How to tan your legs in a tanning bed?

How to tan your legs in a tanning bed?

Do you want tanned legs? Tanning is the procedure of exposing your skin to ultraviolet radiation in order to darken and even out the tone of your natural skin color.

What if you want a healthy tan especially on your legs. However, you may have to wait a long time before your legs tan compared to other areas of your body.

To get perfect tanned skin you need to know some tips.

So, in this article, we'll go over how to tan your legs with the greatest effectiveness and how to do it correctly with a comprehensive guide.

Also, you get to know the benefits, steps, causes of tan legs, tanning tips, timing, causes of dark legs, and the best self-tanners for your legs.

By applying these techniques you'll achieve a perfect summer glow without putting yourself at risk.

Table of Contents

Is it effective to tan legs in a tanning bed?

Yes, Tanning beds will leave plenty of time for the ultraviolet radiation to penetrate deep into your skin and darken it. While this process is not as quick as using a self-tanner.

It gives you even results over your whole body compared to laying out in the sun where tan lines are common.

Some tanning salons do not allow customers to wear swimming trunks while tanning. Instead, you'll need to wear a thong or avoid wearing anything at all which makes the legs work much faster.

If you have a spray-on booth then apply a generous amount to your leg muscles. And any other areas that never see much sunlight such as the inside of your thighs or ankles.

You can also use an airbrush machine just make sure you use a lot of oil-free sunscreens, so your spray tan doesn't streak.

How long should you tan your legs?

Before tanning your legs, wash them with soap and water. You need to clean any dirt from the knees down so you don't cause an infection.

Make sure you have trimmed any long nails as this can damage a tanning bed, and finally moisturize dry areas of your skin such as the ankles and elbows.

It is ideal for beginners to begin by lying in a tanning bed for five minutes at least over two sessions. After the first time try increasing your time by ten minutes each session till you reach twenty minutes per session.

This limits the chances of getting burned or ending up with irregularly colored patches on your skin.

Tanning beds come equipped with timers that make it easy to keep track of how long you have been in the bed.

A timer counts down from twenty minutes and you should only stay in the bed till it runs out of time.

Scrubs make your skin absorb more ultraviolet radiation. This makes them even more effective at tanning your legs.

You can buy a scrub or simply mix two tablespoons of sea salt with a tablespoon of lotion, one teaspoon of apricot oil, and a teaspoon of glycerin.

Which is used to create an exfoliating scrub that is great for tanning your legs fast.

You'll need to shower after tanning to wash off any excess salt mixture or oil. If you want fast results use the scrub every day until you get the desired color on your legs.

But make sure you don't stay in the sun for too long after applying it. 

This scrub will make your skin fairly dark in one session, but it gives much faster results than when using this method over time when you want an even tan (the scrub can be used for weeks).

Why do legs need more time for tanning than as usual?

tanning bed for your legs

The problem with tanning your legs is that you don't have much time before the skin on your legs gets burned.

Remember that the upper thigh and the backs of the knees get less exposure to ultraviolet radiation than other areas such as the face, arms, and back.

People normally take more time when they want to get a darker tone or even out their tan. But when you want to only tan your legs, then you have some limited time before the skin on your thighs gets burned.

However, certain aspects of the process are responsible for delaying leg tanning.

Melanin Levels

If you have lower melanin levels, then you may tan a lot slower than someone who has a high melanin level.

Genetic Predispositions

Legs burn from ultraviolet radiation quickly, and this depends on your genetic predisposition to burning from the sun.

People with fair skin are more likely to burn easily in comparison with people with dark skin. Also, if you have naturally red hair, then your skin will be more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation.

Age of the Skin

Another reason for slower tanning is that older people produce less melanin than younger people, which makes their skin less pigmented and easier to burn in the sun.

This genetic predisposition only changes over time, so you can't get a tan without burning at first.

Thicker Skin

Another reason why you will burn on the first one or two times is that the skin on your legs may be thicker than in other areas.

For example, on many people's shins, they have bumps known as "goosebumps". The bumps are caused by thick hair growing out of the skin. Which makes it hard for ultraviolet radiation to penetrate through to create a tan color.

The Solution

Since legs burn too quickly with ultraviolet radiation. Then there's not much time for them to get tanned in comparison with other parts of the body.

You can try using lower levels of ultraviolet radiation on your legs. If this is your only concern. But make sure you protect yourself from getting burned during this process.

But what can you do to avoid it?

The only way for people with lower melanin levels and fair skin to avoid getting burned is by using a sunscreen lotion. Which protects your skin from ultraviolet radiation.

The best thing about these sunscreens is that they also contain chemicals that make the skin darken after exposure to the sun. And this makes sure you don't get burned even if you spend hours in the sun.

How to tan your legs in a tanning bed?

To use a tanning bed for your leg tanning, you should start using the lowest effective level of ultraviolet radiation. And spend only a few minutes in the bed until you get a darker skin tone.

Which is better than spending hours and risking getting burned. Most people use tanning beds to get a dark enough tone on their legs. So they don't have to fake bake all summer long.

Get ready the skin

Before going for bed tanning, the leg should be exfoliated. Because the skin gets darker in a few hours, it is very important to get rid of dead skin cells and leave behind fresh ones for new pigmentation.

In summer, when legs are exposed too much to the sun, you will notice some dry patches on your leg because of this it is difficult to apply makeup or fake tan

Maintain Proper Guideline

When using tanning beds, always use reputable practitioners. Because they know about the process and how to reduce your risk. So you can get an expected result without any side effects.

Perfect clothing

Make sure your clothes don't interrupt the tanning process. Especially when you get out of the tanning bed. You should wear something light and airy so you don't smell the chemicals from the tanning beds.

Leg makeup

After using a tanning bed, legs will be darker in color, which makes it easy for them to look fake or orange. So make sure you use proper leg makeup and blend it in with your skin tone.

To become dark like brunches:

If you want to become dark like brunches, then you need to know about their habits and lifestyle. That gives them such a strong sun protection factor.

Natural ingredients they use also play an important role in protecting their skin cells from ultraviolet radiation damage.

Secured Tanning Room

If it is required to be naked and if the tanning room is secured then go for it. but if not then it's better not to go because you can't get the tanning result to your own satisfaction.

So If required to take off your clothes while tanning then secure yourself in a room before taking off your clothes.

Quick Start Guide with Tanning Bed:

  1. Purchase/Go for a tanning bed
  2. Clean the bed thoroughly before use to get rid of any bacteria or mold spores
  3. Put on sunscreen before you go in the tanning bed, and reapply every two hours while you're inside 
  4. Wear loose-fitting clothes that are dark in color so they don't show up when your skin is darker than usual 
  5. Take breaks from being in the tanning bed if it's too hot for you - five minutes every hour should be enough time 
  6. Don't stay in the tanning bed too long at a time without taking a break, even if it means going back after a few hours instead.

Things to consider before tanning in the tanning bed

There are a lot of benefits to doing a tanning session while it might be your legs or your full body. As we have listed some main points here.

Don't Wax After Tan

Don't wax your leg after tanning. Because it will take more time to grow hair. Waxing is very painful for hair removal.

So if you are thinking about waxing after tanning then don't because it will take double the time for hair growth.

Hair falls out

A lot of people have experienced hair falling after tanning and this might be because they didn't properly exfoliate skin before going in for a tanning bed session.

So make sure you exfoliate your leg skin properly before tanning, it will prevent your skin from getting damaged and peeling off.

Greasy Skin

If you want to get rid of greasy skin the best way is by using body scrubs and toners which help remove dead cells to create a smooth base for sunless tanner application.

How to Tan Your Legs Fast at Home?

If you want to tan your legs then you can use self-tanning lotions for that. Self-tanners are skincare products that help you develop the most even, natural-looking fake tan.

To make sure they look great on your leg, always remember to exfoliate before applying any self-tanner product.

If these tips are followed properly then you would be able to achieve desired results without having any major or minor side effects.

Be careful while using a tanning bed don't go above limits. Because it will damage your skin for many years and not only that but also increases chances of melanoma by 80 percent according to dermatologists.

Always wear protective clothing especially when going out in the sun too much time. Because it will protect you from harmful UV rays.

Don't ever hesitate to consult with any professional if you have a question in mind. Because they are here to help protect your skin from damage and for a healthy life ahead.


At the end of the article, It's quite clear that the procedure of using a tanning bed is effective in common cases for the skin. That's why we should follow proper guidelines while using it.

So we highly recommend you consult with a dermatologist before going into a tanning bed. And if you have any sort of questions then feel free to ask your doctor and for any issues feel free to contact us through comments. We would love to help you out with this.

DISCLAIMER: does not provide medical advice, examination, and diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.