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Sunbeds - your questions answered ☀️

by Jade Newton |

Sunbeds - your questions answered ☀️

Trying something new is always daunting, however it doesn't need to be. No matter the question, we have you covered with our sunbed user's FAQs!


Why do I need to use a tanning lotion?

Tanning lotions are proven to have a stark affect on your tanning ability. They  have been designed to rejuvenate and repair your skin, keeping it in better condition. Healthy skin allows you to tan faster, ensures your tan lasts for longer and gives you a better colour. The vitamins and minerals added can also help to combat the ageing process. By using a tanning lotion, the tanning process is sped up, meaning you save both time and money on tanning sessions to get the same (or even better) results.

Dry skin reflects light, meaning that your tan will be less effective and will need to spend more time tanning to get the same results. Not using a tanning lotion will also lead to drying skin, collagen loss and a loss of elasticity in the skin, overall giving a dull, unhealthy appearance.

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Top tip: For best results, apply your tanning lotion from bottom to top in a circular motion within 10 minutes of your tanning session!


What do I wear in a bed?

This differs from person to person on what they prefer. As you are the only one in the room with the sunbed, many people tan naked to avoid tan lines, however it is just as normal to wear underwear or a bikini whilst tanning.


How long does a session last?

This is completely dependent on your skin type and how your skin reacts to the sun. For example, someone with Skin Type 2 (very fair, easily burns) would be recommended for a much shorter time than someone with Skin Type 5 (dark skin and hair, seldom burns) who would naturally be able to spend more time in the sun  safely.

This will also depend on whether you are just beginning a course of sunbed sessions or have been already using a tanning bed. It is advised that for your first few sessions, you spend less time tanning and slowly build up the time spent on a sunbed. This gives your skin time to produce melanin, which will darken skin pigmentation. In reaction to both indoor and outdoor UV exposure, whilst tanning your skin will also thicken, allowing you to spend a little more time tanning without the risk of skin damage.

 Click here to find out your tanning skin type.


Should I wear sun cream on a sunbed? - If not, what should I be using?

SPF lotions are used to protect your skin from UV light when outdoors. A sun screen will prevent you from absorbing UV rays from sunlight and is used to prevent sun burn and the ageing process. This is designed specifically for use outdoors, when your sun exposure is not controlled. However on a sunbed, the amount of UV exposure you receive is controlled and limited to avoid skin damage and burning but to also ensure sufficient UV absorption.

Using a sun cream whilst on a tanning bed will prevent you from building a tan, due to the limited time you spend tanning. This means your tanning session is essentially wasted.

Outdoor tanning products can also damage tanning equipment, especially acrylic surfaces, which can be expensive for your salon to replace. Instead, it’s recommended that a professional tanning lotion is applied. This can be used before and after tanning. These lotions are crammed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and natural oils to maximise tanning results and keep skin nourished and healthy. For best results, apply within 10 minutes of your tanning session, and moisturise daily for the best skin condition. 


What about my lips?

Lips do not have the ability to tan, so it is recommended to apply an SPF lip balm before tanning. This protects your lips both from dehydration and sun burn.


Why are lamp restrictions so important?

The new EU Standard regulations requiring all sunbeds to have a maximum irradiance level of 0.3W/m2 ensures that you are not exposed to UV radiation at a harmful or dangerous level. This standard is the equivalent to sunbathing in the Mediterranean at midday. We recommend only using regulated lamps to ensure safe and responsible tanning.


Will my tanning session affect me straight away?

This depends on your skin type, you current skin colour and your tanning lotion. Usually it takes 3 to 5 sessions for someone to develop a base tan which can then be maintained with moderate repeat sessions, moisturising and tanning lotions. The actual tanning process takes 48 hours for you to see the full effect of each individual tanning session. 


Will tanning affect my tattoos?

UV rays are known to fade your tattoos after frequent exposure, however by applying an SPF or tattoo specific tanning lotion to the tattooed area, it will help maintain its vibrancy. It is advised that you wait at least six - eight weeks before using a sunbed or sunbathing to ensure the tattoo is completely healed.


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Lying down or standing up - Does the type of bed you use matter?

Simply put, no! Everyone has a different preference of both make of bed and lying down or standing. The only way to know what works for you is to try them for yourself! Some people prefer Stand-up / Booth beds as you are able to move more freely and so feel less enclosed. On the other hand, some people find that lay-down beds are much more relaxing. 


Does it affect your hair?

The UV rays used in a sunbed replicate natural sunlight, meaning that they can damage and dry hair as well as fade colour from dyed dos, just like the sun. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you wrap your hair in a towel to limit its UV exposure, or simply increase the regularity you condition your hair to keep it hydrated.


Can I sunburn from a sunbed?

In the same way that you are able to burn in natural sunlight, this is a possibility. However if you adhere to the recommended time of sessions depending on your skin type and to the salon's suggestions of how often you should use sunbeds, this will minimise your risk of skin damage whilst building a golden glow. Keeping skin moisturised between tanning sessions will also protect from this. A tanning lotion will also protect skin due to the top quality skincare ingredients that keep skin rejuvenated, therefore this will also minimise this risk.


Can I use a sunbed after sunbathing?

It is strongly advised to not sunbathe before OR after using a sunbed as this is likely to cause your skin to burn. It will mean that your UV exposure is uncontrolled and lead to skin damage. The point of using a sunbed is to expose yourself to UV for a controlled amount of time, sunbathing immediately after this would mean you will become overexposed and at more risk of skin damage.

It is recommended that, as a minimum, you avoid UV exposure for 24 hours after a tanning session. For new tanners, this should be increased to 48 hours. 

How often should I use a sunbed?

For someone with a moderate tan, it is advised that as a maximum, you could use a sunbed 2-3 times per week. The European Standards recommend that you do not exceed using a sunbed more than 60 times per annum else you could be subject to overexposure. You should also leave at least 24 hours between each tanning session to allow your skin to regenerate.


What is the point of goggles?

These are a must for sunbed users. They are designed to protect your eyes from the UV light to ensure you avoid eye damage. The skin on the eyelid is too thin to provide sufficient protection.

Some people believe that the use of goggles will cause tan lines however this is a myth. The delicate eye area is unable to tan due to a lack of pigmentation. What's more, goggles and other protective eyewear has been designed to fit the shape of your eye. This means they will not cover more than is needed to keep your eyes safe.

If you do not use eye protection, you are risking your vision. Overexposure to UV can cause eyes to develop scar tissue. This can lead to colour blindness, a loss of night vision as well as other problems which cannot be reversed. 


Can I use a sunbed if I am on medication?

This is dependent on the medicine that you have been prescribed. If a medicine is photosensitive, then it is strongly advised not to use a sunbed as these medicines will increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV light. Some medicines include antibiotics, tranquilisers, anti-diabetics, antidepressants, diuretics and sulphonamides however this list is not exhaustive.


Why does skin not tan equally?

Different parts of your body have a different quantity of pigment-forming cells. For example, the insides of arms and legs contain less of these cells than the rest of the body meaning that they shall always be naturally paler.