Health Aspects

Tanning Once a Week – Is It Safe?

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It’s almost summertime, and you know what that means: sundresses, shorts, and swimsuits! No matter how buff or bikini ready your body might be, we all know that bitter truth, don’t we? Super white, pale skin is not a pretty sight.

I’m part Irish, Swedish, and French. I have skin so white that you literally need sunglasses to look at it. White skin like mine burns like crazy after only a few minutes in the sun. I started using a tanning bed in my mid-20, and I have never regretted it.

You will hear dozens of horror stories online about how dangerous tanning beds are and how no tan is safe, but this isn’t really true. The thing is, you need to learn how to do not just safe tanning, but safer tanning.

Let me answer some common questions and explain how tanning in moderation can help you.

Will Using a Tanning Bed Give Me Cancer?

  • It could if you don’t use it too much. Don’t buy those “unlimited tanning session” deals, as those only encourage you to tan more than is safe. We will talk about the safe number of tans in a bit.

What are the FDA’s Tanning Recommendations?

  • This is something I would like to point out. The FDA does NOT ban tanning beds. They have very clear statements about how often you can/should use them.

Are Indoor Tanning Lights Bad for You if You Use Them Only Twice Per Week?

  • No. Only if you are allowing yourself to get a sunburn. See my discussion below about how to tan once per week safely.

How to Safely Tan Once Per Week

First, everyone’s skin is different. A good tanning salon will help you determine your skin color or type. Those with white skin like mine will take longer to tan than those with olive-toned skin.

I want to say that if you are getting burned (red skin a few hours after you tan), you need to cut back on the length of time or increase the number of days between sessions. You should never, ever burn.

You need to build up the melanin in your skin slowly. You might start off by doing 6-minute sessions three times per week. Again, let the salon help you determine what your particular skin tone needs.

Once you reach the level of tan that you are happy with, you can maintain it by using your tanning bed once per week.

Be Patient!

It might take you 6 months or more to reach the tan level you want to achieve. Don’t rush it by trying to do longer sessions or by going more often. It’s okay and safer to take your time!

Is Tanning Once per Week Enough?

It should be enough after you have reached your goal. Remember that you will also be getting some natural sunlight, which will help maintain your beautiful tan.

The Bottom Line

Get your base tan slowly, and then maintain it through a weekly session. Never Tan if you are under 18, and remember that going underexposure to sunlight/UV rays is just as dangerous as overexposure. Practice moderation in all things!

How about you?

Did you practice tanning once a week or more often? Please share your experience in the comments below!

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