How to Get a Good Tan From a Sun Lamp

high angle view of a man lying in a tanning machine

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Sun lamps can be a convenient way to achieve a sun tan when weather conditions do not permit natural sunlight exposure or the user wants a quick and easy alternative for achieving a sun tan. Using sun lamps can also offer health benefits to those suffering from seasonal affective disorder and bipolar disorder. Through the use of UVA or UVB rays, sun lamps provide a relatively quick and easy tanning option.

Determine if using a portable sun lamp or visiting a tanning salon is appropriate. A portable sun lamp is convenient for tanning face, feet, hands or any other isolated body part. Multiple portable sun lamps would be needed for full body tanning coverage. Sun lamps available at tanning salons typically allow for full body tanning coverage.

Use manufacturer recommended protective eyewear or eyewear recommended by the tanning salon when using a sun lamp. Painful eye conditions can result from exposure to sun lamps but tend to be temporary. Apply sunscreen or tanning lotion to protect against the UVA or UVB rays. Sunscreen or tanning lotions prevent or reduce skin dryness, skin damage, blemishes and burning.

Comply with the recommended time lengths based on skin sensitivity for each tanning session to achieve maximum, safe results. Do not exceed the recommended time exposure to the UVA or UVB rays of the sun lamp. Tanning sessions can be from 5 minutes to 30 minutes ideally, depending on skin type.

If using a sun lamp for full body tanning, use half of the allotted time to expose the body by lying flat on your back to tan. Use the other half of exposure time to roll over and lie flat on your stomach. If using the sun lamp for tanning specific body parts use the entire recommended allotted time exposure to tan that area although following the manufacturer or tanning salon's recommendations is suggested. Allow a minimum of 48 hours between tanning sessions. It can take 24 hours for burning to occur. Carefully read all warning labels and possible risks on sun lamps.