How To Tan Indoors

how to tan indoors

How to Tan Indoors: Introduction

Tanning is a popular way to achieve a sun-kissed glow on your skin. While outdoor tanning is a common approach, indoor tanning provides a convenient and controlled environment to achieve the desired results. In this guide, we will explore the art of indoor tanning and provide you with essential information to help you achieve a beautiful and even tan in the comfort of your own home or at a tanning salon.

Indoor tanning involves exposing your skin to artificial ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by specialized tanning beds or booths. These devices mimic the sun’s UV rays, stimulating the production of melanin in your skin, which gives it a darker appearance. However, it’s important to approach indoor tanning responsibly and take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the health of your skin.

Throughout this guide, we will discuss various aspects of indoor tanning, including selecting the right tanning method, preparing your skin, implementing safety measures, and maintaining your tan effectively. By following these guidelines, you can achieve a beautiful tan while minimizing the risks associated with excessive UV exposure.

So, if you’re ready to embark on your indoor tanning journey, let’s dive into the details and explore the world of safe and effective tanning methods.

Choosing the Right Indoor Tanning Method

When it comes to indoor tanning, choosing the right method is crucial for achieving the desired results. With several options available, it’s essential to understand the differences between them and select the one that suits your needs and preferences. In this section, we will explore some popular indoor tanning methods to help you make an informed decision. Learn more about safe tanning practices and the right lotions to use.

Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are one of the most common methods for indoor tanning. These beds consist of horizontal surfaces embedded with UV lamps that emit both UVA and UVB rays. Tanning beds are available in different types, including low-pressure and high-pressure beds. Low-pressure beds emit mostly UVA rays, which penetrate the skin’s surface, resulting in a tan that develops gradually. High-pressure beds, on the other hand, emit a higher percentage of UVB rays, which can provide a faster tan.

Tanning Booths

Tanning booths are an alternative to traditional tanning beds. These vertical enclosures surround the user, providing an all-over tan. Tanning booths offer a more spacious and comfortable experience, allowing for better air circulation during the tanning session. Some booths are equipped with additional features such as cooling systems or aromatherapy, enhancing the overall tanning experience.

Spray Tanning

Spray tanning has gained popularity as a sunless indoor tanning method. This technique involves applying a fine mist of tanning solution onto the skin, which contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colorless sugar that interacts with the outer layer of the skin to produce a temporary tan. Spray tanning offers immediate results and is a great option for individuals looking for a quick tan without UV exposure. It’s important to note that spray tans do not provide any protection against UV rays, so sunscreen should still be applied when going outdoors.

Tanning Lotions and Accelerators

Tanning lotions and accelerators are products designed to enhance the tanning process. These lotions contain ingredients that help your skin develop a deeper and longer-lasting tan. Some tanning lotions contain bronzers or tinted ingredients that provide an instant color boost. Accelerators, on the other hand, work by increasing blood flow to the skin, promoting melanin production. These products can be used in combination with other tanning methods to achieve optimal results.

Tanning Pills

Tanning pills are an oral supplement claiming to stimulate melanin production in the skin, resulting in a tan. These pills often contain canthaxanthin, a food coloring agent that, when consumed in large amounts, can cause side effects such as liver damage. It’s important to note that tanning pills are not approved by regulatory authorities and their safety and effectiveness are not well established. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid tanning pills and opt for safer tanning methods.

Now that you are familiar with some popular indoor tanning methods, you can choose the one that best suits your preferences and requirements. Remember to consider factors such as the desired tanning speed, convenience, and potential risks associated with each method. By selecting the right indoor tanning method, you can embark on your tanning journey with confidence and achieve the tan you’ve always wanted.

Indoor Tanning Salons

Indoor tanning salons offer a variety of tanning methods, including tanning beds, booths, and spray tanning. These establishments provide professional guidance and assistance throughout your tanning session. Visiting an indoor tanning salon can be beneficial for individuals who prefer expert advice and a controlled environment for their tanning experience. Additionally, tanning salon staff can help you determine the right tanning method and session duration based on your skin type and desired results.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the right indoor tanning method, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Skin Type: Different skin types react differently to UV exposure. Fair-skinned individuals are generally more prone to sunburn and may require shorter tanning sessions or lower-intensity methods. Darker skin tones can tolerate more UV exposure and may opt for longer sessions or higher-intensity methods.
  2. Desired Tanning Results: Consider the depth and intensity of the tan you wish to achieve. Some methods, like spray tanning, offer instant results, while others, like tanning beds, provide a gradual build-up of color. Think about whether you want immediate or progressive results.
  3. Time Availability: Take into account the time you can dedicate to indoor tanning. Some methods, such as tanning beds, may require multiple sessions over a period of time to achieve optimal results. Others, like spray tanning, offer quicker results in a single session.
  4. Personal Comfort: Consider your personal preferences and comfort level with each tanning method. Some individuals may feel more at ease lying down in a tanning bed, while others may prefer the convenience and spaciousness of a tanning booth. Choose a method that aligns with your comfort and convenience.
  5. Safety Considerations: Prioritize your safety when selecting an indoor tanning method. Be aware of the potential risks associated with UV exposure and choose a method that allows you to control the intensity and duration of your tanning sessions. Following safety guidelines and using protective eyewear are essential steps to protect your skin and eyes during indoor tanning.

By considering these factors and understanding the various indoor tanning methods available, you can make an informed decision that suits your preferences and helps you achieve your desired tanning goals. Remember to always prioritize your safety and follow recommended guidelines for indoor tanning.

Preparing Your Skin for Indoor Tanning

Properly preparing your skin before indoor tanning is crucial for achieving an even, long-lasting tan while minimizing the risk of adverse effects. By following a few simple steps, you can enhance your tanning experience and maximize the effectiveness of your sessions. In this section, we will explore the essential aspects of skin preparation for indoor tanning.


Before your tanning session, it’s important to exfoliate your skin to remove dead cells and create a smooth surface. Exfoliation helps to ensure an even application of tanning products and allows the UV rays to penetrate the skin more effectively. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or a loofah to gently massage your skin in circular motions. Pay close attention to rough areas such as elbows, knees, and ankles. Remember not to exfoliate too vigorously, as this may cause skin irritation.


Keeping your skin well-hydrated is key to achieving a beautiful and long-lasting tan. Dry skin tends to absorb more UV rays, which can lead to an uneven or patchy tan. Therefore, it’s important to moisturize your skin regularly, particularly in the days leading up to your tanning session. Choose a high-quality moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type and apply it generously all over your body. Pay extra attention to areas prone to dryness, such as elbows, knees, and hands.

Shaving and Waxing

If you plan to shave or wax before your tanning session, it’s recommended to do so at least 24 hours in advance. Shaving or waxing immediately before tanning can cause skin sensitivity and irritation. By allowing some time for your skin to recover, you can minimize the risk of discomfort during your tanning session. Additionally, shaving or waxing after tanning may cause the tan to fade more quickly, so it’s best to plan your hair removal routine accordingly.

Makeup and Skincare Products

Before your tanning session, remove all makeup, lotions, and skincare products from your skin. These products can create a barrier that hinders the absorption of UV rays, resulting in an uneven tan. Cleanse your face and body thoroughly using a mild cleanser to ensure that your skin is free from any residues. Avoid applying makeup or skincare products immediately after tanning, as this can interfere with the development of your tan.

Clothing Choice

When preparing for indoor tanning, choose loose-fitting, dark-colored clothing to wear during and after your session. Tight clothing or light-colored fabrics can rub against your skin and potentially remove the tanning solution. Dark-colored clothing helps to prevent any transfer of tanning products onto your clothes. Opt for comfortable outfits that won’t cause friction against your skin and allow the tanning solution to develop properly.

Hydration and Diet

Proper hydration and a healthy diet can contribute to the quality and longevity of your tan. Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your tanning session to keep your skin hydrated from within. Additionally, consuming foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E can promote skin health and support the tanning process. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, and foods high in antioxidants into your diet to nourish your skin and enhance the effectiveness of indoor tanning.

By following these skin preparation tips, you can ensure that your skin is in optimal condition for indoor tanning. Remember to give yourself enough time to prepare before your session and maintain a consistent skincare routine to support the health and appearance of your skin.

Indoor Tanning Safety Measures

While indoor tanning can provide a convenient way to achieve a tan, it’s important to prioritize your safety and minimize the potential risks associated with UV exposure. By following essential safety measures, you can enjoy the benefits of indoor tanning while protecting your skin and overall health. In this section, we will explore key safety measures to implement during your indoor tanning sessions.

Limiting Exposure Time

One of the most critical safety measures is to limit your exposure time to UV rays during indoor tanning. Start with shorter sessions, particularly if you are new to indoor tanning or have fair or sensitive skin. Gradually increase the duration of your sessions based on your skin’s response and tolerance. Remember that it’s better to build a tan gradually over multiple sessions than to overexpose your skin in a single session.

Monitoring UV Intensity

Different types of tanning devices emit varying intensities of UV rays. It’s essential to be aware of the UV intensity of the equipment you are using. Many modern tanning beds and booths have built-in timers that monitor the exposure time based on the UV intensity level. Pay attention to these timers and follow the recommended guidelines provided by the manufacturer or tanning salon. If you feel that the UV intensity is too high or uncomfortable, consider switching to a different device or adjusting the settings accordingly.

Using Protective Eyewear

Protecting your eyes from UV rays is crucial during indoor tanning sessions. UV exposure can lead to eye irritation, redness, and even long-term damage, such as cataracts. Always wear appropriate protective eyewear designed specifically for indoor tanning. Regular sunglasses or eyewear without proper UV protection are not sufficient to shield your eyes from the intense UV rays emitted by tanning devices. Consult with the staff at the tanning salon to ensure you have the correct eyewear for your sessions.

Applying Sunscreen to Sensitive Areas

While indoor tanning primarily focuses on achieving a tan, it’s important to protect certain sensitive areas of your body from excessive UV exposure. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) to areas such as your lips, the bridge of your nose, and any scars or moles. These areas are more prone to sunburn and may require extra protection. Be cautious not to apply sunscreen to areas where you want to develop a tan, as it can hinder the tanning process.

Regular Skin Checks

Perform regular self-examinations of your skin to monitor for any changes or irregularities. Keep an eye out for new moles, changes in the appearance of existing moles, or any unusual growths or spots. If you notice any concerning changes, consult a dermatologist promptly. Early detection of skin abnormalities is crucial for timely intervention and potential treatment.

Skin Hydration and Aftercare

After each tanning session, moisturize your skin to help maintain its hydration and prolong the life of your tan. Use a high-quality moisturizer or tan extender specifically formulated for post-tanning care. Avoid products that contain oils or heavy fragrances, as these can potentially clog your pores and hinder the development of your tan. Additionally, continue to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from within.

Consulting with a Healthcare Professional

If you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications that may affect your skin’s sensitivity to UV exposure, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in indoor tanning. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific circumstances and help you make informed decisions regarding indoor tanning.

By implementing these safety measures, you can enjoy the benefits of indoor tanning while minimizing potential risks. Prioritizing your safety and maintaining a responsible approach to indoor tanning will contribute to a positive and healthy tanning experience.


In conclusion, indoor tanning provides a convenient option for achieving a tan without exposure to natural sunlight. By following the proper techniques and safety measures, you can enjoy a beautiful, sun-kissed glow while minimizing the potential risks associated with UV exposure.

We began by exploring different indoor tanning methods, including tanning beds, booths, spray tanning, tanning lotions, accelerators, and tanning pills. Each method offers its own advantages and considerations, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your preferences and goals.

We then delved into the importance of preparing your skin for indoor tanning. Exfoliation, moisturization, shaving or waxing, removing makeup and skincare products, choosing appropriate clothing, and maintaining hydration and a healthy diet all contribute to the effectiveness and longevity of your tan.

Next, we emphasized the significance of implementing safety measures during indoor tanning. Limiting exposure time, monitoring UV intensity, wearing protective eyewear, applying sunscreen to sensitive areas, conducting regular skin checks, and practicing proper skin hydration and aftercare are essential for safeguarding your skin and overall well-being.

Throughout the process, it is crucial to prioritize your safety, be mindful of your skin type and individual sensitivities, and consult with healthcare professionals if needed. Remember that achieving a tan is a gradual process, and patience is key to maintaining healthy skin.

By adhering to these guidelines and making informed choices, you can enjoy the benefits of indoor tanning while minimizing potential risks. However, it’s important to note that excessive or prolonged UV exposure, whether through indoor tanning or natural sunlight, can have adverse effects on your skin. It is always advisable to strike a balance and prioritize the long-term health and well-being of your skin.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and knowledge on how to tan indoors responsibly. Embrace the beauty of a tan with care, and enjoy the confidence that a healthy and radiant glow can bring. For more articles check out our indoor tanning category page.

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