Of course, if you have ever been reading around tanning outside, you must have read many recommendations to keep the skin protected with sunscreen. Though this same thing when using a tanning bed isn’t talked about much if at all. But why, and can you really wear sunscreen in a tanning bed?
Yes, you can wear sunscreen in a tanning bed. Though typically it is not recommended because when using a tanning bed, you usually are only exposed for a determined amount of time along with the set intensity of the tanning bed.
The point here is that it is controlled and it’s unlikely to irritate your skin if you stick to the guidelines.
Here we will talk more about if you should wear sunscreen in a tanning bed and any important details you should know beforehand.
Understanding How a Tanning Bed Works
Before we talk about if you should wear sunscreen in a tanning bed it’s firstly important we talk about how a tanning bed works.
Can You Wear Sunscreen in a Tanning Bed?
When you think of this question the main reason you would want to wear the sunscreen is to offer protection to the skin. Although the time spent on the tanning bed is controlled along with the intensity of the light so realistically you shouldn’t be too concerned about it.
If you are a beginner or new to tanning beds it’s usually a good idea to start slowly and spend less time on the bed to make sure your skin can easily tolerate it and also if you are even able to tan, particularly if you have more pale skin.
This is where a tanning bed time chart comes in, the purpose of this kind of chart is to show you how much time to spend in the tanning bed depending on your skin type, it’s best to start with less time on the bed initially and work up though. For more information on this check our article – tanning bed time chart.
When you think about wearing sunscreen in a tanning bed it’s sort of counterproductive. When you wear sunscreen in the tanning bed it blocks a portion of the UV rays therefore making the tanning process slower.
So instead of wearing sunscreen you would simply be better to spend less time on the tanning bed, which would have a similar effect as to wearing the sunscreen.
If you wore a stronger sunscreen you would need to spend more time in the tanning bed to get an effect. Though this is less predictable than simply not wearing any sunscreen and spending less time in the tanning bed so therefore that is what we recommend.
When Should You Wear Sunscreen in a Tanning Bed?
The only slight argument to using a sunscreen in a tanning bed is if you have very pale skin and are unsure how it might react to the UV rays produced by the bed.
Though as we mentioned before, it’s instead a better idea to opt for a shorter time spent in the tanning bed. If you want to be very cautious you can opt for the shorter time along with a low rated SPF sunscreen (<10 SPF).
With the low rated cream, it will protect you partially as to let some of the UV onto your skin more safely.
Should You Sunscreen Your Face in a Tanning Bed
If you want to use sunscreen anywhere on your body when using a tanning bed there is some argument to use it on your face.
Some people may want to use it on their face as their facial skin is more sensitive than the rest of their body.
It could also be because some people want their face to be less tanned than the rest of their body.
If you are concerned if your facial skin is more sensitive than rest of your body it would instead be a better idea to spend a shorter time on the tanning bed instead of applying to the face.
If you want your face to be a little more pale than the rest of your skin you could opt for a low SPF cream on your face instead, though sometimes this can lead to quite a disparity in face tone and body tone too.
Instead, we recommend applying a tanning lotion to all of your body excluding your face. This way the body should tan a little more quickly and the color difference we find is more natural looking afterwards. For more on this check our articles – best tanning bed lotions & best tanning lotion for men.
Best Sunscreen to Use in a Tanning Bed
If you do decide to be cautious and wear sunscreen in a tanning bed it’s a good idea to wear a lower SPF as this will allow some of the UV to pass through and allow you to tan a little more safely.
Body Sunscreen: Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen
Face Moisturizer (with SPF): PURPOSE Lotion with SPF 10
How Do I Protect My Skin in a Tanning Bed?
The best way to protect your skin in a tanning bed is to instead opt for less time spent in the tanning bed. This will decrease the exposure time. If you are very concerned about skin exposure you could instead opt for self-tanning or a spray tan without this worry.