Yes, Black girls do tan. It’s not just our fair-skinned counterparts that like to deepen their hue in the summertime. Though our bronzed beauty completely stunts on your average blonde-haired beach bunny, we, too, must take precautions when purposely working to get a golden glow. Here are your options along with a few dos and don’ts.


I used to cringe whenever one of my best buds would drag me to the tanning salon with her. I can stand too close to a toaster and get a slight bronze, but she’s always struggled to rid of what she calls her “casper” swag. Thus, she frequents a local tanning salon. Here’s how you can brave the bed:

Go to a salon with tanning beds equipped with machinery that measures your pigment, first. The bed will take the color on your forehead (darkest area) and the color right below your wrist (lightest area) and come up with an even color for your body.

Use indoor tanning lotion on your entire body, which is different from SPF products.

Wear eye goggles to protect your eyes.

Tanning beds have various levels of intensity, so communicate your desired results and skin type to your tanning instructor.

Limit your tanning to once a month (if necessary).


Also known as UV-less tanning, these fake tans offer immediate results in just a few minutes. These tans can make your muscles look more defined and help even varying body tones.

Make sure you thoroughly shave and exfoliate the areas you plan to tan, or else you run the risk of getting nasty lines and odd shading.


Raise your hand if you tan at the pool sans any type of SPF protection. We should all be reprimanded. Nature’s vitamin D may increase your levels of happiness, but the sun can also increase your chances of developing skin cancer. While you’re parlaying at the pool or beach with a tall margarita (one for me, please), make sure to remember:

Objects can redirect light, so you really don’t know how much UV light you’re getting or where you’re getting it. Do not fall asleep in the sun.

Always use a lotion with an SPF of 30 or higher for better protection.

Rotate often.

Certain prescription drugs can cause you to burn twice as fast.

Try to limit your tanning to just one hour – thirty minutes on the front, thirty minutes on the back.


This is truly the easiest way to get an incredibly quick faux-tan. Slick on a glimmering, slightly tinted lotion, gel or oil to instantly get one shade darker. You’ll love the sparkle. Try our picks:

Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Gradual Sunless Lotion

SkinCeuticals Sans Soleil Sunless Tanning Lotion

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil