Tanning Bed Tips
(A Complete Guide for Before, During, and After Tanning)
There are a lot of factors that go into safely achieving the perfect tan, so it's important to know how to tan safely and how to optimize your results before you begin tanning. If you have purchased a home tanning bed, or are thinking about purchasing one, you will need to know the following tanning bed tips and how your skin tone and goals will affect your tanning practices.
At Tanning Beds Direct, we have a huge range of tanning beds from the top brands, with different tanning bed bulb counts and bulb types, and with different features. All are available at the lowest prices, and our customers pay no sales tax. As an added perk, all of our tanning beds ship for free within the mainland USA. Regardless of what you're looking for, we will have a tanning bed that will fit your needs. Visit our home page to begin narrowing down your search.
Tanning Bed Tips for Beginners: Determine Your Skin Type
Before you tan, you should know what type of skin you have. Some people burn more easily than others when overexposed to natural sunlight. While a tanning bed is a far more controlled environment, it still emits UV rays, and too much exposure can cause a burn. If you know your skin type and how to tan accordingly, you can avoid burns that can slow down your path to the perfect tan and go straight for beautiful results.
There are six skin types, with Type 1 being the most fair and Type 6 having the darkest skin tone. Read up on them and find the description that matches you. Or you can take a skin type quiz. Answer a few easy questions and get an answer in less than a few minutes. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 skin, check out our tanning bed tips for fair skin farther down the page.
Determine Your Goals
What results do you want to achieve with your tanning regimen? Are you looking for a sun-kissed look, or do you want to reach an exotic bronze tone? What are your tanning preferences? Knowing your skin type and goals can help you tailer your tanning practices to reach those goals.
This information can also help you determine the type of tanning bed and tanning bed bulbs you need. For tanning at home, we strongly recommend a home tanning bed. Commercial tanning beds have different power outlet requirements, high price points, and different warranties. Your home tanning bed will meet your needs, so there's no cause for paying more and going through the hassle of installing a circuit breaker.
Likewise, if you are looking for a tanning bed for your salon or gym, you will want to go for a commercial tanning bed. These models are built to handle multiple uses per day and have special warranties. In many cases, using a home tanning bed for commercial use may void the warranty.
Tanning Bed Tips: Select Your Perfect Bed
At Tanning Beds Direct, we carry tanning beds from the top brands in the industry. While they are all listed at amazing prices, they do differ in price point, bulb count, and features.
If you don't want as many features for your tanning bed, the SunLite™ 16 will offer you a lot of bang for your buck. All 16 bulbs are made by Wolff™ (a highly rated tanning bed bulb brand), and it ships with eye protection, a pillow, and tanning bed cleaner at no extra cost. For the full luxury treatment, opt for a SunLite™ Deluxe or a Solar Storm™ model. These offer or include features like a body fan and music playing system.
Do you tend to have a hard time staying in one place? A tanning bed with a shorter tanning time may benefit you. Make sure to note: a higher bulb count doesn't necessarily mean a shorter tanning time. Check the description on the product page to see the session time limit.
Some people also feel anxious when enclosed in tight spaces. If that sounds like you, you may want to take a look at our home stand up tanning bed. It takes up less floor space while giving you more interior space that allows you to move comfortably. (Another plus is that since you are not coming into as much contact with the sides of the tanning bed as you would if you were lying down, it will be easier to keep your tanning bed clean.)
Some of our tanning beds offer an optional upgrade to Wolff™ bronzing bulbs. This type of tanning bed bulb emits primarily UVA rays (while standard bulbs emit primarily UVB rays). When you come into contact with UVA rays, they sink into the deeper layers of your skin, triggering your body to produce more melanin. UVA rays cause your skin to develop a more bronze-toned tan - hence the name "bronzing bulbs." If you are an experienced tanner and want a longer lasting, bronze tan, you will want to opt for the Wolff™ bronzing bulbs.
Choose A Tanning Bed Lotion
You will want to use a tanning lotion every single time you tan. It's important to select a lotion that will offer the benefits that you're looking for. First, what to avoid: don't select just any lotion - make sure it's a tanning bed lotion. That means you should avoid products that have an SPF ingredient. SPF stands for sun protection factor. Your goal for indoor tanning is to let the UV rays in - not keep them out.
There are a few different types of tanning bed lotions. The first category to consider is bronzing lotions. These products have two purposes. First, they provide immediate color. Tanning beds don't provide instant results - your body needs time to make the tan by producing melanin in response to the UV rays that have have come into contact with your skin. Second, bronzing lotions contain amino acids that work to encourage your skin to produce more melanin - the pigment that gives your skin a tanned color.
Another type is called Tingle lotion. This lotion is for those who are more experienced tanners and helps to speed up the process. Tingle lotion is aptly named as it can give your skin a brief tingling or burning sensation. The ingredients in Tingle tanning bed lotion may cause your skin to appear red at first, but in the next couple hours you will see your tan starting to come through and the redness will fade.
After you determine the best tanning bed lotion type for you, narrow it down by price point or brand. If you are purchasing in-store, you will also want to make sure you like the scent of the tanning lotion since it will cover most of your body.
Before Tanning Skin Care
The quality of the tan you get doesn't just depend on the type of tanning bed and tanning bed lotion you use. It also depends on how well you prep your skin to receive the tan.
Besides tanning bed lotion, you won't want anything between the UV rays and the surface of your skin - this includes hair. If you opt for waxing or hair removing creams, you will want to use these methods a day or two before your tanning session. Waxing and harsh chemicals can leave your skin too vulnerable and not prepared to properly handle the UV rays.
After you have removed the hair from your skin, you will want to exfoliate. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells that might otherwise get in the way of an even tan. Once you have hairless, smooth skin, don't forget to put the moisture back in. Exfoliating reveals fresh, healthy skin, but can also remove some of the healthy oils your skin needs. Make sure not to use lotions that contain an SPF ingredient! You will want to moisturize directly before tanning and a lotion with an SPF will inhibit your tan.
Tanning Bed Tips for Safe Tanning
Tanning safely is the most important tanning bed tip. It's crucial to recognize that UV rays can be harmful to your skin and your eyes if you use your tanning bed improperly or unsafely. When tanning, ALWAYS use eye protection. A tan isn't worth risking your vision, and tanning eye protection is cheap and easy to use.
You should also make sure to adhere to the tanning bed session time. Fewer tanning bulbs do not necessarily mean you need a longer tan time. The experts have determined the set tan time, and it's best to follow that limit! Indoor tanning is safer than hours of tanning in natural sunlight because a tanning bed is a more controlled environment. However, that doesn't mean you can't get a sunburn - tanning beds still emit UV rays. If you stay too long in a tanning bed, you can get an uncomfortable, red sunburn that will slow down your tanning progress. If you get a sunburn, you will need to stop tanning until it heals to avoid further damaging your skin. Tanning safely will offer you the best results.
How To Lay in a Tanning Bed
Any time you tan, your goal will be to get a beautiful, even skin tone. That's why it's important to know how to properly lay in a tanning bed to get the best results. It's not enough to simply roll over in the middle of the tanning session.
To lay properly, begin the tanning session on your back. You will need to stretch out a little - keep your arms away from your sides and make sure your legs are not too close together. Be careful not to absentmindedly rest your hands on your abdomen - it may be better to raise your arms above your head to avoid light patches along your underarms.
When laying down, bend your knees a bit in order to allow the light to reach the space between the back of your legs and your bottom. If you lay flat, the backs of your legs can be pressed too close to your bottom, blocking the light and leaving you with an uneven tan.
When it's time to flip, again, it may be better to raise your arms above your head. Be careful not to rest with your legs too close together. It is also recommended that you spend time on your sides to ensure that your entire body has been immersed in the light.
For more tips about how to lay in a tanning bed, check out the video below.
It's even easier to avoid tan lines in a stand up tanning bed. When you stand, you do not create creases in your skin that will prevent you from achieving an even tan. Still, it's a good idea to arch your back slightly to allow the UV rays to surround you completely and to prevent light patches below your bottom.
Tanning Bed Tips: How Long Should You Tan?
Each tanning bed at Tanning Beds Direct has a tanning session time limit. As stated before, you should not exceed that time limit, or you will risk getting a sunburn.
While you should not exceed that limit, you also do not necessarily need to meet the time limit, especially if you are a beginner or have fair skin. For those who need to build up to the tanning time limit, they should begin with a few sessions of about five minutes at a time. Then, as you feel comfortable and as your skin allows, slowly increase the time by a few minutes every other session. Remember - it's better to build up slowly than to get a sunburn that will force you to pause your tanning sessions until you heal. To find a home tanning bed with a shorter session time, check our tanning bed time chart.
Even when you have used tanning bed lotion, tanning can dry out your skin. Follow our after-tanning tips to take proper care of your skin and nurture your tan.
After Tanning Skin Care
Sweating in a warm tanning bed can dehydrate you. Once your tanning session is over, make sure to drink cold water. Not only is it refreshing and good for the rest of your body, cold water will help your skin prepare to replenish it's natural moisture.
After slathering yourself in tanning lotion and laying under UV lights, you will want to take a shower. Immediately after your shower, use a moisturizer to help your skin feel and appear refreshed and soothed after your tanning session.
Keep Your Tanning Bed Clean
The point of tanning is to get your skin looking beautiful and healthy, so you should take care to protect your skin in other ways as well. This is why it's important to thoroughly clean your tanning bed after every single use.
Regardless of how clean you are, your tanning bed will still accumulate bacteria when you use it. This is due to the warm environment. The warmth generated by tanning bed bulbs can make you sweat, and at the same time creates a very habitable environment for bacteria.
If you let that bacteria thrive and continue to use your tanning bed, the bacteria can cause unpleasant and unhealthy effects such as itching, rashes, or infection. Cleaning your tanning bed becomes even more important if you are not the only one using it. Many of our tanning beds include tanning bed cleaner. If you run out, make sure to purchase more or make your own cleaning solution.
Tanning Bed Tips: How Often Should You Tan?
How often you should tan is dependent on a few different factors including your skin type and the level of tan you want to reach. Regardless, you should always wait at least a day in between tanning sessions. The same UV rays that sink into your skin and cause your body to produce a tan also cause a little bit of damage that your skin needs time to recover from. Remember - no matter how experienced you are with tanning, you should never have more than one tanning session in a 24 hour period.
Those with fair skin or who are newer to tanning will want to start off slower. Tan only 2-3 times in a week with short tanning times of about 4 or 5 minutes. As your skin builds up a base tan and becomes more accustomed to your tanning routine, you may increase your tanning times by 2 or 3 minutes every session or every other session until you reach your optimal skin tone.
We hope our tanning bed tips have been helpful! For any questions about our tanning beds, ordering, or the shipping process, please contact us. Our customer service staff are prepared to provide the information you need.