If I am a beginner to a sun bed how long should I go for my first time? And how long til I'm brown?

It's my first time using sun beds and I wanted to know how long I should go for. I have researched this and I have heard different results from 3 mins to 11 mins - I hardly ever burn in the sun, so I think my skin can handle a long dose but I'm not sure I want to risk it. Also, how many visits to the sun bed will it take until I have a tan? Can I get one in one visit?
Asked by Hayanhal

11 answers

Top answer
I appreciate everyone has an issue with those using sun beds for the benefit of a fast/easier tan, however why do we have to get a million and one posts about it definitely causing cancer? Yes, there is a link, but just the same as there is a link about 'natural' tanning in the sun. The issue comes from continued consistent use whereby you expose your skin to a greater degree of UV rays than is medically sound.
The question that was asked requested nothing about whether to use them or not, so do someone the dignity of answering the question they posed, rather than voicing your own opinion.
For the record I have never used a sunbed, nor will I ever likely use one. I have however studied the heath risks as part of a masters at University and (although you shouldn't take someone's 'word' on it) I can say that small use of the beds does not guarantee that cancer will strike, so please, people, stop going on about it.


this comment is so true, as someone who suffers from psoriasis I use sunbeds to help my skin, and it works my psoriasis goes thanks to the uv light, so there are positives to using them, and to say you will get cancer from using them in moderation is ridiculous, its people who abuse them who have a higher risk of skin cancer, not people who use them correctly.
Search Treatwell for Spray Tanning and Sunless Tanning near you
More of a comment to those bleating on about cancer etc;
I use sunbeds on reccomendatiom from my doctor. I suffer severe acne and have bouts of psoriasis and the sunbed does wonders for them both. It all depends on how often you sit in the sun normally. I work nights and so daylight, let alone sunlight, for me is rare and so I don't get enough sunlight to my skin as I should. I don't do it for a tan, I do it for health. Heat is also beneficial if you have joint problems and general health problems.
Again, reccomended by my doctor and it's doing wonders. Don't assume everyone who uses a sunbed is abusing it etc.
It would be very different if you were sitting in the sun all day and still using a bed for 20 minutes every couple of day. That's sunbed abuse .
It's also not always possible to use fake tan, if you have sensitive skin or skin issues then it's actually very bad for you. In addition to that, it stinks , looks awful, costs a fortune and gets everywhere.
To the poster;
I would do just 4 mins to start. Make sure you are well moisturized and have some sort of suncream on. You are more likely to tan with Sun cream on, otherwise you could burn. Most places charge by the minute anyway so if you do feel like you want longer then just go back in. Don't overdo it! Keep it well controlled and little by little. Don't go tanning outside either if you're planning to do it via sunbeds as you don't want to lose track of how much exposure you've had. While sun is good for you, too much of it can leave your skin is a bad way and your general self quite dehydrated and lethargic.
Finally, don't go using them all the time. Maybe if there is special event coming up or something but no-one looks good with a Caribbean tan in the middle of winter as it's so obviously fake! If you find a nice healthy glow that you want to maintain, just a couple of minutes every few weeks will do but again, monitor how much time you spend each day. Treat the sun like a guideline daily amount. Think of it like sugar, go over your GDA and you're more likely to put on weight. Go over your GDA for sun exposure and you're more likely to get nasty leathery skin and bad health later down the line.
Hi i am going on holiday in 3 weeks so have booked. 70 minute session which cost me £35, because I'm pale at the moment I do 5 minutes and will do this every other day until my holiday, the only reason I am using the sun showers is to harden my skin up before flying out so that I do not burn and ruin my holiday,.
You should know your own skin but if in doubt I suggest doing 3-5 minutes then build it up once your skin has got used to it.
Also you can use a screen protector as well if you wanted I do not I just go in sun shower then leave I will have a shower when I get home and put moisturiser on, I will then have a day off.
Like I said start slow then build up good luck :)
depends how strong the tubes are 250w would say max 6mins if 100w 10mins and up to 20mins after about 2weeks missing every other day out
Hi, Ignore these scare mongering people who read things in the newspaper and repeat it like sheep.
All UV Light has a risk of causing cancer be it the Sun or a Sun bed.
It is safer to tan on a sun bed as you can control the time you spend on it if you know how strong the sun-bed it, in case of the sun you cannot do this and you would need to spend more time in the sun to get a similar result from a sun-bed.
Abusing sunbeds is bad as it can lead to cancer just as abusing sun taning on the beach can.
I advise for you to get the shorter course, Im pretty fair skinned I go for 4 minutes on my first session, depending on the strength of your sun-bed and if the lamps are new you might want to go for a shorter time, ask the sun-bed shop assistant.
After your first session, I advise for you to wait atleast 48 hours before your next session, just so your skin gets used to the effects and starts generating melanin.
at least 48 hours later you can go on your second session you can do the same amount of time or add a little more.
again wait at least 48 hours you can go again, I personally dont up my time untill my third session, so first and second might be 4 mins, 3rd and 4th might be 6, my 5th would be minimum 24 hours after my 4th session and would also be 4 minutes.
My 6th session would be a minimum of 48 hours later, at 8 minutes, same with my 7th (48 hours minimum) and my 8th would be 8 minutes also but minimum 24hours.
I allow the minimum 48 hours for my skin to adjust to the extra time under the light give it extra day to produce melanin, and then I would lower it to minimum of 24 hours as my skin would be better at resisting the extra time.
I usually get a nice tan after 8 sessions, but I am fair skinned, if you have darker skin it might take you less with less time under the lamps.
Although there I a link between UV exposure (probably with buning) and increased melanoma risk, there is also a probable link to DECREASED bowel cancer. Given that these are far more common than melanoma, the balance of risk may favour sunned use
Hi, my advice would be don't! Sun beds have been proven to increase your risk of skin cancer, premature ageing and severely dried out skin. Sunless and UV free tanning is the only safe way. Sunbeds might seem quick and cheap but a spray tan is so much safer for you and will still leave you with a beautiful tan.
As you've been earlier advised that the use of sun bed is not worth the risk regardless of how little time you spend on there. Spray Tan is your best option, its very safe and you can go as brown as you want obviously you wouldn't want to be ridiculously brown. If you are any where close, our salon is iin Gravesend and we'll be happy to give you a perfect spray tan treatment. Please have a re-think and hope that helps?
I personally think you are absolutely crazy for wanting to use a sunbed! Surely you don't want to look older than you really are? Have wrinkles? Look like a scabby old piece of leather? Potentially kill yourself? I have to say as an ex sunbed user 11minutes at first will leave you lobsteresque! I can not believe somebody would recommend you have that long for your first session!
Spray tans are more expensive than 3minutes on the sunbed but is saving a few pound (literally!) worth risking your life for?
If you have any questions please feel free to email me on info@PrestigeNailsAndBeauty.co.uk


if you have a skin condition such as psoriasis sunbeds are extremely good for helping to clear your skin up, so think your comments only apply to people who abuse them, not people who use them for specific reasons and also follow the guidelines, so your comments are just inadequate and pointless, considering the question that was asked.
I have used sunbeds in the past to help stop me burning whilst on holiday as I am very fair. last year I did not use one just had a fake tan. I got really sunburnt on my scalp, crease of my armpit and backs of knees. I was told that I would have been better preparing my body a bit and as I am nearly 60 it is not such a problem. it is worse for people who have been burnt as children and young adults. Going from sitting in an office all day to being out in the sun all day, even with a sunblock, you are still exposed when sight seeing as often not any shade.
My advice would be don't use sunbeds! Not only will they irreversibly dry out your skin and prematurely age you, but you're also exposing yourself to very harmful rays which can cause skin cancer...the way forward is to go for sunless tanning. It's your choice at the end of the day, but do more research in to the cons of sunbeds. As far as I'm concerned there are no pros in their favour.
Are you really sure you want to do this? There is a proven link between sun bed use and malignant melanoma. Please reconsider!


No there isn't - in fact quite the opposite! Two major studies attempted to prove a causal link between sunbed use and melanoma and concluded there wasn't one! The largest increased risk in UV exposure to developing skin cancer is from burning in natural sunlight and medical UV units!!!