What to expect from your first tanning session

Looking to build up your tan? Check out our top tips to make sure your tanning practices get you the best results, and ensure you’re tanning responsibly too!

1. Tan for your skin type

Make sure that you aren’t tanning for longer than is appropriate for your skin type. Different skin types can spend more time exposed to UV than others; the darker your natural skin tone, the more melanin you have. However, the less melanin you have in your skin, the more likely you are to overexpose yourself. Not sure what your skin type is? Click HERE to find out!

If in doubt, we always recommend lowering your minutes to begin with, and building them up as you spend more time tanning. 

2. Use your lotion!

Did you know that tanning lotion should be used within 10 minutes of every tanning session? This is for many different reasons:

  • This kickstarts the tanning process within 30 seconds, rather than the natural time of three minutes
  • Tanning lotions contain skincare and tanning technologies to enhance your tanning results
  • This helps neutralise any bacteria on the skin, making sure you don’t smell after your tanning session
  • The application of a tanning lotion helps protect tattoos and prevents them from fading
  • Lotions keep skin hydrated, soft and supple
  • This makes your tan last longer thanks to the hydrating ingredients and skincare
  • Encourages a more even tan, and deeper results.
  • Tanning lotions are also a must for those with sensitive skin – although some believe that lotions can irritate skin sensitivities, and so avoid applying, this can actually be exacerbating sensitivities further. When tanning, this can dry skin, meaning that without lotion, skin will increase its natural oil production, which can cause irritation or discomfort. There are hypoallergenic tanning lotions which are designed for sensitive skin with this purpose in mind. 
use a tanning lotion home sunbed

3. Always wear Eye protection 

Always wear the eye protection. Your eyelids only provide you with the equivalent of SPF5, so relying on closing your eyes will not give them full protection that they need. All sunbed eye protection is designed ergonomically to fit the eye area, without any risk of tan lines around the eye.

4. SPF for specifics

Although sun cream isn’t recommended to be used on a sunbed, as a replacement for tanning lotion, there are some specific times when SPF can come in handy. This is ideal for scars, lips, hyperpigmentation and microdermabrasion:

  • Scars can discolour when tanned, applying an SPF prevents this.
  • Lips are just as likely to get overexposed as the rest of your body. By applying a lip balm with SPF in it, you protect them and helps avoid them drying out.
  • Microdermabrasion can fade just like tattoos, by applying SPF this acts as a barrier on the skin, to prevent these from fading.
  • Hyperpigmentation can be enhanced further by tanning, as some parts of your skin are able to tan deeper than others, applying SPF may work to help even out these areas in certain situations.

For the rest of the body, we still strongly recommend using tanning lotion. Sun cream will not help you to tan on a sunbed, due to the short, controlled time spent tanning, compared to sunbathing where sun cream is necessary for full body application, regardless of skin type. 

sunbed at home home tanning


5. Tattoo technology 

A great way to help prevent tattoos from fading, and also help those with dry skin, is by using a tanning lotion with tattoo protection in. This works to deeply hydrate your tattoos, helping keep them vibrant. 

Want to see some lotions with this technology? Click HERE to view Australian Gold®’s collection!


6. Moisturise  

In order to gain a great tan, we recommend moisturising in between tanning sessions after bathing or showering, and also after your sunbed. This helps to keen skin soft, supple and promise a longer-lasting tan. Moisturising also works to deepen future tan results, for an overall even glow. 

7. How frequently?

The Sunbed Association (TSA) recommends 60 sessions per year, and to limit exposure if going out to the beach for a day or spending a lot of time outdoors, as this results in a heightened risk of burning. 

We also recommend that you leave at least 24 hours in between sessions. However, this should be extended further for fair-skinned and new tanners to at least 48 hours. The tanning process takes 48 hours, so by leaving this full period of time, you are able to see the impact your tanning session before tanning again. 

We also advise avoiding tanning before or after a day spent in the sun. This will just add to your overall total UV exposure, again increasing your likelihood of overexposing or burning. However, if you are going to do this, we strongly advise applying a high factor sun cream when outdoors, to keep skin as well protected as possible.