Tanning beds are a popular option for achieving a sun-kissed glow all year round. However, it’s crucial to use them responsibly to minimize the risk of skin damage and other health concerns. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to use a tanning bed safely and effectively.

What Skin Type Are You?

  1. Type I: Very fair skin, always burns, never tans.
  2. Type II: Fair skin, burns easily, tans minimally.
  3. Type III: Light to medium skin, may burn initially, tans gradually.
  4. Type IV: Medium to olive skin, burns minimally, tans well.
  5. Type V: Darker olive skin, rarely burns, tans easily.
  6. Type VI: Very dark skin, never burns, deeply pigmented.

Do you wear anything in a tanning bed?

It is recommended to wear minimal clothing or swimwear to ensure that the maximum surface area of your skin is exposed to UV rays. This helps in achieving an even tan. Avoid wearing jewelry and remove any makeup or sunscreen before entering the tanning bed.

How Do You Properly Lay In A Tanning Bed?

Position yourself evenly in the tanning bed, ensuring that all parts of your body receive equal exposure to UV rays. Follow the instructions provided by the tanning salon on body positioning, and avoid pressing your body against the bed’s surface to allow for optimal UV penetration.

Tanning Bed Tips

  1. Start Slow: If you’re new to tanning, begin with shorter sessions to allow your skin to acclimate gradually. Overexposure can lead to sunburn and skin damage.
  2. Choose the Right Bed: Different tanning beds emit varying levels of UV rays. Start with lower-pressure beds for beginners and gradually progress to higher-pressure beds as your skin develops a tolerance.
  3. Use Indoor Tanning Lotions: Apply a specialized indoor tanning lotion before each session. These lotions enhance the tanning process, moisturize your skin, and may include ingredients that promote melanin production.
  4. Protective Eyewear: Always wear protective eyewear designed for indoor tanning. This safeguards your eyes from the intense UV rays emitted by the tanning bed.
  5. Rotate Your Body: Change your body position during the session to ensure even exposure. This helps avoid uneven tan lines and ensures that all areas receive equal UV exposure.
  6. Moisturize Before and After: Keep your skin hydrated by moisturizing before and after tanning. Dry skin can result in an uneven tan and may increase the risk of irritation.
  7. Exfoliate Regularly: Exfoliate your skin before each session to remove dead skin cells. This helps achieve a more even tan and prevents patchiness.
  8. Follow a Schedule: Establish a consistent tanning schedule based on your skin type and the desired results. Giving your skin time to recover between sessions is essential to avoid overexposure.
  9. Avoid Overexposure: Stick to the recommended time guidelines provided by the tanning salon or the manufacturer. Overexposure can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
  10. Consult a Professional: If you have any concerns about tanning or your skin health, consult with a skincare professional or dermatologist. They can provide personalized advice based on your skin type and medical history.
  11. Skip Tanning if Pregnant: Pregnant women should avoid tanning beds due to potential risks to the developing fetus. If in doubt, consult with a healthcare professional.
  12. Limit Sessions: It’s crucial not to overdo it. Limit your tanning sessions to avoid excessive UV exposure and potential skin damage.
Are Tanning Beds Bad For Skin?

Are Tanning Beds Bad For Skin?

Excessive and improper use of tanning beds can be harmful to the skin. Overexposure to UV rays increases the risk of sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. It’s crucial to use tanning beds responsibly and follow recommended guidelines.

Side Effects Of Tanning Beds

  1. Sunburn: Overexposure to UV rays from tanning beds can cause sunburn, characterized by red, painful, and sometimes blistered skin.
  2. Premature Aging: Regular use of tanning beds may contribute to premature aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
  3. Skin Damage: Tanning beds can lead to long-term skin damage, such as a reduction in skin elasticity and firmness.
  4. Increased Risk of Skin Cancer: Tanning bed use is associated with an elevated risk of skin cancers, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.
  5. Eye Damage: Without proper eye protection, exposure to UV rays in tanning beds can cause eye damage, including irritation, redness, and potentially long-term issues like cataracts.
  6. Weakening of the Immune System: Prolonged exposure to UV radiation may suppress the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
  7. Photosensitivity Reactions: Some medications and cosmetic products may increase sensitivity to UV light, leading to skin reactions like rashes or redness when using tanning beds.
  8. Dehydration and Dry Skin: Tanning beds can contribute to skin dehydration, leading to dryness and potential irritation.

Benefits Of Tanning Beds

  1. Controlled Exposure: Tanning beds offer controlled exposure to UV rays, allowing individuals to manage their tanning sessions and gradually build up their tan.
  2. Convenience: Tanning beds provide a convenient option for those who want to maintain a tan during periods when natural sunlight exposure is limited, such as in colder seasons or for individuals with busy schedules.
  3. Vitamin D Production: Limited exposure to UVB rays in tanning beds can stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin, which is essential for bone health and overall well-being. However, it’s crucial to balance this potential benefit with the associated risks.
  4. Treatment of Certain Skin Conditions: Under medical supervision, tanning beds may be used as a treatment for certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema. However, this should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Tanning Bed For Indoor Tanning

Tanning beds provide a controlled and efficient means of achieving a sun-kissed glow through indoor tanning. These specialized beds emit ultraviolet (UV) rays, offering users the flexibility to maintain a tan irrespective of weather conditions. With varying pressure options and session durations, individuals can tailor their tanning experience to suit their skin type and desired results.

Tanning beds are equipped with features to ensure even UV exposure, minimizing the risk of uneven tan lines. While they offer convenience, users must follow recommended guidelines and prioritize skin health to mitigate potential risks associated with excessive UV exposure.

What Are The Do’s And Don’ts Before A Tanning Bed Session?


  • Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate your skin before a tanning bed session to remove dead skin cells. This helps achieve a more even tan.
  • Moisturize: Apply a light, water-based moisturizer to hydrate your skin. Well-moisturized skin tans more evenly.
  • Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate your skin before a tanning bed session to remove dead skin cells. This helps achieve a more even tan.
  • Wear Protective Eyewear: Always use protective eyewear designed for indoor tanning to shield your eyes from the intense UV rays emitted by the tanning bed.
  • Remove Makeup and Jewelry: Cleanse your skin thoroughly and remove any makeup or jewelry before entering the tanning bed. These can create barriers to UV rays.
  • Choose Appropriate Clothing: Wear minimal clothing or a swimsuit to ensure maximum skin exposure for an even tan.


  • Use Oil-Based Products: Avoid using oil-based lotions or moisturizers, as they can create a barrier on your skin, hindering the tanning process.
  • Overexpose Your Skin: Start with shorter sessions, especially if you’re a beginner. Overexposure can lead to sunburn and skin damage.
  • Use Outdoor Sunscreen: Skip outdoor sunscreen before a tanning bed session, as it can block UV rays and impede the tanning process.
  • Ignore Skin Type: Consider your skin type when determining session duration. Individuals with fair skin should start with shorter sessions to prevent overexposure.
  • Forget Consultation: If you have any skin concerns or medical conditions, consult with a skincare professional or dermatologist before tanning.
What Are The Do’s And Don’ts After A Tanning Bed Session

What Are The Do’s And Don’ts After A Tanning Bed Session


  • Moisturize: Hydrate your skin by applying a moisturizer after tanning. This helps maintain your tan and prevents dryness.
  • Wait Before Showering: Wait a few hours before showering to allow the tan to set. This helps achieve a longer-lasting and more even result.
  • Wear Loose Clothing: Opt for loose-fitting clothing to avoid rubbing or friction that could remove the tan.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Regularly Check Your Skin: Monitor your skin for any signs of irritation or unusual changes and seek medical advice if necessary.


  • Shower Immediately: Avoid showering immediately after a tanning session. Give your skin time to absorb the UV rays and develop a lasting tan.
  • Use Hot Tubs or Saunas: Steer clear of hot tubs, saunas, or activities that can cause excessive sweating and may remove the tan.
  • Forget Sunscreen Outdoors: If you plan to be outdoors, use sunscreen to protect your skin. A tan does not provide sufficient protection against harmful UV rays.
  • Overdo Tanning Sessions: Space out your tanning sessions and adhere to recommended guidelines. Over-tanning can lead to skin damage and increase the risk of health issues.
  • Ignore Skin Changes: If you notice any adverse reactions or changes in your skin, consult with a healthcare professional promptly.


Using a tanning bed can be a safe and effective way to achieve a sun-kissed glow when done responsibly and following proper guidelines on how to use a tanning bed safely.

By exfoliating your skin before sessions, choosing the right bed based on your skin sensitivity, and applying indoor tanning lotions, you enhance the experience while minimizing the risks associated with UV exposure.

Always prioritize your skin health and consult with professionals for personalized advice on how to use a tanning bed safely, taking into consideration factors such as your skin type and medical history.