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Written By Chloe Taylor

Is It Possible to Get Tan Underwater?

a woman getting tan underwater

Spending time in the pool to avoid the scorching rays of the sun during those summer days is loved by most of us.

So, my clients often ask me that is it possible to tan through the water. Tanning underwater is quite different from tanning while lying under the sun using a tanning bed.

But my answer is yes, it is possible to tan underwater. You can definitely get tan while taking a dip in a lake or pool and while swimming. But getting tan through water depends on several factors.

Besides, providing you with some details on tanning underwater I will also share some useful tips to protect your skin underwater and how to get tan faster while tanning through the water.

Can You Get Tan Underwater?

People often wonder if the sunlight does not penetrate fully through water then, how it can tan our skin.

30% of the UV rays are absorbed by the water and the other 70% is left above water.

The UV rays penetrate up to a few meters down under the water. So, you can get sunburn if you stay at the surface of the water without any sun protection.

Mid adult woman sitting on a chair with an umbrella on the beach
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

Sunburnt can also be seen if the water is not very deep. Your skin can get tanned even if you go to a pool that is half a meter deep.

The sunburn underwater cannot be felt due to the cooling effect of the water on your skin.

Can You Tan Through a Window?

We will let you know how long it takes to tan through an open window.

Does Tanning Become Faster in Water?

The reflection of the sun on the water and lack of sun protection can make you tan faster in water than above water. Here are some factors responsible for getting tan fast underwater.

Reflection of Light

The UV rays hit your skin as there is a reflection of the sunlight on water.

Due to this, your skin might get more damaged and sunburnt compared to tanning above water.

Your shoulders and face can get serious sunburn as these parts are exposed outside the water. So, try to stay in a shade in the water to avoid sunburn and damage to your skin.

Reapply Sunscreen

Applying the sunscreen once, cannot provide complete protection to your skin from UV rays.

So, to protect your skin from sun damage you need to reapply the sunscreen every couple of hours.

Close Up Of Female Hands Holding Regular Lotion Tube

Although most sunscreen available in the market claims to be waterproof but believe me it often gets washed off when you get into the water.

So, you need to use a quite good amount of sunscreen while tanning through the water to prevent serious sunburn.

What Are the Ways to Protect Your Skin Underwater?

By following the tips below you can easily get tan through water without getting sunburned.

Hydration Is Important

Your skin becomes dehydrated due to spending a lot of time outdoors while getting tan.

Dehydration can easily cause sunburn on your skin. So, it is very important to stay hydrated while tanning outdoors even in the pool.

Sun-protective Clothing

Wearing sun-protective clothing can be a good idea to protect your skin from sunburn while tanning through the water.

What Clothes Should be worn After a Spray Tan

Long-sleeved rash vests and leggings are easily available in swim stores. They are made with sun-protective material to protect your skin in water. Also Read: What Clothes Should You Wear After a Spray Tanning Session

Moisturize Your Skin

Dry skin gets damaged faster when exposed to UV rays while tanning.

So, to recover your skin from sun exposure and to minimize sun damage always apply a moisturizer when you’re getting tan outdoors or in a pool.

Use Sunscreen

Applying Sunscreen is very important before getting into the pool to get a tan.


Lancaster Sun Beauty Melting Tanning Milk SPF 15

Helps create an even radiant and long-lasting golden tan. Developed with exclusive infrared technology to protect skin from infrared rays

Always use sunscreen with high SPF and check that it does not wash off immediately. Reapply the sunscreen if it gets washed off after getting into the water.

Wear a Hat

Your face, head, neck, and shoulders get sunburned quite easily as these parts are directly exposed to the sun.

As you cannot keep your upper body underwater for too long so, wearing a wide-brimmed hat can be the best option.

This hat is made of protective material and thus, can easily provide protection and shade to your face, neck, and shoulders.

As UV rays can penetrate to a certain distance underwater so, you cannot get tan if you go very deep under the water.

Tanning is always possible through water if you follow the above-mentioned tips properly.

Sun protection is a must and never forget to protect your skin before getting into the pool to get tan.

With proper sun protection, your skin will not get any serious damage. So, prepare yourself to get tan through water without any worry.

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Chloe Taylor

Hey there, I am Chloe Taylor, your trusted tanning expert. Dive into expert tips, product reviews, and skincare advice to unlock the secrets of a radiant tan. Also, join me in achieving that sun-kissed glow while safeguarding your skin, which can leave you feeling your best.

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