HomePhysical HealthThe Tanning Bed Time Chart - Advice for Beginners

The Tanning Bed Time Chart – Advice for Beginners


It is essential to be aware of the duration of time one should spend in a tanning bed before using it.

It is vital to recognize the correct amount of time to spend in a tanning bed. Taking into account your skin type, as not all skin types are the same.

A tanning bed time chart can be very beneficial. It generally suggests an initial duration and then gradually increases it. 

Individuals with paler skin should commence with a lesser amount of time while those with darker skin can start with a longer duration.

In greater detail, we will explore how to identify your skin tone and create an appropriate tanning bed time chart.

The Types of Skin

It is essential to determine your skin tone before looking at the chart. So you can identify which level is the most similar to your complexion.

For those with lighter skin tones, the recommended initial session should be shorter than for those with darker skin.

For maximum safety, the first session should be kept short. Especially for people with fair skin who are more prone to burning.

This way, the skin can get accustomed to the tanning bed process.

To assist you in utilizing our chart accurately. We have divided the skin types into five distinct categories, ranging from Type 1 to Type 5

Take a few moments to read through the different types to identify which one you fit into.

If you are unsure which one to select. It is best to start with the less risky option. Examine both choices below.


People with very light skin, often with blue or green eyes, red hair, and/or freckles, are typically included in this group.

It is essential to bear in mind that a considerable number of individuals with this complexion may not be able to tan at all. 

Therefore, it is essential to begin with a short duration to determine if it is feasible to tan your skin while reducing the risk of burning.


This type of skin is usually light in color, often with a bit more pigmentation than type 1 skin. People with this skin type often have blue eyes or lighter brown or blonde hair. 

Similarly to type 1 skin, people with this skin type may burn easily. Although the probability of being able to tan without burning is higher than with type 1 skin.


This skin tone is usually a light brown or more tanned white color. Freckles are less common in this complexion. 

Brown eyes and hair are typical, and people in this group typically tan well. Although they should be mindful of not overexposing their skin to the sun as it may still burn.


This particular complexion is a light, tawny brown. People with this complexion usually have dark.

Brown hair and eyes as well. They usually tan quickly and easily, with little risk of sunburn.


People with brown skin typically have darker brown or black hair and dark-colored eyes. This type of skin tans quickly and rarely burns.

Chart for Tanning Bed Time

This chart has been designed to address the common queries such as “how long should I spend in a tanning bed?. 

And to provide guidance on where to begin and how many tanning bed minutes are necessary to start.

It’s advisable to begin with a short session when first using a tanning bed. Regardless of skin type, to avoid any potential for burning. This is to start off slowly.

If you experience any skin irritation or burning during your initial tanning session or during the first month of tanning. 

It may be wise to consider an alternate form of tanning. Such as spray tanning or self-tanning, instead.

We gradually increase the tanning time until we reach a normal level, which is a great way to determine.

If your skin can handle the strong UV rays from the tanning bed bulbs and to build up a base tan over the initial weeks.

You can gradually achieve the desired tanning level without worrying about going too dark, thanks to this feature.

From our tanning chart, it is suggested to have one session per week for the initial month.

This will enable you to observe how your skin reacts and the tanning color you achieve. 

If everything goes well after 6 weeks, you can try tanning twice a week, as this is the best way to maintain a tanned look. 

According to the FDA, it is not recommended to tan on consecutive days or even on the same day.

So it is best to spread out the tanning sessions to every 3-4 days if you are tanning twice per week.

It is essential to take into consideration the skin sensitivity and likelihood of burning for each skin type, as indicated in the table. 

To emphasize, if you are new to tanning beds, those with lighter skin types are more prone to burning, rashes, or skin irritation.

Not everyone’s skin can tan; if you have skin type 1 or 2, it’s likely that you will burn instead of tanning. 

Therefore, if this is the case, it’s best to choose a sunless tanning option such as spray tanning.

If you’re uncertain how long to continue, consider following the recommended tanning bed schedule for a period of one month.

And if you have not seen any tanning effects and have not experienced any skin irritation, you can attempt to use the week 5 levels for an additional two weeks. 

If any skin irritation occurs, it is recommended to discontinue usage and if after 6 weeks.

No tan is visible, it is best to try a different tanning approach as discussed previously.


How Long Does 5 Minutes in a Tanning Bed last? (Equivalent to Sun Exposure)

When considering the amount of sun exposure, a five-minute session in a tanning bed is roughly analogous to an hour spent outdoors in the sunshine.

Can You Tell Me How Many Minutes to Spend in a Tanning Bed?

It is recommended to start cautiously and with a short session when beginning tanning in bed.

People with fairer skin should begin with 1-2 minutes, while those with more tanned skin can stay for 3-4 minutes in their initial session.

How Should I Schedule My Tanning Beds?

When beginning with tanning beds, it is recommended to start out with a schedule of one session per week to ensure that your skin is able to adapt to the ultraviolet radiation.

For those who know their skin can tolerate a tanning bed, two sessions per week is generally sufficient to maintain a healthy tan.

Although some experts suggest a maximum of three weekly visits, two is often enough to achieve and sustain a nice tan.

After One Tanning Bed Session, Can You See Results?

It will generally require more than one sunbed session to create a deep and uniform tan. However, you can expect to detect a gradual change in color with each visit.


The tanning bed time chart is an incredibly useful tool for anyone who is just starting out on their tanning journey. 

It can provide helpful guidance for those who may be unsure of how long to spend in the tanning bed.

And it can also help to ensure that one does not over-expose themselves and risk sunburn or other skin damage. 

Being aware of the duration of time to spend in a tanning bed is essential, and the tanning bed time chart can be a great way to help ensure that you don’t over-expose yourself.

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