Orange Coloured Tan

Q: Why do I get an Orange coloured tan when I travel to Mexico as opposed to when I have travelled to Hawaii which is a darker coloured tan? I will be travelling to Mexico again and would like to get a golden tan and not the usual Orange coloured one. Any suggestions?
A: My best educated guess would be a matter of proximity in relation to the equator and the more direct sun exposure at a more equatorial location.
I say this because when tanning salons were becoming popular, many people found that using a tanning bed/booth caused them to appear more “orange” than tanning outdoors at the waterside. This was because of the higher intensity of the UV radiation to which they were exposing themselves. Yes, you could tan in a fraction of the time, but you would also be exposing yourself to a much higher level of UV radiation.
My best recommendation (apart from don’t do it) would be to make sure to use a sunscreen to regulate the amount and relative intensity of UV radiation to which you expose yourself. If you tan easily, try a sunscreen with a relatively low SPF (10-15) which should help to moderate the intensity of the UV exposure and help you get the “glow” you want, without looking like an overripe citrus fruit.
I would like to once again caution everyone who is planning to expose themselves to UV radiation in an effort to get a “tan” to PLEASE be careful. Sun-related skin cancers are on the rise and sunbathing is a major factor in this. Make sure to take careful stock of any moles or marks on your skin, and see your dermatologist every year to make sure you aren’t developing “pre-cancerous” conditions.
While some skin cancers are easily treated with early detection, others can be fatal unless caught in the early stages.
Photo: Savanevich Viktar/Shutterstock
See also:
How tanning works
What can I do to enhance my tan and keep my skin as healthy as possible?