The Golden Rules of Tanning

The Golden Rules of Tanning – Make the most of your minutes

Are you achieving that deep, dark or warm, summer glow you desire? Here are some simple rules you can apply to optimise your tan and protect your body from overexposure. Whether you are a frequent tanner or just preparing for a special event, these golden tanning rules are extremely important.

1.Choose your salon carefully.

UV tanning, in a controlled and professional environment, can be one of the best skin-care and overall health beneficial activities you can indulge in. However, we must stress the importance of the ‘controlled and professional environment’. When choosing your salon you should always query the following:

    • Are the staff trained? Can they give you tailored, individual tanning advice on your skin type?
    • Is the salon and the sunbed clean?
    • Does the sunbed look safe? When were its lamps last changed?
    • And perhaps most importantly, are the sunbeds 0.3 compliant? If you are used to a 0.3 compliant sunbed you may overestimate how long you can use a non-compliant sunbed and potentially burn yourself.


The Sunbed Association (TSA) has a salon locator that only lists TSA approved salons, simply put in your postcode here to find the closest one to you.

2.Know your skin type. 

Ultimately it is you, the tanner, who is responsible for your own safety. Therefore, it is important that you know your own skin type. Are you type 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6? The length and frequency of your tanning sessions will depend on your skin type.

3.Decide your tanning goals.

Your tanning goals will depend on your skin type and also your motive for tanning. Are you preparing your skin for a holiday? Going for the darkest colour possible? Or perhaps using sunbeds as a source of vitamin D whilst maintaining a healthy, summer glow? Adjust the length and frequency of your tanning sessions accordingly. Your local salons staff should be able to personally help you with this.

4.Cover up sensitive areas and do not burn your skin! 

Like many things in life, it is better to under do it than to over do it. Always stay on the safe side and do not overexposure yourself to UV light. Even if you do want a dark colour, you can only tan so fast. Let your  your skin get used to tanning slowly. You should notice that you will develop a deeper, longer lasting tan this way.

5.Take breaks between your tanning sessions

It may be tempting to try and speed up the tanning process by having more tanning sessions. However, as mentioned, your skin takes time to adapt. Allow a minimum of 48 hours to pass before tanning again, indoors or outdoors. This is the amount of time required for skin to create melanin and a tan.

Dark tanning accelerator6.Always use tanning lotions.

By using a indoor tanning lotion indoor you will develop a deeper, longer lasting tan! Lotions achieve this by increasing the blood flow to the skin, hydrating the skin, and by providing rejuvenation & anti-oxidation. In addition, some lotions contain bronzers such as:

    • Natural bronzers to speed up the natural production of melanin.
    • Delayed bronzers (with DHA) that oxidise existing melanin.
    • Cosmetic colouring bronzers that dye your skin browner.

Tingle lotions can be used carefully to provide more oxygen to the tanning process, but they should not be used on sensitive areas such as the face. They are normally used on hard-to-tan areas such as the legs. Always consult the salon staff if you are thinking of using a new tingle lotion for the first time.

TOP TANNING TIP: Remember, smooth, healthy and well-moisturised skin absorbs UV light, whilst dry and wrinkled skin reflects UV light. A tanning lotion flattens out and hydrates your skin – meaning that a tanning session with professional lotion can be up to twice as effective as without. Always buy your tanning lotion in a tanning salon after seeking professional advice from the staff.

7.Protect your eyes.

Unfortunately it is not sufficient to just shut your eyes during a tanning session. UV light easily penetrates your eyelids’ thin layer of skin, damaging your eyes. It is extremely important that you wear goggles or stickers that provide a broad-spectrum protection towards both UVA and UVB. Read more about the importance of eye protection here.

8.Is it better to shower before or after a tanning session?

A shower before your tanning session is preferable as it ensures your skin is clean and ready to absorb the tanning lotion. It is also worth noting that some tanning lotions use delayed and/or cosmetic bronzers, that need at least 4 hours on the skin to give optimal results. Showering immediately afterwards washes away the hydration and bronzers provided by the lotions. If you do need to shower soon after, just make sure you use a good moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated.

9.Moisturise and keep hydrated Screenshot 2015-11-17 10.43.20

Keeping your skin hydrated will dramatically increase the length of your tan. When tanning indoor or outdoors, the skin loses moisture, often becoming dry. Use a good daily moisturiser after tanning, showering and exercise to keep the skin hydrated. We recommend Australian Gold’s Moisture Lock and Tan Extender.

10. Respect your fellow tanners.

Always remember that you are sharing the facilities with other tanners. It is important to relax and enjoy the session whilst being efficient and clean. It should go without saying, but leave the facilities how you would like to find them.