Can You Use Sunscreen In A Tanning Bed

Have you used a tanning bed before? Whatever your answer, you have probably heard that tanning beds may not be safe. Tanning beds work by using bulbs that emit a concentration of UV rays that make your skin cells to generate more pigment and give you that brown color that you sometimes admire.

Knowing that overexposure to UV rays is harmful to your health, so, can you use sunscreen in a tanning bed? Some people apply sunscreen before getting in the tanning bed. What are the effects of this?

Before we dive into the subject matter, we all know that the purpose of sunscreen is to block the UV rays from affecting our skin. When you expose your skin to UV rays, without any protection, then:

  • You may suffer premature aging with time.
  • You lose the elasticity of your skin.
  • If you get burned, your skin appears cakey, and it isn’t a pleasant sight to behold, etc.
  • You risk getting skin cancer.
  • You weaken your skin cells.

We can all now, safely agree that using sunscreen is important for your overall health and to have a healthy looking skin. Tanning bed and outside tanning work by exposure to the same harmful UV rays. How then would you apply sunscreen in a tanning bed and expect to get a tan?


Can You Use Sunscreen In A Tanning Bed

Effect Of Using Sunscreen In Tanning Bed

Effect Of Using Sunscreen In Tanning Bed

The recommended sunscreen for use, at all times, is one with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 and above. If you use sunscreen with lower SPF than 30, you have little protection against the UV rays.

If you still insist on using sunscreen in a tanning bed, then:


You will need to increase the time you spend in the tanning bed for you to have your desired color. Using sunscreen with a lower SPF will limit the effect of the UV lights but not in wholesome. However, you will still be exposing your skin to the same harmful UV rays.


The Sunscreen will destroy the acrylic in the tanning bed. Due to this, most salon owners do not let their clients use sunscreen in tanning beds.


You will make it difficult to clean the sunscreen off the inside of the tanning bed. It is another additional layer of lotion that will need to be cleaned off the tanning bed.


It defeats the purpose of using a tanning bed. The bed works by exposing your skin to concentrated amounts of UV rays whereas sunscreen works by preventing the rays from affecting your skin.

There are many ways of getting tanned; you can use a tanning bed, the outdoors or a tanning spray. Both the outdoor and tanning beds are practical due to exposure to UV rays which increases your risk of contracting skin cancer.

The better question would be; how far are you willing to go and can risk, so as to get that brown glow of the skin? For tanning beds, you need to apply tanning bed lotion to get that perfect tan. Before you settle for a particular tanning salon, shop around for one that understands the Nitty-gritty of tanning beds.

Ask as many questions as you would like, if their response isn’t sufficient, find one that knows everything about tanning beds. You don’t want to end up looking cakey and burned. That’s not the looking you were hoping for, right?

If you have never tanned using a tanning bed before, here is a guide on How to Apply Tanning Bed Lotion to get your desired color.


Conclusion - Can You Use Sunscreen In A Tanning Bed

If you are thinking of using sunscreen in a tanning bed, you need to understand that sunscreen works by blocking the UV rays from your skin. On the other hand, tanning bed works by exposing your body to concentrated amounts of the same rays.

Applying sunscreen will, therefore, defeat the purpose of using tanning beds. When you expose your body to excessive UV lights, you are at risk of contracting skin cancer. It is argued that UV rays from a tanning bed are sometimes stronger than that of the sun.

For you to get that dark or brown glow that you have always hoped to get someday, keep this in mind. If you are not ready to risk it, you can always opt for the much safer tanning methods such as the use of a tanning spray.

Remember, using sunscreen will prolong your time in the tanning bed before you get that glow. However, you are still exposing to the same or more amount of the UV rays. It nullifies the whole reason of using the sunscreen in the first place.

Trista Lawless

I have a strong passion for skincare. Because of my sensitive skin, I spent many times to research carefully about the high-quality skincare products and tanning lotions. Then, I run a blog named: Find More Beauty to provide my readers with useful tips, best tanning practices as well as all my knowledge and experiences of skincare.

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