How to use a Stand up Tanning Bed (Tips)

Most people prefer to use a tanning bed because it’s good in all seasons and it doesn’t take much of your time. But not everyone likes using the lay down tanning bed, fortunately with innovative technology today, you have the option of using the stand up tanning beds and booths. However, you might be hesitant to use it because you don’t know how to use stand up tanning beds, but with a few tanning bed tips you can work it like a breeze.

Getting that summer sun-kissed glow on your skin is the envy of many people. Getting some tips on how to use a tanning booth can be very helpful when you want to get that perfect tan. Though there are many benefits of using indoor tanning, there are also risks involved in using a tanning bed. You can damage your skin and health if you go to a tanning salon without knowing how to operate the tanning bed.

What is a Stand Up Tanning Bed?

Stand up tanning beds are very popular with most tanners if you want a darker skin without having to lie in an enclosed space, especially if you’re claustrophobic. You get a more even tan when standing in a booth unlike when you’re lying down on the tanning bed and because they have stronger light bulbs, your tanning session is faster. And just like when you’re using a regular tanning bed, you should always protect your eyes and wear appropriate clothing.

There are many reasons why these unique tanning beds are better preferred than your regular tanning beds. Here are some of the advantages:

  • You don’t need to keep turning from side to side during the tanning session.
  • It gives you quick results in less time because they have stronger bulbs than regular tanning beds.
  • The bulbs in the tanning beds have special reflectors that spread the rays evenly which results in a better and even tan.
  • It gives you a more even coverage because most parts of your body are exposed to the UV rays at the same time.
  • Since your skin isn’t touching the acrylic bed you don’t have to worry about getting an allergic reaction, and if you’re worried about hygienic issues, this is the best option.
  • If you fear to be in enclosed places, these type of bed provides you with a more natural environment with more room.

 Before Tanning

Before you can achieve the desired bronze look, you need to prepare your skin before the session.


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If you want a smooth and even tan, you should always exfoliate your skin. This will keep your skin from looking uneven and patchy. Before going for your tanning session, you should remove the dead skin cells so that your tan stays longer on your fresh layer of skin. Take a shower with your favorite exfoliating scrub like these or the one we recommend above, but don’t overdo it because you can damage healthy skin cells and make your skin dry and wrinkled.


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Apply a good amount of oil-free lotion before and after your tanning session like the one above. Oil on your skin acts as a barrier that will prevent you from achieving an even tan and results that aren’t as strong as you expected. Indoor tanning can use up a lot of the moisture in your skin which can result in flaky and dull skin. Keeping your skin soft and supple by applying a hydrating lotion will replenish the moisture lost.

Don’t use any SPF products

SPF is found in most skin care products, but it can interfere with the tanning process. To prevent leaving the tanning booth with white splotches all over your skin after a tanning session, avoid applying creams and SPF products on your skin before your tanning session. However, you can apply SPF lip balm to protect your lips from getting tanned like the one below.

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Check your prescription

If you’re taking any medication, you should check to see if it will make your skin more sensitive when exposed to UV rays. Also, inform the salon attendant about your medication in case of anything.

Avoid wearing makeup and deodorant

Some perfumes and makeup products contain some ingredients that can make your skin sensitive and it can cause your skin to get sunburnt during the tanning session. Deodorants also tend to contain SPF that interferes with tanning.

Remove all jewelry

Ideally, you’re supposed to go nude in a tanning booth, but since it may not be acceptable to many people, avoid wearing jewelry as it will cause uneven tan in those areas.

Protect your hair

Tie your hair up in a pony or a bun to keep your hair away from your face, neck, and shoulders to avoid getting creases and an uneven tan in these areas.

Know how to operate a tanning bed

If you don’t know how you can use a tanning bed, do your research or ask a salon attendant to help you set the time and any other instructions you need to know. The attendant should be able to show you which buttons to press when turning on the lights or which one to press if you want to stop tanning early.

How you should use stand up tanning beds

These are important steps you should follow when using a stand up tanning bed.

Wear goggles

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The same way you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun is the same way you should protect your eyes from the UV rays when standing on the tanning booth. You can either be provided a pair of goggles in the tanning salon or you can carry your own. Tanning without goggles can be very harmful. 

Set the time

Your skin type will determine how many tanning sessions you’ll need to establish a base tan and the length of time you’ll need to spend in the tanning booth. Six different skin types depending on your eye, skin, and hair color and also your skin’s capacity to tan. It’s always better to set less time because these tanning beds emit stronger UV rays that tan your body faster and you don’t want to burn your skin by staying in for too long. Then you can gradually increase to allow your skin time to adapt.

Stand in the middle of the booth

This is important if you want to achieve an even tan. You need to find the best way to stand and standing at the center of the tanning booth with your legs slightly apart is the best position to give you a great tan.

Raise your arms high

When you lie down on the tanning bed, you mostly end up with white lines on your torso, but standing in a tanning bed leaves you with a more even tan. If you want a streak-free tan, there are some bars on the sides or ceiling of the tanning booth that you can hold to support your arms during your tanning session. This will ensure your underarms get tanned and since you’re more mobile inside the booth, you can keep changing your position for comfort. You can lift your arms up and down on intervals to give you a deep rich tan that has no streaks.

Pace your sessions

After your tanning session, you should give your skin time to recover and regenerate before going back for another tanning session. Wait for at least 36-48 hours before exposing your skin to more UV light. You can go for 3-5 tanning sessions to build up a base tan, then you can maintain it by getting a tan at least twice a week.

Dress appropriately

If it’s your first time using a tanning booth, chances are you don’t know what to wear. You should talk to the salon attendant to know what is appropriate. Most tanning salons provide their clients with privacy and you should wear as little clothes as possible when tanning to avoid getting ugly tan lines. The lesser the clothes the better it is. You can opt to wear your swimsuit or go tan nude, but make sure you cover your sensitive areas with a piece of cloth to avoid getting burnt.

After the Tanning Session

Delay taking a shower

After sweating so much your skin will feel stick, but avoid taking a shower for at least an hour or two to give your tan more time to set. An immediate shower will wash away the tanning product you applied which will slow down the spread of your tan. Use lukewarm water to shower.


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After taking your shower, apply a moisturizer at least once or twice a day to keep your skin smooth and elastic so that your tan doesn’t fade quickly. Avoid using an oil-based moisturizer which will spoil your tan.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to prevent your skin from becoming flaky and dry. Water will not only help to maintain the golden glow, but it’s also good for your health. You also replenish the water your body has lost from tanning.

Exfoliate once a week

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Use an exfoliating sponge or brush like one above to scrub off old skin cells at least once a week. Be gentle as you scrub since you don’t want to scrub off your tan. Even out the patchy or rough spots in your tan so that it can fade evenly.

Schedule your next tanning session

Give your skin at least a day or two to rest before you can tan again. Stand up tanning beds give you stronger results in less time, so you can wait for 24 hours before your next tanning session. This will ensure to keep your tan fresh and even and also give you a lasting golden glow. If your skin gets burnt, allow it to heal and reduce the amount of time you spend in the tanning bed in your next tanning session.

Selecting the best stand up tanning bed

Everyone has different reasons why they go to the tanning salon. You might be having a vacation coming up and you want that bronzed look for your tropical destination or you want to maintain you’re a healthy tan all year round. Regardless of your tanning goals, you must visit a tanning salon that will work with you to achieve the look you want.

Most people say they get a more even tan when they’re using a stand up tanning bed. There are pressure points or hidden spots on your body that don’t get exposed to the UV lights. You rarely get crease lines or marks on the pressure points when standing up on the tanning bed.

You’re required to stand in place during your tanning session in the tanning booth. Compared to lying down on the bed, this stands up tanning bed doesn’t feel very relaxing. So if you’re used to having a more relaxed experience, you might not enjoy using this type of tanning bed.

The UV lights in this kind of tanning bed are more intense, so your tanning session is shorter that lasts for about 10-15 minutes. These short sessions make this tanning bed very popular, especially if you’re trying to get a tan and you don’t have much time. It’s easier to fit a session during your lunchtime break or in the evening on your way home from work. 

Final thoughts

Indoor tanning is a very convenient and fast way of getting a tan no matter the weather outside. After just a few sessions you can achieve that sun-kissed natural look, but you need to be careful about how long you expose your skin to the harmful UV rays. These rays can cause damage to your skin and eyes, but if you follow the tanning tips on how to use stand up tanning beds, you can be sure that every tanning session will be safe and risk-free. This way you can be confident every time you use a tanning booth that you will come out looking better each time.