Can You Go On A Sunbed With Fake Tan On?

can you use a sunbed with fake tan on cover image

As the appeal for a sun-kissed glow persists, many turn to sunbeds to achieve that bronzed look quickly. 

But can you use a sunbed with a fake tan and achieve desirable results? 

In this blog, we’ll explore whether using a sunbed with spray tan applied is safe and effective. We will also provide essential information before entering the tanning bed.

Understanding Fake Tan and Sunbeds

Fake tan products have become increasingly popular for those seeking a bronzed glow without prolonged sun exposure. 

These products come in various forms, including spray tans, lotions, and mousses, offering users flexibility in application and desired outcomes.

What Are the Different Types of Fake Tan Products Available?

Spray tans involve the precise application of a specialised tanning solution onto the skin through either a spray gun or a booth.

Within this solution lies DHA (dihydroxyacetone), a transparent compound that engages with the amino acids present in the skin’s outer layer.


This unique interaction culminates in the creation of a fleeting tan, distinctively tailored to each individual’s skin tone and texture.


Tanning lotions are typically cream-based products that are applied directly to the skin. They may contain DHA or other bronzing agents to impart colour gradually over several hours.


Tanning mousses are lightweight foam formulations that are easy to apply and quick-drying. Like lotions, they contain DHA to produce a tan over time.

How Fake Tan Works

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) serves as the primary component in many fake tan formulations.

Upon application, DHA engages with amino acids found in the outer epidermal layer, triggering the Maillard reaction.

This process generates Melanoidins, brown-hued compounds that transiently deepen the skin tone, creating the illusion of a tan.

It’s crucial to understand that fake tan products solely impact the skin’s surface layer and do not offer any shield against UV radiation emitted by the sun or sunbeds.

Basics of Sunbed Tanning

Sunbeds, also known as tanning beds, emit simulated ultraviolet (UV) radiation to mimic natural sunlight. 

This exposure to UV rays encourages the production of melanin, the pigment accountable for skin pigmentation, leading to the formation of a tan.

For those keen to learn more about how sunbeds operate and their benefits, explore the
advanced tanning technology in our salons. 

By understanding the basics of fake tan products and sunbed tanning, individuals can make informed decisions about their tanning preferences and practices, ensuring a safe and satisfying tanning experience.

Potential Risks and Considerations

Though sunbed tanning presents a convenient method for acquiring a sun-kissed glow, it’s imperative to acknowledge the potential hazards and factors to consider when combining UV exposure with fake tan products.

Interaction Between Fake Tan & UV Rays

When fake tan products are applied to the skin, they create a temporary tan by reacting with the outermost layer of the epidermis. 

However, exposure to UV radiation from sunbeds can alter the appearance of the fake tan, leading to uneven colouration or streaking.

Combining UV rays and fake tan ingredients may result in unpredictable outcomes, making achieving a consistent and natural tan challenging.

These products differ to
tan accelerators, which are designed to help you get the most out of your indoor tanning sessions.

Increased Risk of Skin Sensitivity or Irritation

Fake tan products contain active ingredients, such as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which can increase skin sensitivity when exposed to UV radiation. 

Combined exposure to UV rays from sunbeds and chemical components of fake tan may result in skin irritation or allergic reactions.

Individuals with sensitive skin or a history of allergic reactions should exercise caution when using fake tan products in conjunction with sunbed tanning to avoid adverse skin reactions.

Possibility of Fake Tan Fading Quicker

UV exposure from sunlight or sunbeds can accelerate the fading of fake tan products on the skin. 

The melanoidins produced by the reaction between DHA and amino acids may break down more rapidly under UV radiation, leading to premature fading of the tan.

Preparing for Sunbed Use with Fake Tan

Taking specific preparatory steps before going on a sunbed with a fake tan is essential to ensure a safe and effective tanning experience.

Consultation with a Tanning Professional

Prior to using a sunbed, it’s advisable to seek advice from a tanning specialist. 

Engage in a conversation about your fake tan and the outcomes you’re aiming for. Their expertise can offer personalised advice and suggestions based on your skin type and tanning objectives.

This consultation can help ensure that you achieve the desired tan while minimising potential risks and maximising the effectiveness of the tanning session. 

Our team at The Sunshine Co. is here to provide guidance and support on your tanning journey.

Proper Skincare Routine Before Tanning Bed Use

Before using tanning beds, it’s vital to adhere to a comprehensive skincare regimen. 

Begin by exfoliating your skin to eliminate dead cells and promote an even tan. 

Hydrate your skin adequately, paying particular attention to dry-prone areas to retain moisture and mitigate potential skin irritation.

Avoid using oil-based products, as they can create a barrier on the skin and interfere with the tanning process. Instead, try lightweight moisturisers that won’t clog your pores.

Consideration of Timing

Ensure that your fake tan has fully developed before scheduling a sunbed session. 

Waiting for the fake tan to set and reach its peak colour intensity will help you achieve more consistent and long-lasting results.

Additionally, consider spacing out sunbed sessions to allow your skin time to recover and minimise the risk of overexposure to UV radiation.

Using a Sunbed with Fake Tan On

If you’re curious about tanning over fake tan on sunbeds, consider these straightforward guidelines to guarantee a safe and productive tanning experience:

Adjust Tanning Settings:
Consider tweaking the sunbed’s tanning settings or exposure time. Since fake tan can change how your skin reacts to UV rays, starting with a shorter session or lower intensity can help prevent overexposure. Gradually increase exposure, if needed, based on your skin’s response.

Protect Your Eyes:
Always remember to utilise protective eyewear while using a sunbed. This precaution safeguards your eyes against the potent UV rays, minimising the possibility of eye harm or cataracts.

Cover Prone Streaking Areas:
Areas like elbows, knees, and ankles are prone to streaking. Before tanning, cover these areas with a barrier cream to prevent uneven colouration.

Avoid Excessive Heat and Moisture:
Excessive warmth and moisture can impact the longevity of your fake tan. Aim to sustain a comfortable temperature within the sunbed room and minimise excessive sweating throughout your session. Doing so can help preserve your tan, preventing it from streaking or sweating off prematurely.


Aftercare and Maintenance

Maintaining your tan post-tanning is vital for preserving its appearance and ensuring skin health. 

Ensure your skin stays hydrated to prolong the fake tan’s appearance, opting for gentle skincare products known for their moisturising properties to prevent premature fading or patchiness. 

Consistently moisturising with a product enriched with natural elements such as aloe vera or shea butter can prolong the duration of both your fake tan and your sunbed tan.

Make Informed Tanning Choices

While it’s possible to use a sunbed with fake tan on, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and take necessary precautions to achieve desired results safely. 

Following the critical information outlined in this blog, individuals can make informed decisions about sunbed use with fake tanning and explore different tanning options for maintaining a bronzed glow.

If you’re looking to book your next tanning salon visit, why not try The Sunshine Co.?

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