How to Tan Faster in a Tanning Bed

by Pam Gaulin ; Updated September 28, 2017

If you want to darken up pale skin for a special event or before going on a beach vacation, a tanning bed will help you achieve a tan faster than just sitting in the sun. Taking care of your skin before and after using the tanning bed in a salon or at home will help you get a faster, better tan.

Exfoliate your skin the night before using a tanning bed. Using an exfoliating scrub in the shower will remove dead skin cells. When dead skin cells are removed, the skin will tan more evenly and faster.

Apply a tan accelerator lotion prior to using the tanning bed. This lotion will quicken the rate at which your skin darkens, much like an outdoor tanning lotion would. A tan accelerator lotion with bronzer will also add an extra deep color and glow.

Ask the salon staff which tanning bed has the newest bulbs. Salons replace the light bulbs in the beds on a schedule. Using a tanning bed with newer bulbs will help you achieve darker skin in less time.

Use the tanning bed with more lights. Salons may have different models of tanning beds and some hold more light bulbs than others. A faster and darker tan can be achieved in the tanning bed with more bulbs.

Schedule appointments for every other day or three times a week. The more you use a tanning bed, the faster you will see results. Because the length of time you can spend in a tanning booth is limited, increase the frequency of visits to achieve a faster tan.

Rub a moisturizing lotion into the skin after each session. A lotion with vitamin E will help keep skin healthy.


  • Use tanning accelerator lotion that is made for tanning bed use.

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About the Author

Pam Gaulin is a content specialist and copy writer whose clients have included Reebok, Zappos.com, Walmart, Butterfinger, Ball Park Franks, Modern Mom, McCormikc, Equifax, Transuion, Walmart, and many other notable brands. Her previous positions include editor of "Web Site Source Book," project leader for a K-12 database, business writer for a newsletter publisher and Happenings editor for "The Valley Advocate." Gaulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.