Did you know that tanning is your skin’s natural defense mechanism against sunburn? However, there is a very big difference between that and using a tanning bed to achieve that bronze color on your skin. There are different reasons why you would go to a tanning salon.
You might want to get a base tan so that you don’t burn easily when you’re in the sun or you just want to look good in your swimsuit. Unfortunately, not many people know safe tanning bed tips that will ensure your skin tans easily.
Most people like to tan indoors instead of exposing yourself to the intense heat of the sun for hours because it’s more comfortable and takes less time.
With a tanning bed, you can control the amount of time you spend in the bed and it reduces your chances of getting sunburnt because of being in the sun for too long.
Before you use a tanning bed for your tanning session, there are several things you need to do to prepare your skin so that you get the best tanning bed experience.
Preparation before tanning
- Do your research
There are many questions you can ask the experts at the tanning salon to give you a better understanding of what it means to use a tanning bed. You can also do your research on the different tanning beds and how to use them and what are the benefits of using each one. This way you will also understand the risks of using tanning beds so that you can use the safest way possible.
- Shower and exfoliate
It’s always advisable to take a shower, shave, and exfoliate at least 24-48 hours before your tanning session. Exfoliating your skin helps to remove the dead skin cells and prepare your skin before a tan. The UV rays penetrate your skin to stimulate the production of melanin to make your skin darker. But the UVB rays are responsible for tanning but they don’t penetrate deep into the layers of your skin. When your skin is well exfoliated and fresh, you have a better chance of getting an even tan on your entire body.
- Avoid using perfume and oil-based moisturizer
You should apply a good moisturizer to prevent your skin from becoming dry before applying your tanning lotion. However, avoid applying an oil-based moisturizer as it will interfere with your tanning process. The bronzer may not be evenly applied on your skin so you might end up with a blotchy tan. Perfume or fragrances react poorly when exposed to UV light and this can cause an allergic reaction or make your skin sensitive to light.
- What to carry
You should carry a towel and water because they’re important for your comfort and to keep you hydrated. During your tanning session, you will find that you can get very thirsty so you need a sip of water now and then. As for the towel, you can use it for wiping any excess tanning lotion when applying, but if you’re using a bronzer, use a specific towel because it will leave color behind.
- What to wear
Most of the people prefer to wear their swimsuits or underwear, while others prefer to go nude. What you wear in a tanning bed will affect the results of your tan. Your swimsuit will give you tan lines, but if you’re going to spend your summer at the beach or in the pool, it’s not a problem. If you want to go nude, be sure it’s acceptable in the tanning salon. Clean after yourself when you’re done and cover your sensitive areas so that you don’t burn.
During the session
- Use protective covers and lip protection
The bulbs in the tanning bed emit UV rays that can damage your eyes so you need to wear eye protection and most tanning salons will provide you with a pair if you didn’t carry your own. You should also wear hair covers and nail covers, especially if you have manicured nails so that they don’t fade. Your lips are also very sensitive and can burn easily which can be very painful. Apply some lip balm or one with SPF.
- Apply the tanning lotion
Tanning will most of the time leave your skin dry, so you need a moisturizer. Using a tanning bed lotion will give you a great tan faster and ensure it stays on your skin for longer. Get a tanning lotion with no SPF rating so it doesn’t prevent the UV rays from penetrating your skin. Some tanning lotions like bronzers that stimulate your skin to produce more melanin to give you a quicker tan and also give you color as soon as you apply. If you’re a more experienced tanner, you can use tinglers, lotions that give you a slight tingle and speed up the tanning process. Make sure you apply the tanning lotion evenly so that you don’t miss a spot.
- Tanning time
Most people make the mistake of overdoing their tan. Most tanning beds have preset time limits that you shouldn’t exceed. When you tan for too long you can get burnt, increase your risk of skin cancer, or waste money developing a good tan. Exposure to UV light also damages your skin and causes premature aging, but you can combat the aging effects by keeping your skin moisturized and giving it time to recover.
How often should you tan?
How often you should tan will depend on a few things, but you shouldn’t go for more than one tanning session per day. When your skin soaks in the UV light, you get more than just a tan. The rays penetrate your skin and cause your melanin to darken and also cause some damage. You should give your skin some time to recover. When you’re a beginner, it’s good to take it slow and build your time on the bed. You can tan for at least 2-3 times a week and only for a few minutes. Once your skin develops a base tan, you spend a bit longer in the bed to help reach your desired skin tone. Even when you become a pro on the tanning bed, you should only tan once in 24 hours.
- Change positions
When lying on a tanning bed, you want to position yourself in ways that will expose as much of your skin as possible to the light. When you’re lying on your back, keep your knees raised slightly so that your thighs can get tanned, don’t let your arms touch your sides, or put your arms on your stomach. Keep your arms raised above your head to tan your armpits.
- Moisturize your skin
Too much exposure to UV rays can leave your skin dry and damaged over time and this contributes to premature aging. However, you can prevent this by applying moisturizers and lotions once you’re through with the tanning bed as this will help to slow down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You should get a good moisturizer that suits your skin. You should also drink plenty of water to replenish your skin of the water lost when sweating in the tanning bed.
- Maintain good overall health
Maintaining a healthy skin glow is also a point in the tanning bed tips that will contribute to how long your tan will last. Getting regular skin checks for skin cancer will ensure you stay healthy. A good tan will help you look great, but when you take care of your health and fitness, you feel great. Eating healthy and adopting healthy habits will help tackle the aging effects of exposure to UV light when getting your beautiful tan.
Tanning beds are a great way of achieving a tan faster and without exposing your skin to too much sun. However, you need to follow good tanning bed tips so that you can be safe on the tanning bed and also help you achieve your desired skin tone.