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When you want a deeper, darker tan it’s tempting to sneak back to the tanning salon the day after your last tan. After all, more is better, right? Well, not so fast.
Can You Go Tanning Two Days in a Row? The answer to this question is no – you should not go tanning two days in a row. You should wait at least 3-5 days between tanning sessions before you hop into a tanning bed.
The truth is, tanning can be addictive (1).
But like all things, you can definitely overdo tanning and unfortunately, the side effects can, at best, not result in the skin appearance you were hoping for and at worst, be deadly.
But it’s not all bad news – you can deepen your tan without spending too much time in a tanning bed.
I’ll provide some of my favorite options later on in this article but first, let’s take a look at why you should not go tanning two days in a row.
Is It Dangerous To Use a Tanning Bed Two Days in a Row?
Yes, it is dangerous to use a tanning bed two days in a row.
Every time you use a tanning bed, you expose your skin to UV rays which can damage skin cells, causing them to mutate into potentially deadly skin cancers like melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.
You increase your risk substantially from just one tanning bed session (2), so using a tanning bed twice in two days is definitely not recommended.
Does Tanning Too Often Cause Wrinkles?
Here’s another reason why you should not go tanning two days in a row – wrinkles.
Tanning causes your skin to age faster because UV rays can the collagen in your skin. Collagen is what gives skin its elasticity. And can you guess what happens when skin loses its elasticity – that’s right, it gets wrinkly.
In addition to wrinkles, excessive tanning can cause age spots – those brown spots that are common on people over the age of 50. But regardless of your age, if you tan too frequently you greatly increase your chance of getting age spots.
What About Outdoor Tanning?
We’ve established that you should not go to a tanning bed two days in a row. But what about outdoor tanning? Is that safer? Is it ok to tan outdoors twice in a row?
Unfortunately, the answer is also no. The same dangers that exist from tanning beds also apply to tanning outdoors.
However, spending time in the sun does have some health benefits that tanning beds don’t provide (and it’s also doesn’t expose you to some nasties you may not have considered.)
Pros of Tanning Outdoors
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D, referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, is essential for healthy bones and immune system function.
Certain foods like fatty fish and eggs along with vitamin D supplements can help you reach your daily vitamin D requirement, but the best way to make sure you have enough vitamin D is through direct exposure to sunlight.
It’s recommended that most people get 10-30 minutes of midday sun, three times a week. (3)
And in case you were wondering – no, you cannot get enough vitamin D from a tanning bed. Your body needs UVB light to make vitamin D. Tanning beds emit UVA light.
- It’s Free
Unlike tanning beds, spending time outdoors in the sun is free. Of course, spending TOO much time in the sun is dangerous, but it’s much safer than a tanning bed.
After you’ve had your 10-30 minutes of direct sun exposure, make sure to follow proper safety precautions like using sunscreen and wearing light clothing.
- It’s Sanitary
Ready to be shocked and disgusted?
Did you know that tanning beds are like Petri dishes of bacteria, harboring everything from staph, lice, and herpes to athlete’s foot and feces? (4)
That’s right – when you use a public tanning bed you may be laying your naked body on someone else’s fecal matter, or worse.
“I’d like a side of lice with my tan” – said no one, ever.
But it’s not all bad news, I promise.
You can get a deep, dark tan relatively quickly and without the nasty (and sometimes deadly) side effects. The answer is by using a high-quality self-tanner.
Can You Use Self-Tanner Two Days in a Row?
Yes, you can use self-tanner two days in a row. This is the safest way to get a deep, dark tan.
In fact, there are many self-tanners that build up over time so using them daily is the best way to get a dark tan. You can see one of my favorites below.
Black Coconut Love Self Tanner
This tanning lotion is one of my favorites – I’ve been using it for years and I love the results. In addition to providing a deep, dark tan that you can build on over time, it has coconut butter and cocoa oil which keeps your skin super soft and silky.
Tanning two days in a row is not recommended – it can increase your risk of skin cancer, cause wrinkles, and premature aging, and increase your chances of being exposed to nasty bacteria like staph.
While it’s tempting to visit the tanning bed twice in a row, it’s best to go for a safer option like a high-quality self-tanning lotion.