This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them, you’re helping to support this site in a small way, and we appreciate that! See our full disclosure policy HERE.
Let’s skip the lecture where you tell me that no one should use Indoor Tanning and that it’s not safe, and pale skin is healthy skin, and that I’m going to regret this one day when I have skin cancer. There, I think that covered most of it. Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about how you can get the most out of our your monthly tanning package!
Indoor Tanning can be expensive, but there are several tips I’ve learned over the years from experience, and from salon owners to get the best bang for your buck. There are steps that every person who tans should follow, whether you’re an expert or a newbie, and I’m going to share those too! Obviously the idea of tanning is to get dark fast, without burning, and to do it all safely and affordably. It can be done, and I do it!
If you want to tan with a tanning bed (ie Indoor Tanning) then you NEED to be using a bronzing lotion. Now there are some things you need to watch out for. First off, don’t buy cheap crap lotions, unless you want to be orange. Unless you’re an Oompa Loompa, you don’t want to be orange. Secondly, buy new, don’t buy used. Thirdly, and this was kind of covered in my first point, but don’t buy your tanning lotion from Walmart, or use one meant for outdoor tanning. Fourth, unless you want your lotion to be super tingly and hot while you tan, don’t buy one with a tingle.
These are some of my favorite lotions that help you get that beautful golden brown, but are affordable and if you buy them from Amazon from these reputable sellers, you can save 50% off buying them at the tanning salon. Moist skin will tan, dry skin will burn. ALWAYS use lotion.
Black Chocolate Coconut Cream is my current favorite and what I’m using right now. It smells amazing and leaves you a pretty golden color so fast! It runs about $20/bottle and lasts me a whole month of tanning.
Solid Black is a lotion I used for a long time and I really like it too! It’s really affordable and smells great! It runs about $16/bottle and will also last me about a month.
Somewhere on a Beach is also a great lotion and smells awesome. This one tans you pretty quickly, but runs a few more dollars than the Black Chocolate Coconut Cream lotion does at $23/bottle.
Now, I do use an after-sun lotion that you can grab at Walmart, or just add to your cart on Amazon from Hawaiian Tropic that smells SO good. After-sun isn’t AS imortant, but it will get a burn to leave faster, and help a tan sink in better. Keeping your skin moist is basically the rule of thumb here.
I know a monthly package can give you sticker shock (speaking of stickers, always use the little free tanning stickers from day one of tanning, and put it in the same place every time and you’ll see how fast you tan!). If you’re trying to get tan for a specific event like a wedding (wait, have you checked out some of our wedding tips and DIYS yet?!), homecoming, prom, vacation (no one wants to go to Florida (go there CHEAP!!) with thighs as white as the sands they’re walking on) etc, this is the best way to go. When your event is just over a month away, go in and buy your tanning package for the next month. Most salons will have your package start that day, so be sure you’ve already ordered your lotion and come prepared to tan when you sign up.
The reason you need a monthly tanning package, is because they’re typically unlimited and you can go as many times in a week as you want. THIS is how you get tan in a single month. The trick is to literally tan every day that they’re open. If you don’t tan in a tanning bed on a regular basis, you need to be careful your first week or you’ll burn. Even if you tan outside easily, or part of you is pretty tan, you have parts of you that are NOT tan and those couple extra minutes Indoor Tanning will burn you and then you’ll have to wait to tan again until your burn is gone. That’s not only a waste of time, it’s also a waste of money.
My suggestion? Sign up for a level two package. If you have a very pale complexion, start off with five minutes. If you don’t burn, then increase by a minute the next day. If you don’t burn, increase by a minute each day until you reach 8 minutes. Tan at 8 minutes for three days, then bump it up to 9 minutes. Tan at 9 minutes for three days, then bump it up to 10 minutes. Stay at 10 minutes for 4-5 days, as long as you’re not burning. Gradually work your way up to full time throughout the month, which should be 15 minutes. It’s always best to start off with a smaller number than you think would be safe, so you don’t burn. DO NOT go Indoor Tanning if you’re already sunburned or if you get sunburned while tanning. Just wait. Trust me.
Tips and Tricks
Wear Rubber Gloves
When you put on your tanning lotion, wear rubber gloves to do so. My skin absorbs color pretty easily, and even if I wipe off my palms with a baby wipe before getting in the tanning bed, my palms still get orangey. I use rubber gloves while applying the lotion, and it’s never an issue. It’s weird, but it works for me.
Once a week use a salt scrub on your skin. This will get any dead skin off and help you tan faster.
Tan lines suck. Just tan naked. Use lotion on your whole body. “I love getting in the shower and being blinded by my own skin!”, said no one ever. Tan fat looks better than white fat, that’s my motto. Tan it all, baby. If you do tan naked, about halfway through your tan, roll on your side and put your hands behind your head to make sure youre not missing any spots.
Don’t Wear Makeup
Not in general, just while you tan. Most salons will have a place for you to apply makeup after you get done with your Indoor Tanning, or will have a mirror in the room. Tanning etiquette: don’t spend twenty minutes getting ready after you’re done tanning in your room. Get your clothes on, put on some deodorant, and get out, because people are waiting to use that room. Anyway, don’t wear makeup because your face won’t tan as well with makeup on. Make sure you put some lotion on your face though, so it’s nice and moist and will tan and not burn.
I hope this helps you get the most bang out of your buck. If you tan on a regular basis, and have any tips to share that I didn’t, feel free to leave them in the comments for the benefit of all! Here’s to being tan!