Many people use sunbeds on a regular basis, but if you have never used one before it’s important to make sure you know exactly what you are doing so you can make sure your tanning takes place safely and successfully. There are three main stages to the process of using a sunbed: before, during and after. This guide takes you through the basics of all three.
The preparation stage is arguably the most important when you are planning to use a sunbed. You should have a shower before you use the bed as clean skin tans much better than skin that’s dirty. This will also remove any make up or perfume from your skin, which is really important as some cosmetics can react with the UV light used by the tanning bed and cause you problems.
Another thing to do before using a tanning bed is to remove all of your jewellery: if you leave it on then you will get white marks where it has lain against your skin and it will get hot, which could be uncomfortable under the tanning lights. Also, if you are taking any medication, check with your doctor before you use a sunbed as some medicines can react to the light – your safety is the most important thing, so make sure you take it seriously.
When you are on the sunbed, you should be wearing goggles to protect your eyes from the rays of light as shutting your eyes won’t offer you sufficient protection. If you have any particularly sensitive areas of skin – especially if your skin is very fair – keep them covered until you have become used to using the beds. You should also make sure you are wearing tanning lotion as this will help to protect your skin and prevent it from drying out while you are on the bed.
You should also be very aware of how long you are tanning for: if you have a very pale complexion, you shouldn’t use the beds for more than five minutes and no matter what your skin tone, you should never exceed the time stated by the guidelines given to you before using the beds. If you are worried by any itchiness or burning sensations while you are on the tanning bed, stop using it immediately. It’s unlikely that you will have any issues but you need to be aware just in case.
One final thing to remember while on the sunbed is to move occasionally. This is because you can end up with white patches on your lower back and shoulder blades if you stay still, due to fewer blood vessels and the fact that you are resting on them. Moving slightly should help ensure even tan coverage.
After using Sunbeds
Once you have completed your sunbed session, it is important that you keep your skin hydrated. Avoid the shower for a couple of hours after your session so the tanning lotion can continue to do its work and also moisturise your skin every day to keep it supple and soft. You should also avoid using a sunbed again for at least 48 hours in order to protect your skin. Also, the colour of your tan will take a short time to develop, so don’t panic if you don’t look bronzed straight away.
It’s much healthier to build your tan up slowly, so don’t worry if you don’t see a change immediately. Just make sure you monitor your skin so you can spot any worrying changes as soon as they occur and get them taken care of. As long as you look after yourself properly, though, and use sunbeds according to the instructions, you should be just fine – and a gorgeous tan will be yours before long.