Do Tanning Beds Dehydrate You? Avoid Dry Skin with Tanning Lotion!

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Most people know that tanning beds are not the healthiest experience. But for many, UV rays make you look and feel better, activate vitamin D, and are beneficial to your bones and immune system.

Tanning beds are popular tanning methods that have been used by many for years. However, extreme heat from them can make you sweat. 

Do Tanning Beds Dehydrate You? Yes, they can, particularly your skin!

When you sweat, your body gets dehydrated, leaving you dizzy, tired, or even nauseated. As a result, it is critical to stay hydrated both before and after using tanning beds.


Do Tanning Beds Dehydrate You? What Are the Signs?

Tanning beds often lead to dehydration. Here are some signs that you need to get some water in you, and on your skin:

Tanning Bed Rash

Itchy skin after using a tanning bed is caused by dry skin missed with tanning lotions and possibly cleaning products. It’s also commonly called Tanning Bed Rash. UV radiation from tanning bed lamps typically dries out the skin’s outer layer, leaving it prickly, scaly, and itchy.

Overexposure to UV radiation in a short period can cause itchiness and skin rashes. The excess UV radiation prevents your skin from properly absorbing the UV rays, resulting in itchy skin burns.

Your skin could also itch after using a tanning bed that was not properly cleaned or sanitized.

Your skin could also itch after using a tanning bed that was not properly cleaned or sanitized.


While tanning can feel great and has known benefits for our mood and vitamin D levels, tanning beds can be harmful to the body, even in moderation.

If you feel dizzy after tanning, this could be due to tanning bed dehydration. When exposed to heat, the body prevents overheating by increasing blood flow to the skin and sweating. 

If you feel dizzy after tanning, this could be due to tanning bed dehydration. When exposed to heat, the body prevents overheating by increasing blood flow to the skin and sweating. 

Excessive use of these cooling mechanisms can result in dehydration, such as when using tanning beds. Some people overheat more easily than others.

The elderly, overweight people, young children, overweight people, and people with certain heart conditions are high-risk groups.


When you are in a tanning booth that is too hot for you, your body may become dehydrated, resulting in nausea.

Light sensitivity from medications such as birth control pills can also cause nausea after using a tanning bed. 

How To Keep Your Skin Hydrated After Tanning

1. Drink a Lot of Water After Tanning

Skin cells require a lot of water to function properly; otherwise, your skin will dry out. Not drinking enough water can dehydrate you, but so can using tanning beds for too long.

If you’re tanning, you should drink even more water before and after your sessions.

2. Moisturize Your Skin After Tanning

While drinking plenty of water will keep your body hydrated, tanning will cause your skin to dry out. After tanning, moisturize your skin to keep it healthy and hydrated by replacing the oil layers that protect your skin from water loss.

If you are prone to breakouts, use non-comedogenic moisturizers to avoid clogging your pores.

And it’s usually a good idea to shower before tanning!

3. Take Enough Breaks Between Tanning Sessions

Tanning is harmful to your skin, in the long run. We all know this. To minimize skin damage, leave enough time between tanning sessions to allow your skin to recover from tanning-induced drying.

If you must tan frequently, avoid tanning beds and instead use more modern tanning products like tanning waters and tanning drops (and plain ol’ sunlight). However, you should still moisturize your skin after using tanning waters and the like.

4. Use a Tanning Lotion 

To avoid dryness after tanning, tanning experts recommend tanning lotions. You must exfoliate your skin before applying any tanning lotion.

Exfoliating helps your skin shed off dead skin faster, leaving it soft and moisturized. Use only tanning lotions designed specifically for tanning beds.

5. Use a Hydration Station Before a Tanning Bed

A hydration station is a type of tanning bed used by tanning spas and salons to hydrate their client’s bodies before tanning. It speeds up the tanning process, extends the life of a tan, and protects them from the negative effects of tanning. 

A hydration station works well, especially for people with dry skin or skin that cannot retain moisture for an extended period. It keeps the skin’s surface moisturized, preventing dehydration while tanning.

6. Switch to Spray Tanning

Spray tanning is a method of self-tanning that involves spraying a tanning chemical mist on your skin. Spray tans contain dihydroxyacetone, which darkens your skin’s top layer. It is safer than tanning beds because it does not use UV rays. 

However, there are a few ingredients that you should avoid using after a spray tan because they may cause your tan to fade. Always ask your tanning professional for recommendations on appropriate moisturizers when getting a spray tan.


Excessive UV exposure from tanning beds can be extremely harmful and can lead to cancer, or wrinkles. However, many people still love their beds and understand the risks.

If you’re going to use a tanning bed, be sure to moisturize properly and try to mitigate the damage from the tanning bed.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).