount of time that is necessary. Sunscreen lotions or creams for the outdoors have labels with a number to identify the level of SPF they contain. It goes without say that the higher the number, the better you will be protected from the sun and from getting new freckles.

Wear a Wide Brim Hat

Wear a wide brim hat when tanning, as this will protect freckles from developing on the face, and of course protect your head from the sun at the same time.

Take Breaks When Tanning

Sit under a sheltered area or umbrella after about 15 to 20 minutes or even less, if the skin is very sensitive. Individuals with red hair and fair skin tend to get freckles more easily and tend to also burn more easily.

Avoid Tanning When Sun Is Strongest

Go out at selected times during the day when the sun is not at its strongest, and avoid tanning in the middle of the day, during the late morning or early afternoon hours. The sun is normally stronger between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, especially in the spring and summer months.

Excessive sun exposure will cause the freckles to become darker and more freckles can develop.

Avoid Tanning Beds

Avoid tanning beds as much as possible, as these are powerful. If a decision is made to use tanning lamps or beds at a salon, take precautions. Make sure that the tanning place that is chosen complies with federal regulations to avoid getting sunburned, and of course, skin cancer. Do not exceed the recommended amount of exposure and still wear sunscreen when tanning this way, as the freckles could multiply quite quickly.

Consider Using Sunless Tanners and Bronzers

Sunless tanners and bronzers have the ability to make a person look tan, without exposure to the sun. Make sure to apply the sunless tanning products carefully, as streaks on the skin could occur. Always wash the hands as soon as possible after application, as this lotion will stain. Avoid using too much at one time or applying the bronzing lotion too frequently, as you may develop an orange hue. Remember that most sunless tanners do not contain protective sunscreen, and will not protect your skin from the sun or from getting more freckles.

Spray-on tanners are another idea. There are spray-on sunless tanning booths available. Ask for a mask for protection when having the spray performed. Make sure that these products are not going into the eyes or mouth.

You should avoid the use of tanning pills, as these are not FDA approved, and may not be safe. Bad side effects could occur with these pills such as cramping, severe itching, welts and nausea. The tanning pills may also cause yellow patches inside the eyes and could damage eyesight, and may not be the best way to prevent freckles.