General Question

kittykat219's avatar

Does olive oil help you tan faster?

Asked by kittykat219 (136points) July 20th, 2011

I’m going to the beach in a few days and I’m really looking forward to it.
The only thing is that I don’t have a tan :( I don’t really want to be sitting on a beach next to seriously tanned people and be white as a piece of paper :(
Can I use olive oil to speed up the tanning instead of sitting outside in the baking hot sun for hours?
I know it’s really bad for your skin because it basically fries it but it’s only a one off.
I have some tanning oil so I could mix it with that?

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22 Answers

missingbite's avatar

White as a piece of paper is better than skin cancer. Don’t worry about it and wear a good SPF sunblock.

WestRiverrat's avatar

No. olive oil, or any cooking oil will just cook you. I transported a girl that used vegetable oil to tan with. She was in the sun for 30–45 minutes and had 2nd and third degree burns.

kittykat219's avatar

So what about if I put a really tiny amount on and went out for only 10 minutes or so?
It would still burn me badly?

Bill_Lumbergh's avatar

I would highly recommend that you DO NOT use olive oil to tan. The olive oil will damage your skin and may leave a rash after you decide to bake in the sun. If you must use an oil to tan I would suggest that you use baby oil instead, but only use a small amount! Please consider using an tanning oil you can buy at the local store with some SPF, trust me your skin will thank you later. Have fun!!

Coloma's avatar

Yes, bad idea with the Olive oil.
Just stick to a decent tanning lotion with at least a 15 SPF. Preferably more like 30SPF which will allow you to tan gradually without burning.
If you are very pale your exposure time is only going to be about 15 minutes before you start to burn. The Olive oil will not only burn you more quickly but it will not absorb into your skin like a tanning product. You will be burned and sticky both.

jca's avatar

When you are in your 50’s or 60’s and get melanoma, please remember this episode. Please don’t use olive oil. Why would you do that to yourself just for vanity?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@kittykat219 Instead, go to the drug store and get a bottle of self tanner or some self tanning wipes, or splurge on a spray tan two days before you go to the beach. When you get to the beach, use your SPF every hour on the hour, otherwise, with your pale skin, you will burn!

rebbel's avatar

Pale people are liked too, by the way.

kittykat219's avatar

Well it’s just that my arms are a bit tanned and my legs are really pale.
So it kind of looks weird lol :D

SpatzieLover's avatar

@kittykat219 You just described every human that works outdoors in summer. When I was young, I recall that being a big deal. Now, as an adult, it reminds me that I should be putting the sunscreen on my arms before I go outside.

FluffyChicken's avatar

Pasty people are sexy. Wear sunscreen, and please don’t try to tan. Melanoma is not sexy.

jm5225's avatar

Do not use any oils that that, Id say look in your local drug store for a tanning oil approved for tanning but still make sure there is some SPF. If you are really concerned(although you may not want to do this) try going to a tanning bed prior for just 5 minutes or so the day before to help build a base tan. Tanning beds may not be the safest thing but going once or twice isn’t going to kill you. Just an idea, i’m sure some may not agree.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It doesn’t help you tan faster, it helps you burn faster.
If you’re concerned about how it looks – try wearing a self tanning lotion when you go on vacation. Then, use a lotion with an SPF to lie out while you are at the beach. No one will know the difference, and you can get your sun much more safely that way.

Kardamom's avatar

There is no safe level of tanning. Tanning in and of itself is actually sun damage. Sunburn is also sun damage and if you use olive oil or baby oil or anything like that, you are likely to end up with a pretty bad sunburn.

Your best bet according to the Mayo Clinic is to use a topical sunless tanning product and follow the directions precisely. They also say that sunless tanning products, themselves, do not contain sunscreen, so you still need to wear a good sunblock (one that blocks both uva and uvb rays, often called full spectrum sunblock)

The Mayo clinic also has some other useful info, just in case you were considering it.
Tanning beds and tans from sunlight are both dangerous scroll down a bit to see another link to the best sunscreens.

Now for the anecdotes. One of my close friends from childhood developed skin cancer in her early 30’s. We all used to go to the beach and get tan (and burned) every year when we were teens. When the news came out in the early 1980’s that even “tanning” rather than just burning actually caused skin cancer, I started covering up and wearing sunscreen and learned to embrace my pastiness. My friend did not. She got skin cancer and had to have a bunch of lesions removed from her face, back and neck. A couple of aquaintences also developed skin cancer in their early 30’s, one of the girls had to have a big chunk of flesh removed from directly under her eye and some other lesions on her back and arm removed. She has a good sized scar on her face and has had multiple surgeries. Not pretty, not fun.

Some of my cousins just went on vacation to Cancun. They got some really neat self tanning gel (not sure of the brand) and used that, plus sunscreen. I didn’t know that they were using the self tanning product and when they came home, I started to panic when I saw them, because they looked lightly sun-kissed. They confessed that they were fake tans. It looked totally real and natural.

Bottom line. Don’t do something dangerous out of vanity. Learn now, at an early age to love and accept yourself and do all that you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Don’t give in to pressure to be tan or to do other unhealthy things like smoke, you’ll end up sick and/or addicted (and disgusted) in the end. Be a trendsetter. Be the person who makes pale seem awesome! Be the person who turns everyone else on to the cool new self tanning product. Be the person who everyone admires, because she is the picture of real health.

And be thankful for Twilight (Hot pasty people) and Harry Potter (other hot pasty people). And these 2 other hot pasty Potters!

msbcd's avatar

I wouldn’t recommend olive oil for tanning. You’ll simply dry out your skin and burn.

jca's avatar

You don’t realize this when you’re young, but the more you expose your skin to the sun, the quicker you age. When you look at construction workers, they look more wrinkly than someone else their age, because they’re out in the sun, and usually not using sun screen.

When I was 30, I got a job with health benefits. I went to the dermatologist, and asked him “What is the main thing I can do to reduce the signs of aging?” He told me “Wear sunscreen every day.” He recommended the kind that is for faces, like Olay or any of those that go under makeup. I put a little on every day as moisturizer, on my face and neck, and I do look good for my age (45) because everyone (trust me, everyone) says they think I“m in my mid 30’s and I don’t correct them.

Advice from a dermatologist has to be on the money.

SpatzieLover's avatar

A relevant Article on why Jaycee Lee Dugard looks so young for her age. Here is a photo of the 31 year old notice, she has almost zero wrinkles

jca's avatar

GA to you @SpatzieLover. I was going to mention her because I just saw the Diane Sawyer interview and Jaycee mentioned that herself, why she looks so young is from not being exposed to the sun for such a long time. I just didn’t feel like getting into it but I“m glad you mentioned it – perfect answer.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@jca She’s got gorgeous skin, doesn’t she?

pashley_108's avatar

I’ve always got told it does but it really doesn’t! I put it on and sit in the sun for hours and doesn’t get me more tanned. If you want to tan I think the best way is to have nothing on your skin or you can get tan enhances.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Screw olive oil, and go along with the traditional SPF sunscreen. You’ll have less chances of developing skin cancer, and turning on a creepy person. Also, you can get just a good a tan with tanning lotion as well. Just make sure you get tanning lotion that is very high SPF. My sister got SPF 12 tanning lotion, and paid for the consequences.

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