A woman tanning

How To Get A Golden Tan If You Have Brown Skin

Golden-tanned skin is achievable even for those with brown and darker skin. With some simple techniques and dietary changes, we can all channel our inner Beyoncé.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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We tend to think of tanning as a predominantly white people thing, but it may surprise you to learn that many black and brown women also regularly tan.

Golden-tanned skin seems to be something people of all backgrounds strive for, but just how possible is it to attain for brown skin?

We’ve looked into it and are ready to give you our top tips for achieving that gorgeous golden tan.

What is golden skin tone?

Before we continue, let’s define what sort of look we’re trying to achieve.

Golden-tanned skin can also be referred to as olive skin and is usually associated with southern European or Mediterranean people. However, this doesn’t mean that the much-desired golden tone is only reserved for white people, as it can range from light gold to dark gold, and every shade in-between. Penelope Cruz for example is your typical example of a woman with beautiful golden-tanned skin, and Beyoncé is an example of someone on the other end of the spectrum.

How to get a golden tan with brown skin

Now that we’re clear on the look we’re aiming for, we think it’s about time to get started!

Following the guidelines below will give you the best chance in transforming your skin into a radiant golden sheen. Consistency is the key here, as getting golden-tanned skin is only half the battle. Keeping it is the goal.

Get a golden tan spray treatment

This seems like an obvious solution, but hey, if it works, why not? Spray tans are super popular because they provide reliable results. They work by causing a chemical reaction within the skin from the tanning ingredients, which then creates an artificial tan that needs to be regularly maintained.

If you live in a colder climate that doesn’t get a lot of sun, this might be a fantastic option to get golden-tanned skin. Undergoing a professional spray tan session once a week will likely be enough to acquire and maintain that amazing golden tone. Spray tan contains dihydroxyacetone, which is a sugar derived from certain plants. This ingredient has been deemed safe by the FDA, but make sure you don’t have any sensitivities or allergies that might interfere with it.

Eat tan-friendly foods

You are what you eat, and there are some incredible foods out there that can actually contribute to your golden tan. Eating foods that are nutritious and healthy will go a long way in helping your body sustain and develop a fantastic skin tone.

To be more specific, fruits and vegetables that are rich in carotenoids are nature’s best friend for achieving golden-tanned skin. Eating foods like peppers, tomatoes, and carrots will give your body vital amounts of carotenoids that work to do amazing things.

Carotenoids are made up of beta-carotene, lycopene, and alpha-carotene. Beta-carotene is found in fruit and vegetables and contains antioxidants that work to protect our skin from ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Alpha-carotene, found in sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and others, can help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. Finally, lycopene is a nutrient that gives watermelons and tomatoes their iconic hue. All of these carotenoids combine together to contribute to a great golden tan.

Use strong sunscreen

This should go without saying, but failing to use a powerful sunscreen will expose your skin to harmful sun rays and lead to a lot of pain and burning. Sunscreen must always be used, with no exceptions. We’d recommend finding a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, but depending on your individual skin, you should experiment and find the best one for you.

Change positions while tanning

Don’t fall into the trap of having a few cocktails and falling asleep on your back, otherwise, your tan will be completely unbalanced and one-sided. Changing positions regularly while tanning is the best way of ensuring every part of the body is getting kissed by the sun. It will also help to protect the skin from burning. Definitely something to remember.

For more essential tips on tanning, you can read our article on why golden-tanned skin is considered to be a source of attraction.

Conclusion

Getting a golden tan is all about careful skincare management. Yes, spending time in the sun will of course help, but if you live in colder climates, tanning sprays and dietary adjustments will really help.

Tanning is for everyone. Don’t let your brown skin hold you back or discourage you from getting that beautiful Beyoncé skin tone.

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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.