Tanning Bed Tips For Beginners offers a convenient way to achieve a sun-kissed glow, but for beginners, navigating the world of indoor tanning can be daunting. Understanding how tanning beds work, how long to stay in them, and how to prepare can make the experience safer and more effective.

In this guide, we’ll explore essential tanning bed tips for beginners, including how tanning beds work, how long beginners should stay in them, and how to prepare for a tanning bed session. Whether you’re stepping into a tanning bed for the first time or looking to enhance your tanning experience, this guide has you covered.

How Tanning Beds Work

Tanning beds, also known as sunbeds, use ultraviolet (UV) radiation to darken the skin, mimicking the natural tanning process that occurs when exposed to sunlight. These beds emit UVA and UVB rays, which penetrate the skin and stimulate melanin production. Melanin is the pigment responsible for skin darkening,

acting as the body’s natural defense against UV radiation. In tanning beds, the concentration of UV rays is higher than in natural sunlight, allowing for a quicker tan but also posing higher risks of sunburn and skin damage if not used properly.

How Long Should Beginners Stay In A Tanning Bed

For beginners, it is crucial to start with very short exposure times to avoid skin damage. The recommended starting time is usually around 3-5 minutes, depending on the type of tanning bed and the individual’s skin sensitivity.

Beginners should gradually increase their exposure time over several sessions, typically not exceeding 10-15 minutes per session. It’s essential to listen to your body and not push past the point of comfort. Overexposure can lead to sunburn, premature skin aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer.

How To Prepare For A Tanning Bed Session

  1. Exfoliate Your Skin: Remove dead skin cells to achieve a more even tan and prevent patchiness.
  2. Moisturize Your Skin: Hydrated skin tans more evenly and is less likely to burn or peel.
  3. Remove Makeup and Lotions: Cleanse your skin thoroughly to ensure even UV exposure.
  4. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose loose-fitting, dark clothing to avoid tan lines and prevent staining.
  5. Protect Sensitive Areas: Use lip balm with SPF and apply a small amount of sunscreen to areas like the nipples, palms, and soles of feet.
  6. Bring Eyewear: Wear protective goggles to shield your eyes from UV rays during the session.
  7. Follow Salon Guidelines: Familiarize yourself with the tanning bed’s controls and settings before starting.
  8. Avoid Showering Immediately After: Wait a few hours to allow your skin to fully absorb the UV rays for a longer-lasting tan.

Essential Tanning Bed Tips

  1. Start Slow: Begin with short sessions and gradually increase the exposure time to avoid burning.
  2. Use Indoor Tanning Lotion: Enhance your tan and protect your skin with a lotion specifically designed for indoor tanning.
  3. Protect Your Eyes: Wear goggles to prevent eye damage from UV exposure.
  4. Moisturize After Tanning: Keep your skin hydrated to maintain your tan and prevent dryness or peeling.
  5. Limit Your Sessions: Avoid tanning too frequently to reduce the risk of skin damage and premature aging.
  6. Monitor Your Skin: Check for any unusual changes or signs of damage, and consult a dermatologist if you have concerns.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin healthy and hydrated from the inside out.
  8. Consider Alternatives: Explore other methods of sunless tanning, such as spray tans or self-tanning lotions, for a safer alternative to UV exposure.
A Beginner's Guide To Tanning Beds

Tanning Bed Tips For Beginners

  1. Understanding Tanning Beds: Learn about the different types of tanning beds and how they work.
  2. Choosing a Tanning Salon: Find a reputable salon with trained staff and well-maintained equipment.
  3. Skin Assessment: Determine your skin type to understand your tanning needs and limits.
  4. Consultation: Schedule a consultation with the salon staff to discuss your tanning goals and any concerns you may have.
  5. Preparing for Your Session: Follow the preparation steps mentioned earlier, including exfoliating and moisturizing your skin.
  6. During Your Session: Wear protective eyewear and follow the instructions provided by the salon staff.
  7. After Your Session: Moisturize your skin to maintain hydration and prolong your tan.

Using A Sunbed For The First Time


  • Shower and exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells, ensuring a more even tan.
  • Avoid using any skincare products, makeup, or lotions before your session, as they can create a barrier and affect the tanning process.
  • Wear loose, dark clothing to your session to avoid tan lines and potential staining.

Protective Eyewear:

  • Always wear FDA-approved protective eyewear to shield your eyes from UV exposure during your session. Do not use sunglasses as they do not provide sufficient protection.

Understanding the Equipment:

  • Familiarize yourself with the tanning bed’s controls and settings. Ask the salon staff for a demonstration if needed.
  • Check that the bed is clean and properly maintained before use.

Positioning Yourself:

  • Follow the instructions provided by the salon staff for entering and positioning yourself in the tanning bed.
  • Use any accessories provided, such as towels or pillows, to ensure your comfort during the session.

During Your Session:

  • Close the tanning bed lid gently once you are inside.
  • Relax and try to lie still during your session to ensure an even tan.
  • If you feel any discomfort or overheating, press the stop button immediately and exit the tanning bed.


In conclusion, tanning beds can be a convenient way to achieve a sun-kissed glow, but beginners need to approach them with caution. By following the tanning bed tips for beginners outlined above, you can minimize the risks associated with indoor tanning and enjoy a safe and effective experience.

Remember to start slow, protect your skin and eyes, and moisturize regularly to maintain your tan. With proper care and attention, you can achieve a beautiful tan while keeping your skin healthy and radiant.