How to Use Tanning Beds and Sunbeds

Tanning is slowly becoming an embraced practice, and it is not uncommon to try to use a tanning bed for the first time. The first instance can be intimidating since most people are yet to know the dos and don’ts of tanning and sun therapy. Before enjoying a tanning session, it is important to be advised about the entire factor involving the UV light.

Perform a Skin Analysis

Before using your first tanning bed or making your first tanning session, one must become intimate with their skin. To do this, one will be required to have their skin analyzed. A skin analysis will indicate the type of skin one has, which will, in turn, determine the number of tanning sessions as well as their durations.

For instance, people with skin type 1 are encouraged not to use tanning beds and sunbeds since they get burnt quickly and do not tan easily. Depending on where one intends to go through with their tanning sessions, salon assistants are expected to present the questionnaire to their clients.

Choose a Tanning Salon and Bed Style

There are a variety of bed styles in every tanning salon. Thus, if you intend to visit a tanning salon, ask about the tanning bed they use and find out if it is suitable for your skin. You should consider visiting different tanning salons if you have multiple options and thereafter choose which appeals most to you. Some salons offer discounted tanning rates if a membership is purchased.

This will cut on cost, and thus you can consider such a bargain. Suppose you are a first-time tanning bed user. In that case, it is advisable to schedule an appointment for single use as opposed to purchasing a monthly membership in case you find that you dislike tanning beds after the experience.

Cleanliness of Tanning Beds

It is important to evaluate the cleanliness of the tanning beds in different salons before you schedule your appointment. During tanning, one has minimal clothing or none at all, so the beds have to be clean since the bed will come into contact with your skin. Some of the ways you can use to evaluate the level of hygiene in a tanning salon include enquiring about the cleaners used on the beds from the salon staff. Alternatively, you can look up reviews online. Previous clients are a sure way to gauge the suitability of a tanning salon, compare the positive and negative reviews, and make a personal judgment.

Low, Medium, or High-Pressure Tanning Bed

You should consider using a low or medium-pressure tanning bed to achieve a natural-looking tan. This is because the UVB rays from these beds are similar to those from natural sunlight. The difference between medium and low-pressure tanning is that the medium uses more watts as compared to the low, thus achieving the tan look faster. The risk is the possibility of getting sunburns since the lamps in low and medium pressure tan slowly.

A high-pressure tanning bed is ideal for achieving a long-lasting tan. High-pressure tanning beds will emit higher intensity UVA rays as opposed to UVB. The UVA rays result in a deeper tan, which lasts longer. The tan builds up over a short period eliminating the risk of skin burns. The downside is that this method is relatively expensive. A high-pressure tanning bed is not recommended for novices to avoid developing tan lines, as advised by professional tanning solutions.

Determine Skin Type

Tanning salons have a form clients fill out for skin analysis to find out hair, skin, eye color, skin sensitivity, and frequency of tanning. The information provided will determine the most suitable tanning method and timing period for your skin. You must fill in this information accurately and include important information such as any medication you might be taking and states such as sickness or pregnancy. You should consult with your doctor if you are considering tanning during pregnancy. Tanning during pregnancy could cause dehydration, overheating, or induce preterm labor.

Skin Preparation

To prepare skin for tanning, one should expose skin to UV rays to build a base tan to prevent irritation during tanning. Exposure to UV rays can be done through sunlight exposure. This step is important as it reduces the chances of skin burns while on the tanning bed.

Also, before your tanning appointment, exfoliate and moisturize your skin to clear dead cells and apply moisturizer, which protects the skin from irritation. Remember to apply your SPF lip balm to protect your lips from drying out.

Use gentle moisturizing soaps for exfoliation with no fragrance, using beauty products with fragrances such as deodorants, perfume, and makeup, as these could cause skin irritation after heat exposure. Also, wait up to 24 hours after the tan to resume your normal beauty regimen to allow the tan to settle. An hour before the tanning appointment, apply an indoor tanning lotion to increase the tanning bed effect. Avoid using outdoor tanning oils and lotions, as the compounds in outdoor tanning oils could damage the tanning equipment.

Protecting Your Skin

Ensure that sensitive skin areas such as the breasts, genital area, and buttocks are covered to avoid skin irritation, as these areas are sensitive. You can wear a bathing suit to protect these sensitive areas. If you prefer tanning while nude, it is recommended that sufficient moisturizer is applied. Also, use a washcloth to cover the nipples and genital area while tanning.

It is important to understand salon policies on nude tanning. If you have recently dyed hair, tattoos, or acrylic nails, ensure to cover them. To protect your eyes while tanning, you should wear goggles. Eye exposure to UV rays could lead to cataracts, blindness, reduced night vision, and color blindness.


While on the tanning bed, lie on your back and spread your arms and legs. Also, bend your knees to avoid developing tan lines on the back of your upper thighs.

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