How to Use a Tanning Bed

Tanning beds use a group of fluorescent bulbs to create a wave of ultraviolet rays to tan a person’s skin. Tanning beds are found in tanning salons and are different from sunlight tanning.

While using a tanning bed always ensure that you have applied special tanning lotion (made for tanning beds) and wear the proper gear.

Things you will need

  • Tanning bed
  • Tanning lotion/cream
  • Goggles
  • Lip balm
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Nose plugs


  1. You can call in advance to make an appointment for a session at the tanning salon. When you arrive at the Salon, make sure there is an owner’s manual available for using the tanning bed. This will determine the maximum amount of exposure you should endure while in the tanning bed. There should also be someone available to walk you through the process and place the settings for the tanning bed which will be selected from the outside.
  2. Before you use the tanning bed, ensure that it is properly cleaned with antibacterial or disinfectants. Some diseases or even lice can be transmitted through tanning beds. Most tanning salons offer free hygienic wipes for their customers so make use of these items.
  3. Now before it is time to enter the tanning bed, you should apply tanning lotion/cream or bronzing lotion to your skin and lip balm to your lips. You can ask an attendant at the tanning salon to find the tan lotions that contain vitamin A and beta-carotene, these vitamins help your skin to produce a more natural-looking tan.
  4. Then put on your dark goggles around your eyes, this will filter out a lot of the ultraviolet light from the tanning bed. The ultraviolet rays can easily penetrate the eyelids so special attention must be paid to that area. You can also use plugs to protect your nostrils.
  5. Turn on the fans in the tanning salon room and allow it to run for a bit room and then lie in the tanning bed to start your tanning.
  6. If you are using a tanning bed for the very first time, you should spend only about 3 – 5 minutes. A cue that can be used to know when to get out is when the skin on your face starts to feel tight or if you generally start feeling too hot. After this you can slowly increase the amount of time you stay in the tanning bed over a month or so. You can continue to do this until you can use the tanning bed for its maximum amount of exposure.
  7. When you have exited the tanning bed, use the Aloe-Vera gel on your skin to moisturize your skin to repair your skin from the damage created by the heat, you can also apply facial lotion. The tanning bed should be cleaned after every use.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not use a tanning bed two days consecutively.
  • Do not use a tanning bed and then tan yourself in the sun on the same day. This would overexpose your skin to UV rays.
  • Do not use tanning lotions from your home because some outdoor tan lotions can damage tanning beds. If this happens you will have to take responsibility for the damages.
  • Always ask for assistance from attendants in the Tanning Salon on how to approach your tanning sessions. They can provide information on all the necessary precautions you need to take.