The skin on your face tends to be more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body, so you need to take some care when using a tanning bed.
You will still want your face to have a golden glow that matches the rest of your body, but you do not want it to burn to a crisp and suffer from red, painful skin after the tanning session is done.
How do you tan your face safely in a tanning bed? The key is in the preparation. Proper preparation is the best way to ensure you get gorgeously tanned facial skin, but without the sunburn and negatives that come along with overexposure!
How To Safely Tan Your Face In A Tanning Bed
It is super important to exfoliate your skin the day before going into a tanning bed. Exfoliating helps to clear out dead skin cells from your pores, which allow the UV rays to penetrate more evenly, and deeply, into your pores to give you a better, more natural-looking tan. If there are impurities or dead skin cell build-ups, they can interfere with the tanning process, and cause blotches and streaks.
You can make your own sugar face scrub that you can use before each session. Just be sure to pick the right type of sugar.
This is the one rule you must remember! Chemicals found in many makeup products can interfere with the tanning process, stopping the UV rays from penetrating the skin and producing melanin which turns the skin a darker shade.
Remove all makeup from your skin, including lipstick and eyeliner. Even the smallest amount of makeup on your skin can cause your tan to have darker and lighter patches, which is definitely not the look you would be after.
Some makeup products can intensify the UV rays, and cause further damage to your skin, which will be red and painful, instead of tanned and glowing.
While I don’t recommend wearing make-up in a tanning bed, I do wear a tinted moisturizer with SPF 41 when I’m out in natural sunlight.
Don’t Overdo It
Your face only needs to be in direct sunlight for a maximum of ten minutes for a proper tan to form. Anything more and your skin will become damaged.
If you are spending a longer time in the tanning bed than this, you should apply a low factor sunscreen to provide some protection to your face, while still allowing it to tan.
Your best bet would be to use a moisturizer with an SPF 15 or similar. This gives your skin some protection from damage done by exposure to UV rays but also delivers some needed moisture that aids with the production of melanin for darker skin.
Tanning Bed Tips
As you will more than likely be paying for your tanning bed session, you will want to make sure you make the most out of it, without burning or damaging your skin too much.
Here are some helpful tricks on how to make the most of your tanning session:
- Shower before – You should shower close to the time of your tanning appointment, using a fragrance-free soap that has a slight exfoliation. This removes dead skin cells from your body and gives a more even tan.
- Check your medication – Some medication can cause your skin to be more susceptible to damage done by UV rays, so speak to your doctor if you are on any medications to see if it is safe to go into a tanning bed.
- Pre-tan accelerator – To make the most of your tan, you should use a pre-tan accelerator, which helps your skin tan more during the session, while keeping it moisturized and hydrated at the same time.
- Know what you want – You should know what you are aiming for before going into the tanning salon. Speak to the tan technician who will let you know how to achieve this goal, whether it be the time spent in the tanning bed, or how many sessions you will need to have to get to your desired tone.
- Know your skin type – A person with a fair skin tone cannot tan the same as someone who has naturally darker skin. Tan according to your skin tone. If you are pale, then you will need to have shorter periods in the tanning bed to avoid damaging your skin and turning bright red.
- Wear goggles – It is essential to wear goggles during your tanning session. The UV rays can cause severe damage to your eyes if they are left unprotected, and this can lead to lifelong conditions that are not easy to treat.
- Choose your clothing – If you want a fuller tan, you might choose to go topless and wear a thong, however, you can wear whatever you want, be it a full swimsuit or swimming shirts. The tanning bed is private and you can choose what to tan in.
- Just relax – Sit back and enjoy your tanning session. How often do you get to lay around doing nothing?
- Wait between sessions – Ideally, you should wait 4 days between each tanning session. Your skin needs time to recover between exposure to the UV rays, and tanning too soon between sessions can seriously damage your skin, and leave you with a bad sunburn rather than a gorgeous glow.
Post tanning bed care is just as important. Read my guide to taking care of your skin after a tanning bed.
Tanning Your Face Without UV Rays
If you are worried about tanning your face in a tanning bed and are scared of the damage it might cause, you could always choose to use a sunless tanner on your face instead.
This does require preparation as well and takes some practice to perfect, but you will be able to achieve tanned skin from the comfort of your own home.
- Tie your hair back with a ponytail to keep it out of your face, and to stop stray hairs interfering with the lotion on your face.
- Use a cleanser to remove any makeup or dirt from your skin. Use a washcloth to lightly exfoliate any dead skin cells that could cause darker patches in some areas.
- Use a gentle exfoliator to clear out any dead skin cells further, and to remove dirt from deep within your pores. This allows the self-tanner to sink deeper into your skin for better, longer-lasting results.
- Dry your face and apply toner with a cotton swab, covering all the areas of your face.
- Leave your skin to dry completely before using a self-tanner.
- Dab a small bit of self-tanning lotion onto your fingers, and massage it onto your face using small circular motions. You can also use a foundation brush or sponge to properly blend the lotion into the smaller areas and to create a more even, blended look.
- Using a moisturizer, massage your neck to mix it in with the self-tanner product. This will ensure there is no visible tan line and will blend the color down your neck with your natural skin tone.
- Leave the self-tanner to develop for the required amount of time, and remember that it will darken overnight as well.
- Continue to moisturize your skin every day after the self-tanning application. Self-tanners can dry out your skin, and the best way to ensure your tan stays around for longer and appears more natural-looking is to keep your skin hydrated and well looked after.
Do face tanners work in tanning beds?
It is recommended that you use a face tanner in a tanning bed. The facial tanner will provide more UVA rays to your skin and give a deeper, longer-lasting tan. Not all salons have special face tanners, so ask before booking your appointment. Paired up with a good lotion and you should be able to avoid any premature aging or damage done to your skin.
How can I tan faster in a tanning bed?
While you do not want to attract or intensify UV rays too much, a tan accelerator can be used to quicken the tanning process. It allows your skin to tan quicker, but still provides hydration and nourishment that protects your skin from becoming damaged during the tanning session.
Should I shave before using a tanning bed?
You should shave the day before using a tanning bed. Doing it the day before lets your skin recover from the shaving, and it will not be as sensitive when exposed to the UV rays. The benefit of shaving is that it allows the UV rays to reach the skin more evenly, without having to go through the hairs. This promotes an even and natural-looking tan. Shaving soon after your tanning session can strip your skin of your new tan, so doing so the day before saves you some time before having to shave again.
Tanning Your Face In A Tanning Bed
When you go to a tanning salon to use a tanning bed, you want the full package. What is the point of having deliciously tanned skin with a pale face?
Your face needs to be given some extra attention in the tanning bed, as it is more sensitive and vulnerable to damage from the UV rays. Tan your face for a shorter period of time, and use some tanning products, and moisturizer, to ensure it is protected and nourished, giving you a gorgeous glow without any of the damage!