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How to protect your face with a towel when tanning

Updated July 20, 2017

There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. The sun gives off UVA rays, while tanning lamps frequently give off both UVA and UVB rays. Both types of UV rays can cause long-term skin damage and potentially lead to skin cancer. However, by using a towel to cover your face while tanning, you will protect your skin and drastically lower your chances of experiencing UV-related skin damage.

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Lie down and place a hand towel over your face, covering it completely. If the towel is too large, fold it in half or fourths first.

Keep your towel in place with a headband that wraps completely around your head. Place one side of the headband over the towel at your forehead, and stretch the opposite side of the band so it rests back behind your head. Adjust until the towel feels secure.

If you flip over onto your stomach, adjust the towel to cover the side of your face that is now exposed to the light. Do this by sliding your hand under the headband to slightly lift it, then moving the towel across your face. Readjust the headband to secure the towel, if necessary.


For optimum skin protection, choose a hand towel that is dark in colour, made of a tightly woven material and completely dry to the touch.


Although covering your face with a towel while tanning will provide adequate UV ray protection, consider applying a sunblock with SPF 15 or higher to your face and body for further protection.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hand towel
  • Head band

About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Dana Shultz has worked professionally as a copy editor and writer since 2008, primarily in the fields of news and marketing. Her work has appeared in publications including the "Wichita Eagle," covering topics such as religion, health and environmentalism. Shultz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wichita State University.

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