How to Use Sunscreens With Tanning Bed

by Rachel Terry Swick ; Updated September 28, 2017

Tanning salons provide us with the ability to get sunshine even in the colder months. Tanning salons provide their own approved tanning products, most of which are SPF 8 or lower. SPF prevents ultra-violet rays from reaching the skin, so using a high SPF in a tanning bed, defeats the purpose of using the tanning bed.

Tanning

Talk to your tanning salon operator about tanning lotions provided. Often, the salon will have several options for tanning lotions. Most of these lotions promote a darker tan and they usually do not contain SPF. Or they have a low amount of SPF. SPF is what prevents your skin from burning in direct sunlight. But, usually people who use a tanning bed, want to become tan, so they do not want to use an SPF.

Purchase a tanning lotion with SPF. If you want to use a sunscreen, which has SPF, to prevent burning in a tanning bed, there are several recommended for tanning beds. Often face sunscreens are most desired to use in the tanning bed. These can contain up to SPF 30, but it is recommended to use a lower SPF of 10 or 15, to allow some sunlight to reach your skin in the tanning bed. Tanning bed lamps use more ultra-violet rays than true sunshine, so your tanning process may differ from what you are used to in real sunlight.

Do not use tanning oils that you would use in regular sunlight. Look for products that specifically say they can be used in tanning beds, like Hawaiian Tropic.

Tips

  • Try several different tanning lotions to determine which you prefer. If your skin is prone to acne breakouts, be sure your tanning products states that it will not clog pores.

About the Author

Rachel Terry Swick graduated in 2004. Since then, Swick has worked as a reporter for both daily newspapers and weeklies. She currently works as a senior reporter for the Sussex Countian in Georgetown, Del. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Millersville University in Pa.