Swimming FAQs, Swimming Tricks

Can My Legs Get Tan Underwater & In The Pool

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Yes, you can get a tan while swimming, working out in the water, or simply taking a leisurely dip in a lake or pool. It’s true that an underwater tan differs from one that is obtained above water, as many people lament. It always has a different appearance than a tan that is attained by lying in the sun, unwinding on a raft, using a tanning bed, or getting a fake tan from a bottle.

Can You Tan Underwater?

While swimming, you can get a tan from the sun’s reflection off the water as well as the water itself. Let’s dissect these and examine how you tan in the water in more detail.

The type of water that a person is swimming in or relaxing in affects how this type of tan looks and feels. These are not the only variations in how this tan appears; there are also variations in the aesthetic appeal and appearance of an underwater tan. Clear bodies of water, such as an ocean free of pollution or a chlorinated pool, make tanning easier for swimmers while murky bodies of water, such as a pond or lake, make tanning more challenging.

Tanning Underwater

So, is tanning possible while swimming? It is still possible for UV rays to reach your skin because water does partially absorb them.

In shallow water, only 30% of the sun’s rays are absorbed by the water; the remaining 70% reach your skin. Since you can enjoy the coolness of the water without losing the bronzing effect, shallow water sun loungers have grown to be popular for giving the pool tan effect.

However, because more UV rays are absorbed in deeper water, tanning is less likely to occur. Your skin will absorb much less sunlight once you are submerged more than half a meter because the water has absorbed about 60% of the light by that point.

It is still possible to burn if your skin is not protected, though, even in deeper water.

Tanning With Reflection

In or On the Pool: Because water reflects light, being in or lying on water while wearing a floatation device is one of the best ways to get some serious sun. This implies that sunlight will bounce directly onto you after reflecting off the water. Therefore, dipping in the pool or lounging on a lilo over water is not only soothing and cooling, but also very effective if you really want to get that dark tan.

By the Sand – When you lie on the beach, you are right next to the sand, and just like how sunlight reflects off water, it also does so off sand, reflecting those rays your way! Grab a beach towel, then start tanning.

Reflective towels and sheets are still one of the best ways to get a deep tan, despite being somewhat dated. The best and safest time for them to work is after you have a base tan. They assist by drawing and reflecting the sun’s rays onto your body. So why not purchase a reflective board and tilt it at a 45-degree angle to reflect sunlight onto your skin? Or you could purchase a reflective blanket for a tan all over! Simply lay it on the ground, remember to rotate your body frequently, and take breaks in the shade.

Can My Legs Get Tan Underwater2

Tanning From Sunlight Reflection

UV rays are reflected off the water’s surface, which is another way that people tan in the water. Your skin will tan (and burn) more quickly as a result of this reflected light because it actually makes UV rays stronger.

I’m frequently asked if water makes you tan easier. Furthermore, it certainly expedites the process of sunlight reflecting off of water.

If you are floating in the pool, this effect will be especially strong. Your skin will receive direct UV exposure from UV rays that reflect off the water’s surface. Any water droplets on your body will reflect the light as well.

If you are swimming with your head above the water, UV rays will also reflect onto your face. You should always protect the skin on your face while swimming because it is more prone to burning than other parts of the body.


You’re in luck if you don’t like to stay still by lying still! Your body will be in perfect condition for a session of soaking up the sun or using a sunbed after working out to help increase blood circulation and make your skin moist and ready for tanning.

Additionally, due to the angle at which the sun hits you, exercising while tanning will produce a look that is even more natural and sun-kissed than when you are lying down. The ideal outdoor exercises include yoga, beach volleyball, and swimming.

How To Protect Your Skin Whilst In The Water

If you want to protect your skin in the water, finding a trustworthy waterproof sunscreen is essential. Providing water resistance for up to 80 minutes, Neutrogena’s Beach Defense Water-Resistant Sunscreen is a fantastic high-factor option.

Every couple of hours, especially if you are in the water, you should reapply sunscreen.

The only way to completely block out the sun is to wear clothing. Sunscreen will provide UV ray protection. Wetsuits, rash vests, and leggings are just a few of the protective clothing options available for swimming. This is your best option if you don’t want to get any water tan at all.

Children should also consider wearing protective clothing. Young skin is much more prone to burning, and splashing around and playing in the water can wash sunscreen off of it. So, if you have kids who enjoy spending the entire day in the water, think about getting them rash guards.

Wear a hat to protect your face if you are in a shallow pool or using a shallow-water sun lounger. Your face, neck, and shoulders—all areas of the body that are particularly susceptible to burning—will be protected by a sunhat with a wide brim.

Drink plenty of water while tanning because the sun can seriously dehydrate the body. For this reason, it is also crucial to moisturize after being in the sun.

Why Do Legs Not Tan As Much As The Rest Of The Body?

  1. The most important ingredient in the entire tanning process is melanin. The activation and production of melanin is what causes skin pigmentation and gives your skin its dark color. Leg skin does not produce as much melanin as skin on the rest of the body, which causes legs to tan less than other body parts.
  2. Leg skin is tougher and thicker, so UV rays from the sun or sunbeds have a harder time penetrating it. The skin is also dryer, which causes the outermost layers to exfoliate more quickly. Additionally, dry skin typically reflects UV light, which reduces the effectiveness of the entire tanning process.
  3. Women have a harder time tanning their legs because they frequently wax or shave. They do this to remove the outermost layers of their already tanned skin.
  4. The middle and top of the body receive the majority of the tanning energy (up to 20%) in conventional sunbeds. That explains why the majority of sunbed users claim that their torsos tan more evenly than their faces and legs, in particular. Additionally, the presence of the various organs in that area causes the blood flow to be increased. The process of tanning is aided and accelerated by the increased blood flow.
  5. Special UV lamps for the face, shoulders, and most sunbeds are equipped with cutting-edge technology, but not for the legs.

But people shouldn’t lose hope or give up on their pursuit of the desired sun-kissed hue. Legs can be challenging to tan, but there is a solution. These top tanning suggestions will help you get a tan that will last on your legs.