Tanning Bed Time Chart: Skin Types & Recommended Minutes

Tanning Bed Time Chart

Confused about how much time is ideal for tanning bed sessions according to your skin type? You’re in good company. 

Many individuals are unaware that safe and productive indoor tanning hinges on tailoring exposure times to specific skin types. 

This article presents an invaluable Tanning Bed Time Chart, meticulously outlining the recommended durations for each skin type beneath the UV rays. 

Stay tuned to unravel the pathway to a flawless tan while upholding your skin’s well-being.

How Long Should I Spend in a Tanning Bed?

Tanning Bed Time Chart

Ivory Skin Type (Type 1)

Ivory skin, also known as Type 1, typically belongs to people with pale skin, red or very light blonde hair, and freckles. 

This skin type burns extremely quickly in the sun due to minimal melanin production and rarely tans.

Using a tanning bed can be risky for those with Type 1 skin because they are more susceptible to UV damage and have an increased risk of burning. 

Beige Skin Type (Type 2)

Beige Skin Type (Type 2) falls in the middle of the skin type spectrum, making it more tolerant to UV exposure than fair skin types. 

People with beige skin usually have a natural tan and can acquire a deeper tan with moderate sun or tanning bed exposure.

It is recommended for individuals with beige skin types to start with shorter tanning sessions, gradually increasing their time in the tanning bed as their skin builds up tolerance.

Medium Skin Type (Type 3)

Medium skin type (Type 3) has a higher tolerance for tanning and can spend slightly more time in the tanning bed compared to fairer skin types. 

This means that individuals with medium skin can gradually increase their tanning bed sessions and exposure time to achieve a deeper tan.

However, it is still important to start with shorter sessions and gradually build up the duration to avoid burning the skin. 

Olive Skin Type (Type 4)

Olive skin type, also known as Type 4, has a natural tan or olive complexion. 

This skin type is less prone to burning and can tolerate moderate sun exposure without getting too red or irritated.

People with this skin type usually have dark hair and brown eyes. 

When using a tanning bed, individuals with Type 4 skin can start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the time based on their skin’s response.

Honey Skin Type (Type 5)

Honey Skin Type, also known as Type 5, has a naturally darker complexion that tans easily and rarely burns. 

People with this skin type can spend longer amounts of time in the tanning bed compared to those with fairer skin tones.

Tips for Tanning Safely and Effectively

Tips for Tanning Safely and Effectively

Gradual Increase in Session Time

Initiate your tanning journey with brief sessions, progressively extending the duration as your skin establishes a base tan. 

This approach minimizes sunburn risk and fosters an even and lasting tan.

Utilize Indoor Tanning Products 

Elevate your tanning experience by employing indoor tanning lotions or moisturizers tailored for tanning beds. 

These products enhance skin hydration and optimize the tanning process, contributing to a radiant outcome.

Mindful Tanning Frequency

Exercise prudence in your tanning salon visits to avert excessive exposure to UV radiation. 

Adhering to recommended intervals between sessions is pivotal for maintaining skin health and maximizing results.

Pre-Tan Exfoliation 

Prep your skin for tanning bed sessions by exfoliating beforehand. 

This practice eradicates dead skin cells, ensuring an even and smooth tan that lasts longer.

Prioritize Eye Protection

Safeguard your eyes from UV rays by donning protective eyewear consistently. 

This step is crucial for preventing potential eye damage during tanning bed sessions.

Caring for Your Skin After Tanning Bed Sessions

Caring for Your Skin After Tanning Bed Sessions

Gentle Post-Tanning Cleansing: 

After your tanning bed session, prioritize skin care by delicately cleansing with a mild soap or cleanser. 

This step eradicates sweat, oils, and any residue from tanning lotions, facilitating a clean and refreshed complexion.

Hydrating with Care: 

To sustain your skin’s health and smoothness, gently pat dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing to prevent irritation. 

Follow this by applying a post-tanning bed moisturizer specially formulated to nurture your skin, maintaining its hydration and suppleness.

Stay Hydrated Inside Out: 

Support skin regeneration and counteract potential dryness from tanning by staying adequately hydrated. 

Drinking ample water throughout the day post-tanning aids your body’s overall health and contributes to skin vitality.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your skin stays healthy and beautiful even after indulging in some time at the tanning bed.


In summary, a profound comprehension of your unique skin type is paramount when engaging in tanning bed sessions. 

Adhering to the guidance provided by the tailored tanning bed time chart for your skin type is your pathway to realizing a stunning tan while evading the perils of burns and skin impairment. 

Safety should remain your constant companion throughout this journey, and if uncertainties arise regarding tanning bed exposure, seeking counsel from a professional is always a prudent choice.

 Your pursuit of a radiant tan can harmonize with responsible and informed skin care practices, yielding the best of both worlds.


How long does it take for fair skin to tan on a sunbed?

The number of tanning bed sessions it takes for fair skin to tan can vary widely based on factors such as your skin’s natural sensitivity, your tanning bed routine, and the specific tanning equipment used. 

Fair-skinned individuals tend to have less melanin, which means they need to take extra care to avoid sunburn and skin damage.

Can Type 1 skin ever tan?

While Type 1 skin may not tan in the traditional sense as darker skin types do, some individuals with Type 1 skin may experience a very subtle change in color after prolonged sun exposure. 

However, it’s much more recommended that this skin tone stick to sunless tanning such as self-tanner, bronzing lotion or spray tans for more noticeable and most importantly safer results.

Are you supposed to flip over in a tanning bed?

Yes, flipping over in a tanning bed is generally recommended to achieve an even tan. Tanning beds are designed with reflective surfaces that help distribute UV rays across your body. 

Flipping over halfway through the session ensures that both sides of your body receive relatively equal exposure to UV radiation, minimizing the risk of uneven tan lines.