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Sunbeds: How Long to Achieve a Tan? Understanding the Process

Zuleika Boekhoudt By Zuleika Boekhoudt   •     •   3 minute read

Welcome to an in-depth exploration of sunbeds and the fascinating world of tanning. As a business owner in the beauty and wellness industry, understanding the ins and outs of sunbeds and their effectiveness is essential. In this article, we will delve into the question, "How long do sunbeds take to work?" and provide you with valuable insights into the tanning process. Whether you own a tanning salon or are considering incorporating sunbeds into your business, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to offer the best experience to your clients.


How Do Sunbeds Work?


Understanding the Science Behind Sunbeds

Sunbeds, also known as tanning beds, utilise a specific type of ultraviolet (UV) radiation to simulate the effects of natural sunlight on the skin. These devices emit UV rays that penetrate the outer layer of the skin, stimulating the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for tanning.

The Role of UV Rays in the Tanning Process

UV rays are classified into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Among these, UVA and UVB rays play significant roles in the tanning process. UVA rays are primarily responsible for the immediate tanning effect, as they darken the existing melanin in the skin. On the other hand, UVB rays trigger the production of new melanin, leading to a longer-lasting tan and vitamin D.


The Importance of Exposure Time

The effectiveness of sunbeds in achieving a tan depends on various factors, including exposure time. Exposure time refers to the duration spent in a sunbed session. The length of exposure required to achieve a desired tan can vary depending on factors such as skin type, tanning goals, and the intensity of the sunbed. Discuss with the salon's aesthetician to discuss your desired goals.


Determining the Optimal Exposure Time

Finding the optimal exposure time for each client is crucial to ensure a safe and effective tanning experience. It is essential to consider the skin type and its sensitivity to UV radiation. Fair-skinned individuals with low melanin content generally require shorter exposure times, while those with darker skin tones can tolerate longer sessions.


Gradual Tanning: A Step-by-Step Process

Achieving a natural and long-lasting tan takes time. It is important to guide your clients through a gradual tanning process, mainly if they are new to sunbeds. Gradual exposure to UV rays allows the skin to adapt and build up melanin production, minimising the risk of sunburn and maximising the tanning outcome.


Factors Affecting the Speed of Tanning

While exposure time is a significant factor, other elements can influence the speed at which tanning occurs. These include the intensity of UV rays emitted by the sunbed, the quality and age of the lamps, the individual's skin type, and their ability to produce melanin.


How Long Does It Take for Sunbeds to Work?


Estimating the Duration for Visible Results

The time it takes for sunbeds to work and produce visible results varies from person to person. Factors such as skin type, tanning goals, frequency of sunbed sessions, and individual differences in melanin production influence the timeline. On average, most people start noticing a difference in their skin tone after 3 to 5 sunbed sessions.


Building a Base Tan

Building a base tan is an essential step towards achieving a deep and long-lasting tan. A base tan acts as a foundation, allowing the skin to adapt and develop increased melanin production. It typically takes 5 to 10 sunbed sessions to establish a solid base tan.


Maintaining and Deepening the Tan

Once a base tan is established, maintaining, and deepening the tan requires regular sunbed sessions. Weekly or bi-weekly sessions are recommended to keep the tan looking fresh and vibrant. However, it is crucial to strike a balance between regular sunbed use and maintaining skin health.


Get Ready to Glow!

Unlock the full potential of sunbeds and enhance your clients' tanning experience by understanding the intricate workings of these devices. By grasping the science behind sunbeds, the role of UV rays, and the importance of exposure time, you can provide exceptional service to your clientele. Remember, achieving a tan is a gradual process that requires patience, knowledge, and responsible tanning practices.


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FAQs How Do Sunbeds Work


Can I achieve a tan in just one sunbed session?

While some people may notice a slight difference after a single session, achieving a visible tan usually takes multiple sunbed sessions. Building a base tan and gradually deepening it ensures a more natural and long-lasting result.


Are sunbeds safer than sunbathing?

Sunbeds can be a safer alternative to outdoor sunbathing when used responsibly and following recommended guidelines. Controlled exposure to UV radiation allows for consistent monitoring and reduces the risk of sunburn.


How often should I moisturise my skin when using sunbeds?

It is recommended to moisturise your skin immediately after each sunbed session to replenish moisture and maintain its health. Use a hydrating lotion or cream, like the After Tan 3 in 1 moisturiser. It's suitable for indoor tanning to keep your skin nourished and supple.