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You may have heard about tanning lamps and considered using them to achieve your desired look. They become popular among men and women who want to improve their appearance. But are they safe? Are there any risks involved? And how do they work?

These questions are as important as selecting the device for tanning. There are so many options available on the market, so it can be struggling to choose the best one. But Heliotherapy Institute can provide you with information about the best models and reviews. Also, there is much information about the benefits of light therapy for overall health.

This article will provide proven information about tanning lamps and their pros and cons. Also, we will provide several tips for safe use.

About tanning lamps

The UV rays from lamps can cause tanning on the skin, so people use them to achieve a bronzed skin tone. However, there is some controversy about the safety of these devices. Some studies show that they can increase the risk of developing skin cancer, while other studies have found no such link.

There are two basic types of tanning lamps: 

  • Those that emit UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and cause a tan. 
  • Those that emit primarily UVB rays, which only penetrate the outer layer of the skin and mainly cause sunburn.

How do they work?

Tanning lamps emit ultraviolet radiation, the same type as the sun. When this radiation hits your skin, it causes your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. The more melanin in your skin, the darker it looks.

You can use tanning lamps in two ways: as a stand-alone unit or as part of a tanning bed. 

Stand-alone units are typically smaller and less expensive than tanning beds, but they can be just as effective. 

Tanning beds are more extensive and usually have multiple lamps to cover more of your body at once. They also tend to be more expensive than stand-alone units.

Benefits of using a tanning lamp

There are several advantages of using tanning lamps, that’s why they have become so popular in a few years. Let’s check them all.

1. Use it anytime you want

It is one of the best things about having a tanning lamp. You can use it any time you want without worrying about the weather or the time of day. If you have a busy schedule, this can be a huge advantage.

It is more convenient than other tanning methods, such as sunbathing or going to a tanning salon. You can use a tanning lamp in the comfort of your own home, and there is no need to make an appointment or travel anywhere.

Another benefit of using tanning lamps is that you can control your exposure. It allows you to avoid overexposure and the associated risks, such as skin cancer or sunstroke.

2. Quick and even tan

The main positive of using a tanning lamp is that you can get a quick and even tan without having to spend hours in the sun. It is advantageous if you want to get a tan before an important event or trip.

Tanning lamps also provide a more intense level of UV rays than the sun so that you can achieve your desired level of tanning in fewer sessions. It can save you time and money in the long run.

3. Cure some skin conditions

If you have certain skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or vitiligo, your doctor may recommend UV light therapy as part of your treatment plan. Tanning lamps can help improve these conditions’ appearance by reducing inflammation and increasing cell turnover. 

There is evidence that tanning lamps help in acne treatment. UV rays can kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce breakouts.

4. Boost vitamin D absorbtion

Tanning lamps provide an easy and convenient way to boost vitamin D levels. It is essential for many bodily functions, including bone health, immunity, and brain development. A lack of vitamin D has been linked to several health problems, such as depression, osteoporosis, and cancer.

However, it is essential to note that you should not rely on tanning beds as your only source of vitamin D. You should still get out in the sun every day to ensure that you get enough amount of it.

5. Increase your confidence

A bronze glow can make you feel more confident in your appearance. If you don’t like how you look with pale skin, a tan can give you a whole new perspective of yourself. You may find that you love how you look with a sun-kissed complexion and feel more confident. 

Finally, some people find indoor tanning gives them a more natural tan than sunbathing. It is because the ultraviolet rays in lamps are more evenly distributed on the skin than in sunlight.

Drawbacks of using tanning lamps

While there are some potential benefits to using tanning lamps, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of. If you consider using a tanning lamp, it’s essential to weigh the risks and benefits carefully. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether this treatment is proper for you. 

1. Risk of sunburns

Tanning lamps can cause sunburn because of emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation. As with natural sunlight, it increases with the time spent in front of them. If you use it, limit your time in front of the tanning lamp to avoid sunburns.

2. Stimulation of skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most significant danger if you misuse the tanning lamp. Here are some things you need to know about them:

  • They emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
  • It can cause genetic damage to the skin cells, which may lead to skin cancer. 
  • People who use tanning lamps are more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
  • Tanning lamps also increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma.

Please, keep in mind this information before you use the tanning lamp.

3. Speed up the aging process

One of the most significant cons of indoor tanning is that it can speed up aging. The ultraviolet (UV) light emitted by tanning lamps causes damage to the skin cells, which leads to wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. In addition, there is a risk of hyperpigmentation, which becomes permanent, especially if you have dark skin.

4. One of the forms of addiction

It’s essential to remember that tanning lamps can be addictive. Though it may not sound as serious as other types of addiction, it can be just as harmful to your health. 

  • The UV rays emitted by these lamps trigger the release of endorphins in your brain, giving you a sense of euphoria. 
  • It can lead to people using tanning lamps more frequently than they should, which increases their risk of skin cancer and other health problems.
  • Many people become addicted to the feeling of a “tan high.” They feel more confident with a darker skin tone and enjoy the attention of others.

5. Eye damage

Another concern with using tanning lamps is eye damage. The UV rays emitted by these lamps can cause severe damage to your eyes called photokeratitis, similar to a sunburn on the retina. It leads to cataracts and macular degeneration. It can lead to pain, redness, and swelling of the eyes. In extreme cases, it can even cause temporary blindness.

While it is true that too much exposure to UV rays can damage your eyes, this is only a risk if you do not use the proper eye protection. It’s crucial to wear protective eyewear when using a tanning lamp to avoid this type of damage.

Tips for safe use of tanning lamps

As you understand, tanning lamps are such kinds of devices that you should use wisely to avoid all risks. If you choose to use it, follow all manufacturer’s instructions carefully. That’s why we collected some tips for you to use it safely:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
  • Don’t stay in the rays for more than 20 minutes.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Always wear eye protection.
  • Moisturize your skin with lotion before and after tanning.
  • Don’t wear cosmetics during the sessions. It can stimulate irritation and allergic reactions.
  • Start with short sessions and slowly increase the time under the lamp.
  • If you feel any discomfort on the skin, stop the tanning session immediately.

And remember, moderation is key – don’t overdo it!


The use of tanning lamps is a hotly debated topic. Some people believe they are safe and provide an efficient way to get a sun-kissed look, while others worry about the potential risks associated with their use. Tanning lamps can be a great way to get a quick and even tan, but there are some things you need to know before you buy one. We have collected all the necessary information about these devices. Make sure you research and understand the pros and cons of using a tanning lamp before purchasing.

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