Tanning Bed Time Chart: How To Get Perfect Tan

tanning bed

The tanning bed time chart is not one size fits all, so considering your skin type can help determine how long to stay in one. If you have fair skin, tanning for too long could result in sunburn, and if you have dark skin, tanning for too little time might result in no results.

In addition to helping you achieve the tan, you are after using a tanning bed, understanding your skin type can help you protect it from overexposure.

To determine your tanning bed time chart, you should first determine your tanning skin type.

Type 1:

Skin that is pale, very white, green or blue eyes, freckles, and red hair. Tans must be applied very carefully.

Type 2 :

The skin color is light beige, blue eye color, hair will be light brown or blonde, and there will be some freckles.

Type 3:

The skin is light brown, the hair is brown, and the eyes are brown. Although this skin type burns, it can also tan well.

Type 4:

Brown or olive skin, with dark brown eyes and hair. The skin of this type can burn but tends to tan easily.

Type 5:

Brown skin, dark brown eyes, and dark brown hair. The skin of this type rarely burns and can tan easily.

Skin Types and Tips

No matter what your skin type is, you should ensure that your face is CLEAR of makeup during your sessions. To get an even tan, you can lay your head back to allow exposure to all parts of your body. You don’t want to spend your time and money on an uneven tan, do you?

UV rays are blocked from the eyes when you protect them properly, however, the heat can cause the eye to dry, making your contacts very uncomfortable. Don’t forget to take care of your skin type! Therefore, you will be able to maintain your golden glow.

However, we’re not finished! There are other tips you should take note of based on your skin type.

Tanning Bed Time Chart

If you have determined your skin type, you should follow the chart below to determine how long you should spend in a tanning bed over four weeks.

Skin Types First Session Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Skin Type 1 1 minute 1 minute 1 minute 3 minute 1 minute
Skin Type 2 2 minutes 3 minutes 5 minutes 8 minutes 10 minutes
Skin Type 3 3 minutes 4 minutes 8 minutes 13 minutes 15 minutes
Skin Type 4 3 minutes 5 minutes 9 minutes 16 minutes 20 minutes
Skin Type 5 3 minutes 6 minutes 10 minutes 16 minutes 20 minutes


To protect your skin, tan session times are based on skin type. Especially for those with fair skin, they may seem short, but prolonged exposure to the sun will only result in sunburn and peeling, which will leave your skin damaged and without a tan.

Read More:

How to Take Care of Your Skin After Tanning

Regardless of your skin type, you need to care for your skin after tanning. Your skin will continue to tan and produce melanin for at least 12 hours after you leave the tanning bed. You will be able to keep your skin hydrated both during and after your tanning session if you use a tanning accelerator.

If you have fair skin, you might want to apply an aloe vera gel to cool your skin and prevent it from peeling since you will more than likely feel the effects of the sunbed long after the session has ended.

Tanning FAQs

1)  What is the Best Tanning Schedule?

The first 3 tanning bed sessions should be done within a week until a base tan is developed, according to most tanning professionals.  After the first week, you can do two tanning bed sessions per week to darken your color. Don’t use a tanning bed more than once in 24 hours. It takes time for your skin to fully process a tanning session.  To keep your color, you should book one or two tanning bed sessions weekly.

2) Do You Need to Apply a Tanning Accelerator to Your Face?

It depends. Yes, you should if you want the color to be evenly distributed on your body, including your face. Be careful with the product you choose. Bronzers are often found in indoor tanning lotions, so you may want to avoid applying them to your face.

3)  What is the equivalent of 10 minutes of tanning in a bed?

Usually, you will see results from a few tanning bed sessions in the first week, but it may take a few weeks of regular tanning sessions(two to three times a week) to achieve a good tan. Get a base tan before you go on a winter vacation by tanning two to three weeks before you leave. Don’t get a peeling sunburn because that could ruin all your hard work.

4)  For those who cannot get tanned outdoors, is indoor tanning a viable option?

Getting a tan indoors may be a challenge if you have sensitive skin and can’t seem to tan outside. However, burning is a challenge we can overcome! Despite the challenges, you can still achieve your dream skin color indoors. By following the chart above, you should be able to attain that golden tan by starting with short sessions and gradually increasing the duration. No matter what type of skin you have!




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