Why Am I Not Getting Darker in the Tanning Bed?

woman in tanning bed

When you are using a tanning bed you might always expect to get darker no matter what. But it isn’t always that simple and sometimes you mightn’t tan or get darker at all. But why is that?

The most likely reason you aren’t getting darker is because you have reached your tanning limit. Everyone’s skin can only get so dark through tanning and some people may not be able to tan at all.

Though there are some cases where you can make some adjustments that will help you get darker in a tanning bed. We will explain them more in detail below.

Why Am I Not Getting Tan or Darker in the Tanning Bed?

Here we want to break down why you might not be getting tanned or darker in the tanning bed and a few pieces of advice that may help you once you give them a go.

You Have Reached Your Tanning Limit

You might be asking the question why am I not tanning or getting darker? Well for everyone there will be a point where you can not get any more tanned or darker. This is different for each person.

For some people they may not be able to tan at all and instead may burn. For these people tanning isn’t even possible. This is more typical for people with more fair or pale skin.

Even for people with darker skin they too will eventually reach their tanning limit at some point. This might be when you have subtle tan, or it might be when you have a lot more color. Just keep in mind that each person is different and that you should understand that you have a tanning limit.

Just make sure you are following our advice as we cover in more detail below before you know for sure that you have reached your tanning limit.

You Didn’t Spend Enough Time in the Tanning Bed

Some people may need to spend more time in the tanning bed than others to get a darker and richer tan. Typically speaking the darker your skin, the more time, you will need to spend to build up a darker tan. Also know that 1 session in the tanning bed is usually not enough. You will likely need around 3-5 sessions to build up a darker base tan.

When first using a tanning bed it’s always recommended to start slow as to not overexpose yourself to the tanning bed rays. Then after this initial period you can slowly build up your time spent in the tanning bed as we explained in our article here – Tanning Bed Time Chart.

If you have gotten to your recommended time amount in the tanning bed and you haven’t noticed any skin irritation or sensitivity then you can look to slowly increase the time spent in the bed to build up a little more exposure to help get you a darker tan.

You Used a Low-Level Tanning Bed

Tanning beds typically have different levels of strength. For example, you have level 1 up to level 6. The higher the level the more UVA rays that there are. UVA rays are the rays that are responsible for getting you that tanned look.

This means the higher the level of tanning bed the faster and darker you should be able to tan. Keep in mind it’s often best to start with a low-level tanning bed but if you already have used lower-level beds and want to try for a darker tan then using the higher levels can make a difference for some people.

Your Skin is Too Dry

Sometimes if your skin is too dry it will not take to the UV rays as well as if it where more soft and moist.

Dry skin does not tan as well or as dark so it’s important to keep your skin as moist as possible.

Simply applying moisturizer for a few days before tanning can make a big difference towards getting a darker tan especially if your skin is a bit on the dry skin.

You Shower Soon After Tanning

It’s not recommended to shower soon after tanning. You ideally should be waiting at least 3-4 hours after using a tanning bed before showering. This allows the skin time to settle and recover after the UV exposure.

This is especially important if you are using tanning lotions or tanning oils to help the tanning process. That’s because they help keep the skin moist. Therefore, it’s a good idea to leave them on for a bit afterwards to get the best benefit for your skin before washing or showering them off.

You Haven’t Used or Tried Tanning Lotions

If you want to get darker and a more intense tan tanning lotions are always recommended. If you didn’t know tanning lotions are designed to help intensify and speed up the tanning process.

How they work is they help attract more light and UV rays to the skin to help speed up and intensify the tanning process. They also help keep the skin moist and this is a good benefit which also helps with tanning as we mentioned before.

This means if you want to try getting a darker and more intense tan they are worth giving a go if you haven’t tried them already.

Interesting Related Questions

How Can I Improve My Tanning Bed Results?

A few things as we mentioned above that you can do to improve your tanning bed results are spending more time in the tanning bed, keeping your skin well moisturized, trying higher level tanning beds and using tanning lotion or tanning oil.

How Do You Overcome a Plateau in Tanning?

Some people may not be able to tan further in some cases. It’s dependent on each individual person, but things you can do to overcome the plateau include, spending more time in the tanning bed, using a higher-level tanning bed, keeping your skin moist and using tanning lotion just before your tanning bed sessions.

Are Stand Up Sunbeds Better?

Some people might prefer stand-up tanning beds and others prefer regular lay down tanning beds. They are very similar in terms of results, but some people might prefer the stand-up sunbeds especially because they are less claustrophobic than lay down tanning beds and tend it be a little more hygienic. For the complete comparison check our article – Stand Up VS Lay Down Tanning Beds.

Are You Supposed to Turn Over in a Tanning Bed?

Usually, you do not ever need to turn over when using a tanning bed as you are getting tanned completely all over your body. So, staying in 1 position is completely fine.

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