Sunbed tips

Written by paul betters | 13/05/2017

Sunbeds, or tanning beds, can give you an even tan without having to rely on the sun. Indoor tanning has become a popular alternative to outdoor tanning. It can be used if you want to stay tan year-round, don't get enough sun where you live or want to be prepared for a weekend at the beach.

Preparation

Apply an indoor tanning lotion. Indoor tanning lotions make your skin absorb more UV rays during the tanning process, which will increase the effectiveness of the sunbed. Some indoor tanning lotions include melanin, the chemical that causes the skin to darken. You should apply the tanning lotion about an hour before the tanning session. This will allow the lotion to absorb more thoroughly and give you the time to focus on doing a thorough job. Uneven application will cause uneven tanning.

Other than indoor tanning lotion, you shouldn't have anything on your skin. This includes cosmetics, deodorant, acne medication or moisturising cream. That extra layer between your skin and the tanning lights can cause uneven tanning. In addition, certain lotions and creams can have a bad reaction with the tanning lights.

Scheduling

Start slow, especially as a beginner or if you have pale skin that burns easy. It's better to not tan enough than tan too much.

Your first session should be relatively short. The time will depend on the strength of the sunbed. Sunbed strength is often described in levels, with a Level 1 bed being weaker than a Level 2 bed. But these standards can change from place to place, so follow the instructions for your sunbed. Compare strengths by looking at the watts. For example, a 6000-watt bed will burn you more quickly than a 3000-watt bed.

Once you have a session length, you should have one tanning session every day or two to build your tan. After you have a tan to your liking, tan just for maintenance. Two or three times a week should be enough to keep your tan from fading.

Health

Health risks associated with indoor tanning include burns, premature wrinkles and age spots, and skin cancer. If you use a sunbed, know the associated risks.

In addition, taking certain medications can cause an adverse reaction with the UV lights. This can lead to unexpected burning and swelling. These medications can include antibiotics, birth control pills and blood pressure medications. Consult a doctor or pharmacist first.

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