Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Sunbed use

Common Questions Asked

We actively encourage our customers to ask any questions that they may have about tanning before embarking on their tanning session. We have highlighted some of the frequently asked questions so that you can feel confident that you are tanning in the most responsible and safe manner and within the optimum conditions.

Please find some of the most commonly asked questions about tanning and the answer to each of these questions below.

If you cannot find the answer to a question you have regarding tanning or if you have a question about the spray tanning booths or vibration plates then please feel free to ask in one of our salons or send an email or a message on Facebook.

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We hear so much about the negative effects of tanning but what are the positive effects?

The only positive effect of tanning that has been established so far, and agreed upon by scientists, is the cosmetic benefit. A tanned skin looks better, and looks healthier, than an untanned skin. What has not yet been established, but what is generally suspected, is that when you look good you also feel good, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this. Thus it is pretty well accepted that there may be psychological benefits of tanning, but they have not been measured yet. These benefits may turn out to be considerable, as feeling good becomes more and more accepted as being necessary for good physical health, and this concept of wellness is more widely relied upon by medical professionals.

There are positive side effects of tanning, of course, such as Vitamin D production, which is very important for health, but these benefits can be obtained at far lower doses of UV light than are required to get a tan – perhaps one-fiftieth of a tanning session will be enough. There can also be beneficial side effects of the waste heat (Infrared radiation) produced by sunbeds, which may have an effect on joint mobility and certain forms of arthritis. Beyond this, there are extensive medical benefits of UV light, but these can only be claimed by qualified medical practitioners.

UV light is used by dermatologists, for instance, in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema and certain forms of acne.

How long does it take to develop a tan?

This depends on your skin type, the lotion you use and your current skin colour. In general the average person can develop a base tan in 3 to 5 sessions which can then be maintained with regular moderate sunbed use combined with skin moisturisers and tanning accelerators (which can be purchased in any of our salons)

How often should I tan?

You should wait a very minimum of 24 hours before your next session. We recommend you follow an every other day tanning schedule when building your base tan. After you have developed your base, you can reduce you schedule to once or twice a week depending on the tan you desire.

Can I use a sunbed after sunbathing in the natural sun?

Definitely not. You will likely burn on a sunbed if you have sunbathed in the natural sun as you’ve had an uncontrolled amount of UV exposure.

What do I wear when tanning?

What ever you want! Once you enter your private tanning room it’s your choice. Some people wear their under garments but most prefer to tan naked. Although even though the amount of UV is controlled with indoor tanning it is still advised that you wear protection in the form of a cream, so as to avoid burning as well as wearing goggles to protect your eyes.

Do tanning accelerators / intensifiers really work?

Quite simply, Yes! These lotions help you tan faster, moisturise and many help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By supplying your skin with much needed vitamins, minerals, amino acids and moisture, these lotions can help you tan up to 60% better than using no lotion at all.

Mother nature has a way of taking care of us in many aspects of our life and tanning is just another of mother nature’s wonders. When we are born, our skin has a reflective quality to reduce the amount of UV penetration and this reflects more than half the normal sunlight.

Although we recognise it as a “look good” advantage, a tan is our body’s natural protection from the sun.  Tanning lotions break this barrier down so you get nearly 100% of the sunlight going deep into the skin for a longer lasting, better looking tan. Lotion also speeds up the production of the Melanin.

Melanin is the chemical compound that holds the tan. It travels from deep in the skin to the surface faster and that’s what turns into a nice golden brown suntan.  When tanning indoor or out, moisture is lost from the skin. Use a good daily moisturiser after tanning, showers or exercise to keep a healthy glowing skin tone.

Choose a good quality lotion when tanning. Don’t scrimp on moisturiser, get the best quality product that you can afford. Exposure to UVA can cause skin to dry up. A high quality tanning lotion can help prevent and reduce these effects aswell as extending the colour of your tan.

Click here to view our range of tanning accelerator creams

Do I have to wear goggles?

We recommend it.

When proper eyewear is not used during the tanning process, the potential for eye injury is greatly increased. Some eye injuries and disorders include Photokeratitis (Cornea Sunburn), Cataracts, Pterygium (Abnormal tissue growth) and Damage To The Cornea. The skin that makes up your eyelids is very thin and needs to be protected therefore all of our salons have eye protection available.

Why doesn’t the skin tan equally all over?

The insides of the arms and legs do not tan as easily because they contain fewer pigment-forming cells than the skin on the rest of the body.  The face does not tan as easily either because it has a naturally thicker Horny layer – providing special protection from UV-B.  Freckles and pigmental moles contain a particularly high amount of tanning pigments and therefore go darker much more quickly than other areas of the skin.

How long will my tan last?

About 2 to 4 weeks after the last sun bathing session.  The uppermost skin cells are gradually shed as a result of the natural process of skin renewal. The skin will have renewed itself after approx. 28 days.  Looked after properly a tan can be preserved for longer.

How can I keep up my holiday tan?

One to two sessions per week will keep up your holiday tan for much longer.

Why will my salon not allow me to tan for however long I want?

With the risks involved in individuals who overexpose themselves to UV light, it is the responsibility of the tanning salon to eliminate the opportunity for consumers to sunburn while visiting an indoor tanning salon. It is also the responsibility of the salon worker to make sure individuals who cannot biologically acquire a tan (skin type 1) do not tan indoors. The promotion of moderate, sensible and responsible exposure to ultraviolet light is the goal of Tanz Tanning.

What is classed as a sunbed “session”?

A sunbed ‘session’ is the correct length of time for your skin type to be exposed under a specific sunbed on a specific date. This is to get a tan with the minimum UV dose. Thus, it is impossible for any two tanning sessions to ever be exactly the same. Four factors must be taken into account:

1. Skin type.
The correct length of time will need to be adjusted by a professional tanning salon to suit your skin type (i.e. considerably shorter for a lighter skin-type and untanned skin, otherwise sun burn may result, which is dangerous).

2. Tan condition.
Your skin type never changes, but your tan condition does change. Tan condition includes many factors, but mainly: protection; look or colour; and moisture content or feel. How long is it since you last tanned? If it is 6 or 7 weeks since your last tanning session, in the sun or on a sunbed, you will need to start again from the beginning.

Even if you still have some colour, your tan’s protection factor has fallen back almost to zero. After 6 weeks from your last session, you should start up again with a half session, whether on a sunbed or on the beach. The longer it is since you last tanned, the more half sessions you should have before going onto a full session.

3. Sunbed.
Sunbeds differ markedly in the power and composition of their UV output, so no two sunbeds tan the same. A session on one may be very different from a session on another. Correct manufacturers’ recommended session times, for instance, vary from 2 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on what type of equipment you are using and for what purpose.

Equipment falls into five basic categories, depending on what type of lamps they are designed to use. Only a professional salon will be able to advise on the correct use of different sunbeds for different purposes. If you know what you want from a tan, they will advise which sunbed to use at each stage.

4. Date.
The date affects indoor tanning because sunbeds are fitted with lamps that drop in output significantly over their lifetime. Some lamps do not tan well after 500 hours. Some salons do no replace their lamps until after 700 hours. Tanz always replace their lamp bulbs before 500 hours.

Other helpful advice

When tanning indoor or out, moisture is lost from the skin. Use a good daily moisturiser after tanning, showers or exercise to keep a healthy glowing skin tone.

Choose a good quality lotion when tanning. Exposure to UVA can cause skin to dry up. A high quality tanning lotion can help prevent and reduce these effects. It’s well worth the money! Professional tanning products should be recommended by a qualified indoor tanning specialist to ensure proper use. Indoor tanning products have unique ingredients that should be used only as directed to ensure the finest tan possible.

Remember, like most fun things in life, moderation is the key. Talk with your salon operator about tanning, take care of your skin, and take a break every now and then.

Other health and tanning resources

All of our salons are proud members are proud members of The Sunbed Association.

The Sunbed Association is at the forefront of promoting responsible tanning and as such we are committed to delivering an excellent, informed service to all customers.

Find out more information on the Sunbed Association here.


The articles below give further insight into the health risks and benefits of tanning:

The truth about tanning

The downside of staying out of the sun

Vitamin D could prevent arthritis

Sunshine “prevents cancer”

Vitamin linked to heart failure

Vitamin D is linked with cancer treatment