With all the various kinds of temporary tattoos, there’s one kind of body design that doesn’t use ink. Instead, it uses the sun to create a design using the body’s natural process that results in a suntan. It’s a suntan tattoo!
It works like this: When exposed to the sun’s rays, the human skin responds by producing a substance known as melanin for protection. This is a kind of darker pigment that causes freckles and suntans. How well a person tans depends upon the amount of melanin he or she has and how it’s distributed. That’s why people with lighter complexions may tan less or burn more! than people with darker skin.
Here’s How To Create A Suntan Tattoo Of Your Own
You’ll need an old tight-fitting shirt and pants that you can cut apart, a lounge chair or beach towel, sunscreen of SPF10 rating (or less), and about two hours of your time. Oh, and of course, the sun.
1. First decide whether you want a suntan tattoo on both upper and lower parts of your body, or either the upper or lower. This will determine whether you use both articles of clothing or just one to make your design.
2. Next, choose the shape you want for the suntan tattoo, and cut that design out of the shirt and/or pants you’ll wear while you’re in the sun. Should your design be complicated, you can use body tape to cover the areas you don’t want tanned.
3. Now take your sunscreen, a trashy novel, your lounge chair or beach towel and a cool drink and head outside to a sunny spot. Apply sunscreen at intervals according to the directions for your type of skin. Be sure to turn over periodically if you’ve designed a suntan tattoo that’s on two sides of your body.
Although it takes two to three hours of sun to create a suntan tattoo, your exposure time should be determined by how fast it normally takes your skin to tan using good sunscreen. Remember, sunscreen filters out the most harmful rays, but not all of them. That’s why you can still get a suntan while using sunscreen.
Another thing to remember is that your suntan tattoo will continue to darken after you’ve gone inside. That’s why the tattoo isn’t finished until the next morning and why it may be better to stay outside less time than you think to tan, especially if you tan or burn easily.