Tanning beds might seem simple, you just jump on with a pair of goggles on for a few minutes and then get a nice tan? Wrong, using a tanning bed to ensure maximum safety and get the best results is a little more complicated than that.
But don’t worry, below I’m going to outline how to use a tanning bed effectively. Beginners and veterans alike can benefit from this because it’s highly likely even some more experienced tanners are making a few mistakes when it comes to their time in the tanning bed.
Step 1 – Preparation
If you want to get the most out your trip to the tanning salon then a little preparation is essential. First of all, make sure you have a good shower or bath before your visit as this will help you get rid of any dead skin cells.
This will help ensure your tan lasts longer and make the process easier on your skin.
Before you set off to your appointment you should also make sure you have all the supplies you need. This includes a good pair of tanning goggles and some tanning lotion. To get the full effects of the lotion it should be applied at least an hour before you use the tanning bed.
If you’re new to sunbeds then lotions can feel like you’ve stumbled into a minefield. There is a huge variety of lotions available and knowing which is best for your skin isn’t always easy.
Lotions can contain a number of extras like bronzers or intensifiers, these add more colour to your tan and are very popular.
They are labelled much like the way suntan lotion is with numbers showing how strong they are. For example, a bronzer with 30X maximiser is going to contain more bronzer than one labelled with a 10X.
You’ll also need an after-tan moisturiser as well because even a quick session in a tanning bed will dry your skin out.
Step 2 – Getting Ready To Tan
If it’s your first time going to a tanning salon don’t expect to jump in the tanning bed right away. Your skin type will need to be worked out first, some salons will help you do this while others will expect you to already know.
If you’re new to tanning you will always need to start out with short sessions in the tanning bed. You’ll also only be able to use level 1 tanning beds, these beds have fewer UV rays and go from levels 1 to 4. Not all tanning salons will offer all levels of tanning bed though, so do take that into consideration.
Once you’re ready to tan you have one last decision to make and that is what to wear. You can opt to wear just your underwear, a bathing suit or nothing. If you do opt to tan naked then you should ask for some tanning stickers to cover the more sensitive areas of your body.
It is also strongly advised that first-time tanners wear something to protect the more sensitive areas of their body for their first few sessions. This will help reduce the risk of burns.
It can take a few trips to the tanning bed to get your desired look but you should wait at least three to four days before going again as this will give your tan time to darken. You should also wait at least four hours before showering after a tan as well. If your skin feels irritable or dry during this time use more moisturiser to help alleviate it.
Step 3 – Staying Safe
Using a tanning bed doesn’t come without risks although by following the proper practices and taking precautions you can help reduce some of these potential dangers.
Like I mentioned earlier if you have a good pair of tanning goggles and moisturiser ready you can help ensure your eyes stay safe and that your skins doesn’t become as dry and damaged as it would without.
You should also pay attention to the timers in the tanning beds to ensure you don’t spend too much time in them and space out your appointments.
Make sure you move about while in the tanning bed as well to space out the tan evenly. Some tanning salons offer vertical tanning machines which you stand up in that tan the whole body more quickly as well.
You should also make sure you’re not wearing any perfume or makeup before you going in the tanning bed. Even standard deodorant can cause your skin to become irritable and wait at least 24 hours before returning to your skincare routine.
You should also be aware of the potential health risks of using these beds as well.
Many studies have shown a connection between excessive tanning and skin cancer as well as a weakened immune system and premature ageing.
Despite this many people do still use tanning beds on a regular basis but it’s always a good idea to be educated about the health risks first.
There are a number of safer methods of gaining a tan, such as pills, spray on tans and tanning lotions. We offer one of the safer options which can be found on our homepage.