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How Often Should You Use a Tanning Bed?

scanning tanning bed One of the most frequent questions we get asked at our $5 Tan locations is, “how often should you use a tanning bed?”. Indoor tanning offers a lengthy list of benefits that easily trumps getting a bronzed glow the old-fashioned way — depending on our weather when you have the time and spending hours laying out. In fact, you’ll probably be anxious to get right back to the salon once you’ve had your first relaxing session in a tanning bed. 

You do want to be sure you have at least 24 hours between sessions and not too much time in between sessions. Especially when building a base tan. It’s important to follow a healthy UV tanning schedule while still maintaining your enviable luminescent bronze complexion. 

We’ve got some useful information about indoor tanning in this quick and easy guide. Read on to learn more about indoor tanning schedules!

Creating the Perfect UV Tanning Bed Schedule

Fortunately, indoor tanning allows you greater control over just how much UV light you’re taking in when tanning, but you’re still going to need to moderate your use if you want to enjoy the benefits of a tanning bed and avoid the drawbacks. To help you do that, check out the following tips.

Determine Your Skin Type

The first thing you’ll want to do when creating your own healthy UV tanning schedule is determine your skin type. There are six different categorizations of skin type according to the Fitzpatrick Scale. They range from Type I, someone with very fair skin, which always burns easily, to Type VI — someone with darker skin, which never burns. 

There’s a definite difference between a healthy fair skin tanning schedule and a healthy darker skin tanning schedule. Knowing where your skin fits into the scale can help ensure that you never overdo it and tan in a safe way that protects your skin.

Build Up Your Tan First

You may be excited to hop into a tanning bed and get that perfect bronzed look right away, but in reality, it’s important and more effective to take your time and build up a tan over multiple sessions. The goal is to build a tan which will naturally give you better protection outdoors, while avoiding overexposure.

During those sessions, you can continue to increase your time in the bed as your tan begins to develop. Results will vary based on skin type and products you’re using while tanning.

Balance Your Weekly Sessions

Patience is key. Keep in mind that how often you should use a tanning bed over the course of a week is also dependent on the equipment you choose, product(s) you use and your skin type. In general, you could expect two or five sessions (especially the first week).

Just be sure to keep your sessions spaced out between 24 to 48 hours from one another, and never go into a bed more than once a day.

Take Care to Maintain Your Tan

Once you’ve got the tan level you’re looking for, you can slow down your sessions and just focus on maintaining your current glow. For some, this means four to six sessions per month, but for others, it can mean a bit more than that depending on equipment, products and skin type.

The number of sessions necessary for you to maintain your golden glow is mostly up to your discretion. Just remember that you should always keep between 24 to 48 hours between each visit to the tanning salon.

Tips for Preparing Your Skin for an Indoor Tanning Bed

Now you know the answer to the question, “how often should you use a tanning bed?” Here are some more useful tips that can help you get the most out of each visit to the tanning salon. Below we describe what to do before tanning bed sessions to get the maximum tanning experience!

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Healthy and hydrated skin tans a lot easier than dry skin does. That’s why you should stay hydrated and moisturized if you plan on using tanning beds in the near future. It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated and moisturized, but it also helps you get better tanning results. Using a professional tan extender daily will give your skin what it needs to get and keep a tan, leaving you with the best results.


Dry, dead skin will make it more difficult for you to get an even, healthy tan, so make sure you exfoliate 24 hours before you hit the tanning bed. That fresh new layer of healthy, hydrated skin is much more likely to tan how you want it to.

Don’t Wear Makeup

For some, this sounds like a bit of a nightmare, but trust us, you don’t want to wear any makeup to the tanning salon, or you won’t achieve the glow you’re looking for. Makeup not only blocks the light from the bed, but it can also cause a reaction and create much bigger problems than a lack of tan. All locations have single use towelettes specifically to remove makeup and some even have a facial tanning product to accelerate facial tanning. Ask your tanning consultant!

Local Minneapolis Tanning Salons

Come visit us at one of our many convenient Minneapolis locations today! From skilled application by our trained professionals to expert advice on keeping a spray tan longer, we can do it all and answer any questions you have.

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