17 Tanning for Beginners Crucial Tips

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Finding the right way to start your tanning journey can be daunting. With different types and levels of tanning beds available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This blog post will guide you through the basics, from using a tanning machine for the first time to choosing the best products that suit your skin type.

Let’s dive in and get you that gorgeous glow safely and effectively!

  • Research and choose a reputable tanning salon with positive reviews.
  • Fill out a skin analysis form to determine your skin type.
  • Consult with a tanning expert to find the right level of tanning bed for your skin type.
  • Gradually increase your tanning sessions, starting with 2 – 3 sessions per week for beginners.

3 Tips for Getting Started with Tanning

To start tanning, learn how to use a tanning machine and determine how often you should tan indoors.

How to Start Tanning

Starting your tanning journey needs proper guidance and preparation.

  • Kick off by researching and finding a reputable tanning salon with positive reviews.
  • Fill in a skin analysis form on your first visit to help the tanning expert evaluate your skin type.
  • Engage with a tanning expert who can guide you on the suitable level of tanning bed for your skin type, starting normally from Level 1.
  • Learn about the different types of beds available at the salon.
  • Plan a schedule for tanning which should be gradual and gentle, especially if you are a beginner.
  • Prepare your skin before each session by exfoliating thoroughly.
  • Remember to always clean the sunbed before using it as part of safe practices.
  • Set an initial limit of around 15 minutes per session while using a tanning bed.
  • Use appropriate skincare products recommended by the expert to protect your skin during and after the process.
  • Always follow safety guidelines provided at the salon or by the expert for use of tanning beds.

How to Use a Tanning Machine

Using a tanning machine is a simple process. Follow these steps to achieve a safe and effective tan:

  1. Choose the right level: Select the appropriate tanning bed for your skin type and desired level of tan. Consult with a tanning expert if you’re unsure.
  2. Prepare your skin: Before getting into the tanning bed, exfoliate your entire body to remove dead skin cells. This helps to create an even tan.
  3. Protect sensitive areas: Cover sensitive areas like your lips, nipples, and tattoos with protective stickers or clothing to shield them from excessive UV exposure.
  4. Apply lotion: Use a tanning lotion specifically designed for indoor use. Apply evenly over your body before entering the tanning bed for enhanced results.
  5. Wear protective eyewear: Always wear goggles designed for indoor tanning to protect your eyes from UV rays during the session.
  6. Spend limited time in the bed: Start with shorter sessions, gradually increasing the time as your skin becomes accustomed to UV exposure.
  7. Follow recommended time limits: Stick to the recommended time limits set by experts based on your skin type and the level of the tanning bed.
  8. Moisturize after each session: After tanning, apply a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and help maintain your tan’s longevity.

How Often to Tan Indoors

To achieve a gradual and safe tan, it is recommended to start with shorter sessions in the tanning bed. For beginners, starting with 2-3 sessions per week is a good rule of thumb. Each session should last around 5-10 minutes, depending on your skin type and how quickly you tan.

As you build up a base tan and your skin becomes more accustomed to UV exposure, you can gradually increase the frequency of your tanning sessions. Just remember to never exceed the recommended time for your specific tanning level and always listen to what feels comfortable for your body.

3 Facts About Using Tanning Lotions

Using tanning lotions is an essential step in achieving a beautiful tan. These indoor tanning lotions are specifically formulated to enhance and deepen your tan, while also providing moisturization for your skin.

What Indoor Tanning Lotions Do

Indoor tanning lotions are specially formulated products that help enhance and accelerate the tanning process. These lotions contain ingredients such as bronzers, moisturizers, and accelerators that work together to deepen your tan.

The bronzers give an immediate color boost to your skin, while the moisturizers keep it hydrated. Accelerators stimulate melanin production in your skin, which is responsible for giving you a tan.

By using indoor tanning lotions, you can achieve a faster and more even tan while keeping your skin nourished and protected from the drying effects of UV rays.

Choosing the Right Indoor Tanning Lotion

When it comes to achieving that perfect tan, choosing the right indoor tanning lotion is essential. These lotions help to enhance and accelerate your tanning process while moisturizing and protecting your skin.

To find the best one for you, consider factors such as your skin type and desired results. For fair skin, look for a tanning lotion with a lower intensity to gradually build up color.

If you’re looking for a deeper tan, opt for a lotion with higher levels of bronzers or accelerators. Always check the label for ingredients that suit your needs and remember to apply the lotion evenly before each tanning session.

When to Apply Tanning Lotion

Applying tanning lotion is an essential step in achieving a beautiful, even tan. Before you step into the tanning bed or expose your skin to UV rays, make sure to apply your chosen tanning lotion.

The best time to do this is right before your tanning session begins. By applying the lotion beforehand, it can help moisturize and protect your skin from potential dryness and sunburn.

Remember to choose a quality indoor tanning lotion that suits your skin type and goals for the perfect golden glow.

3 Tips for Tanning Bed Sessions

Get the most out of your tanning bed sessions with these essential tips. Discover how to prepare your skin, protect your body, and recognize when it’s time to take a break. Read more to ensure a safe and effective tanning experience!

Preparing for a Tanning Bed Session

To ensure a successful tanning bed session, it’s important to properly prepare your skin beforehand. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

  1. Exfoliate your entire body before each tanning session. This will remove dead skin cells and create a smooth surface for an even tan.
  2. Moisturize your skin after exfoliation. This will help keep your skin hydrated and prevent dryness during the tanning process.
  3. Remove any makeup before entering the tanning bed. Makeup can block UV rays and hinder the effectiveness of your tan.
  4. Shave or wax any body hair that you don’t want to be visible during your tanning session. This will ensure an even tan without any unwanted patches.
  5. Take a shower before getting into the tanning bed. Clean skin absorbs UV rays better and allows for a more consistent tan.

Protecting Your Skin and Eyes

Protecting your skin and eyes is crucial when using tanning beds. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  1. Wear protective eyewear: UV rays emitted by tanning beds can damage your eyes. Always wear goggles specifically designed for indoor tanning to protect your eyes from potential harm.
  2. Apply a lotion with SPF: Even though you’re indoors, it’s still important to shield your skin from UV rays. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen or a tanning lotion with SPF to provide an extra layer of protection.
  3. Cover sensitive areas: Certain areas of your body, such as moles and tattoos, may be more susceptible to burning. Apply a barrier cream or use adhesive patches designed to protect these areas during your tanning session.
  4. Limit exposure time: Gradually increase the duration of your tanning bed sessions rather than jumping straight into longer periods of time. This will allow your skin to adjust and reduce the risk of sunburn.
  5. Monitor your skin: Regularly check for any signs of redness, discomfort, or irritation during and after tanning sessions. If you notice any issues, consider shortening the duration or taking a break from indoor tanning altogether.

Listening to Your Body’s Limits

Pay attention to your body’s signals when tanning and know your limits. If you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, or develop a headache during a tanning bed session, it’s important to stop immediately.

These could be signs of overheating or dehydration. Take breaks if needed and always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after tanning. Your health and well-being should always come first, so don’t push yourself beyond what feels comfortable for your body.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Tan

To keep your tan looking great, it’s important to moisturize daily and avoid exfoliating too frequently. Additionally, using a gradual tanning lotion can help extend the life of your tan.

Keeping Your Tan Looking Great

To maintain a beautiful and long-lasting tan, there are a few key steps you should follow. First, make sure to moisturize your skin daily, as this will help keep it hydrated and prevent it from becoming dry or flaky.

Additionally, exfoliate your skin regularly to remove any dead cells and ensure an even tan. It’s also important to avoid prolonged exposure to water, as this can cause your tan to fade more quickly.

Lastly, remember to always wear sunscreen when going outside, as UV rays can still damage your skin even if you have a tan. By following these tips, you can keep your tan looking great for weeks to come!

Extended Tips for Long-Lasting Tans

To ensure that your tan lasts as long as possible, here are some extended tips to keep in mind:

  1. Hydrate your skin: Moisturizing regularly is essential for maintaining a healthy and long-lasting tan. Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like aloe vera or shea butter to keep your skin nourished and hydrated.
  2. Exfoliate gently: Exfoliating is important to remove dead skin cells and help your tan look smooth and even. However, avoid harsh scrubs or exfoliants that can strip away your tan. Instead, opt for gentle exfoliation methods like using a loofah or a soft body brush.
  3. Protect your tan from water: Water can fade your tan faster, so take precautions when swimming or showering. Use waterproof sunscreen while swimming and avoid using harsh soaps or hot water when showering.
  4. Avoid excessive sweating: Sweating excessively can cause your tan to fade more quickly. Try to stay cool and avoid intense physical activities that make you sweat excessively right after tanning.
  5. Skip the hot tubs and saunas: Heat can accelerate the fading of your tan, so it’s best to avoid hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms for a few days after tanning.
  6. Wear loose-fitting clothing: Tight clothes can rub against your skin and cause patches or fading in your tan. Opt for loose-fitting clothing to prevent any unwanted smudges or lines.

3 Safety and Considerations for Tanning

Ensure you check with your doctor before starting any tanning regimen, as they can provide guidance based on your specific health needs. Understand your skin type and its sensitivity to UV rays to determine the appropriate tanning bed exposure.

Remember to follow proper pre and post-tanning skincare routines, including exfoliating before sessions and moisturizing afterwards. Stay safe by practicing tanning bed etiquette and taking necessary precautions for sensitive skin.

Checking with Your Doctor

Before embarking on any tanning journey, it’s crucial to check with your doctor. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications that could be affected by UV exposure.

Your doctor can provide valuable insights and guidance specific to your health situation, ensuring that tanning will not pose any risks or complications. They may also be able to recommend certain precautions or adjustments based on your individual needs.

By consulting with your doctor, you can enjoy the benefits of tanning while prioritizing your health and safety.

Understanding Your Skin Type

Understanding your skin type is crucial when it comes to tanning. Every individual’s skin is unique, and different skin types react differently to UV rays. Before you start tanning, take the time to assess your skin type.

If you have fair or sensitive skin, you may burn easily and need to be more cautious in the tanning process. On the other hand, if you have darker or more resilient skin, you may be able to tolerate longer tanning sessions.

By understanding your skin type, you can tailor your tanning routine to ensure a safe and effective experience that gives you the best results possible.

Pre and Post-Tanning Skincare

Prepping your skin before and after tanning is essential to achieving a gorgeous, long-lasting tan. Here are some tips for your pre and post-tanning skincare routine:

  1. Exfoliate: Before each tanning session, exfoliate your entire body to remove dead skin cells. This will help ensure an even tan and prevent patches or streaks.
  2. Moisturize after exfoliation: After exfoliating, apply a moisturizer to hydrate your skin. This will create a smooth canvas for the tanning process and help you maintain a healthy glow.
  3. Remove makeup: If you wear makeup, make sure to remove it before tanning. Makeup can block the UV rays from reaching your skin and result in an uneven tan.
  4. Shave or wax body hair: If needed, shave or wax any unwanted body hair prior to tanning. This will allow the tanning lotion or spray to be applied evenly for a flawless finish.
  5. Shower before tanning: Take a quick shower before your tanning session to remove any residue or sweat on your skin. Clean skin will absorb the tanning solution better for optimal results.


Tanning can be a fun and effective way to achieve a beautiful tan. By following proper techniques and using the right skincare products, you can safely enjoy the benefits of indoor tanning.

Remember to always prepare your skin before each session by exfoliating and moisturizing, as well as protecting your eyes and listening to your body’s limits. If you are unsure about which tanning bed or products are best for you, don’t hesitate to speak with a tanning expert who can guide you in making the right choices for your skin type.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on your tanning journey with confidence!


1. What should a beginner know about tanning beds?

For indoor tanning beginners, it’s important to know that you can start with the Level One tanning bed and gradually move to Level Two to deepen your tan safely.

2. How do I prepare for a tanning bed session as a beginner?

Prior to your tanning bed session, exfoliate your skin thoroughly and consider using products like a white bronzing lotion or a tanning accelerator.

3. What are some safe practices for first-time users of a tanning bed?

Beginners should follow gradual exposure guidelines in their guide to ensure safety, maintain proper etiquette while inside the booth, and take the necessary precautions especially if they have sensitive skin.

4. Are there other options aside from using a traditional sunbed?

Yes! If sunless methods are more appealing, spray-tan booths and self-tanners offer an alternative way of gaining desired complexion without needing any form of UV light exposure.

5. Can I get effective results from my first attempt at tanning?

With tips available on effective techniques during initial sessions on how best to position oneself in either Level One or Two beds;and observing safety measures – newbies can reap benefits just as they’d expect from regular visits over time!

17 Tanning for Beginners Crucial Tips
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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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