Even with all the benefits of tanning salon equipment, it can still be difficult to get a completely even tan. Some areas of your body are just more resistant to tanning than others. This is especially true for your legs, which can be incredibly inconvenient during the summer. Don’t miss out on the perfect time for sundresses, ladies, or basketball shorts, gentlemen! Here are some tips on how to get and keep gorgeously tanned legs.

Why are my legs harder to tan than the rest of my body?

The simple answer is that the skin on your legs doesn’t produce as much melanin as other parts of your body. Melanin is the pigment in your skin that causes it to darken when exposed to UV rays. So your legs naturally won’t get as dark as other areas of your body that have an abundance of melanin.

However, the tanning industry has long since found some great tricks to get around this.  

Indoor Tanning Lotions

You should always use indoor tanning lotion when using a tanning bed. Not only does it protect your skin, but it ensures your tan will develop darker and last longer. Moisturized skin always tans better than dry, flaky skin. That’s because dry skin reflects UV rays instead of soaking them up, inhibiting your tan.

There are certain types of indoor tanning lotions that are specially designed to give the hard-to-tan areas of your body a boost.

Using a tan accelerator will keep your skin extra moisturized and help your legs retain color longer. You could even apply bronzer to your legs to encourage them to develop a darker color.  

Bad blood circulation can also cause uneven tanning. When the melanin in your skin is exposed to UV rays it causes your pigment to oxidize and darken. Lack of circulation can impede this oxidization process, which is why professional dermatologists caution against wearing tight pants or shoes that constrict blood flow. Using a tingle or hot action lotion can help bad circulation, as they’re designed to increase blood flow to your skin.

Check out our Guide To Indoor Tanning Lotions for more information on what these indoor lotions can do for you.

Spray Tanning

Spray tanning is a great way to have more control over your tan. Our VersaSpa Pro spray tan booth even has a customizable setting just for your legs or face! If you have trouble tanning in these areas, you can use our VersaSpa’s Height Sensor Technology to pinpoint exactly where to apply additional color boosts.

We recommend shaving or waxing at least 12-24 hours before your spray tanning session. Another reason legs are so hard to tan is simply because when we shave we remove the top layer of dead skin cells (which is good!), but this also causes your skin to shed or lose some of its tan with that top layer, revealing the paler newer skin beneath.

So shaving before you tan will limit the number of times you shave before your next tanning session, extending the color on your legs. However, shaving too soon will leave your pores open during the session and when they close they could leave the spray tanning solution trapped underneath, creating dark brown dots along your legs.


Self-tanning lotions are another great way to have absolute control over your tan. You can add as much or as little product as you need to ensure your hard-to-tan areas are just as dark as the rest of you.

However, it’s fairly common for your legs to lose color faster when you use self-tanning products. This is because the skin on your shins and calves are thinner and so the fake tan doesn’t hold as well.

Byrdie, a celebrity beauty website, recommends that “before applying fake tan, glide a lemon across your lower legs. The low pH of the fruit helps the DHA (the active ingredient in fake tan) to develop the color quicker and more effectively.”

Come by our salon to check out our selection of top of the line self-tanning products!


Get great legs this summer! Call us today at (479) 785-1185 or stop by our salon at 4500 Rogers Ave. Walk-ins are welcome! Make sure to keep up with our Facebook and Twitter pages for new updates!

It’s finally here! The last voting round for the Times Record’s BEST OF THE BEST competition is August 13 – August 20. We’re honored to have made the Top 5 Finalists for the area’s best Tanning Salon for the third year in a row. Click HERE to vote for Tan Unique and enter for a chance to win $250 on the swtimes.com website.

4516 Rogers Avenue Suite B1 & B2
Fort Smith, AR


Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Friday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday: CLOSED