Tanning is not just a hobby anymore. It has become the center of attention in the beauty and fashion world.

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Most licensed tanning salons will know not to use tanning oils in their tanning beds and will frown at the thought of it. A few unlucky individuals may have even had to face the consequences after using tanning oil in the beds.

Many of those who are new to tanning will ask: “Can you use tanning oil in a tanning bed?”.

The answer to that is no! This article will explain why you should never use tanning oil in a tanning bed.


Don’t use tanning oil on tanning beds! Tanning beds are usually made of acrylic. When exposed to mineral oils (a substance in tanning oils), acrylic will chemically react. This causes the tanning bed to slowly wear out and degrade. Instead of tanning oil, try to use tanning lotions specifically designed to be used in tanning beds. These two are my favourite:

With bronzer: Dark tanning lotion (Amazon)Without bronzer: Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses lotion (Amazon)
For those who are still not sure why tanning oil should not be used on tanning beds, the article below will answer all your questions.

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Table of Contents


Indoor Tanning: A Better Solution than Outdoor Tanning

Most of us will go to beaches to get a natural tan while enjoying the view of the sea. But what about those who don’t have the time or energy to hit the beach and relax?

Luckily for us, tanning salons and facilities are available almost anywhere. They provide artificial tans by using spray guns and tanning beds to give us that gorgeous bronze look.

Tanning beds use UV rays to trigger melanin production, which causes our skin to become darker. Most people also use tanning lotions and oils to speed up the process of artificial tanning.

Indoor tanning is considered better than outdoor tanning in lots ways:
It is simple and easy The results appear much faster There is no risk of burning your skin A better option if you are a busy person

What is Tanning oil made of?

In order to understand how tanning oil can damage your tanning bed, you must know what it is made of.

For those who have experience with tanning, you may already know the components of tanning oil but for those who don’t, here is a list of ingredients:

Melanin: This is a pigment in your skin which gives the skin its color. Melanin is produced by melanocytes and help prevent your skin from getting sunburnt. The more melanin produced, the darker your skin becomes. Although melanin is only produced when exposed to ultraviolet rays, tanning oils and lotions can also trigger the production of melanin. L-Tyrosine: L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that can convert into protein. In tanning oils, L-Tyrosine is converted into melanin by the help of certain nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6 and copper. L-Tyrosine can be found in your average tanning oil to help you tan faster. Tea oil: As the name suggests, tea oil is extracted from the tea tree. It has no effect on the tanning process but tea tree oil itself is well known for being therapeutic, antibacterial and able to speed up the process of healing. It is very good for your skin and its presence in your oil makes sure your skin is free of unwanted chemicals. Copper: If you remember reading above, copper is what helps L-Tyrosine convert into melanin. Green tea extracts: Helps prevent any effects the UV radiation may have on your skin. Mineral oils: This is one of the main components found in a tanning oil. On one hand, mineral oil allows the skin to absorb more UV rays than it normally would. On the other hand, this is the only component that makes the use of tanning oils in a tanning bed forbidden.

Using Tanning Oil in Tanning Beds

I am pretty sure everyone wants to get the most out of their tanning session. Tanning oil is very good for your skin when used during tanning as it helps you achieve the tan faster and protects your skin from any damage.

However, tanning oil contains mineral oil, which is absolutely lethal for tanning beds! Using it in a tanning bed is like giving chocolate to a puppy.

How does a tanning bed work?

When using a tanning bed, you will lie on a bed made of glass. This will help you get an even tan. The UV rays surround you and the glass bed to imitate the sun and trigger the production of melanin.

But why aren’t you and the glass bed affected by the heat? The beds are lined with acrylic that not only protect you from heat damage but also prevent the glass bed from shattering under so much pressure.

How Tanning Oil Damage Tanning Bed?

Mineral oil is a substance found in tanning oils that can severely damage tanning beds. The same mineral oil that helps your skin tan causes the acrylic lining of the beds to degrade, which can be very costly to repair.

On average, tanning beds can live up to 1000 hours but a single drop of mineral oil could damage the acrylic layer making it unsafe and useless.

What Now?

Now you’ve learned why you should never use tanning oil in a tanning bed. Even if you had the best tanning oil with you, your salon wouldn’t allow you to use it before tanning.

But, is there any way we can use tanning oil without damaging the tanning bed?

Tanning oils may be beneficial to your skin while tanning, even in tanning beds, but you should always check the contents of the oil before using it.

I have mentioned this many times throughout this article: mineral oils destroy tanning beds! If you really want to use a tanning oil while tanning, you have to make sure the oil does not contain mineral oil. The best option would be to consult with your salon manager.

The important thing is that most people only use tanning oil to get a base tan. You can easily get a base tan by going outdoors, even if you stay in the sun for a short period of time.

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Tanning lotions work great for indoor tanning sessions. Therefore, tanning salons promote many different types and brands of tanning lotions. We recommend using some of the best indoor tanning lotions on the market to help you tan. Tanning lotions won’t damage your tanning bed as the lotion doesn’t contain mineral oil. Using tanning lotion will help you achieve a beautiful tan and keep the salon owner happy.