How To Avoid Raccoon Eyes From Tanning

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Tanning using the powerful UV light from a tanning bed or tanning booth is a great solution to get a fast, beautiful tan. Those powerful tanning bed bulbs give you that rich bronzy color, and each session only lasts a few minutes. 

However, tanning under a tanning bed also has significant risks due to exposure to UV light. Proper protection for your eyes  must be used while tanning. But that means the skin around the eyes won’t be exposed and will be a different color than the rest of the skin. That could cause raccoon eyes from tanning

In this article, we’ll help you figure out why you sometimes develop raccoon eyes due to tanning. We will also give you some useful tips to avoid raccoon eyes. 


How Do You Get Raccoon Eyes From Tanning?

Tanning Goggles

When you describe someone who has raccoon eyes, it is usually due to the darker area around the eye. However, you don’t develop a darker area around the eye when tanning. Instead, you develop a lighter one. 

That’s why some people will call it a “reverse raccoon eye effect”.

Regardless, people are referring to the same frustrating look. 

Developing raccoon eyes from tanning happens when you use tanning goggles  or other No products found.

The protective eye covers are very effective at preventing UV light from penetrating them. That means your eyes plus the skin around them, which is covered by the tanning goggles, are also not exposed to UV light. 

That’s a really good thing! You can damage your eyes in a sunbed.

That prevents the skin around the eyes from tanning, which is why you have lighter skin around the eyes.

How To Prevent Raccoon Eyes From Tanning

Although protective eye covering is essential to tanning, some people dislike the raccoon eye effect that often comes with it. 

It looks awkward, and not at all what most people want.

However, that doesn’t mean you should skip using eye protection. You’d develop worse problems when you do that. 

Excessive UV light exposure to the eyes can eventually lead to blindness. It doesn’t immediately show, and may start as cataracts or other damage that isn’t obvious in the beginning. 

Keep your eyes protected but still avoid raccoon eyes with the following tips:

Move The Tanning Goggles Around

The reason why you develop raccoon eyes is that the area around the eye constantly doesn’t get exposed to UV light. 

One of the solutions is to move the tanning goggles around.

Moving the tanning goggles around will help expose some of the skin around the eyes to UV light. That exposure can help tan the area that wasn’t exposed and even out the tan around the eyes. 

But obviously, you can’t move them around too much without exposing the eyes themselves.

Use Disposable Eye Protection

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An alternative to tanning goggles is No products found.. These stickers are convenient, sanitary, and a bit smaller than tanning bed goggles.

Disposable eye protection stickers are used one time and then thrown away. They help with hygiene and also prevent raccoon eyes. 

Due to the smaller size of the sticker, it is more focused on covering your eyes. That helps better than the area around the eyes so you won’t have a bigger non-tanned area.

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Conceal Your Raccoon Eyes

If you’ve already got raccoon eyes due to tanning, the only thing to do is to conceal them. There are various makeup products that can help you even out the lighter area so it isn’t quite obvious. 

You can use foundation or highlighter so that you can blend the harsh line of whiter skin and tanned skin.

Double-check on the foundation you are using and make sure it is close to the shade of your skin that’s already tanned.

Get a Little Sun Exposure

If you’ve already got raccoon eyes, you can help things by getting a bit of sun exposure on your face. Even if it’s cold or cloudy, getting some sun on your face will help even out the raccoon eyes.

Use a Facial Sunless Tanner

You can balance out the shade difference by applying a little bit of sunless tanner for face use, in the areas that are too light. You can’t get too close to your eyes, but you may be able to lessen the effect with the sunless tanner.


Raccoon eyes can develop after tanning on a tanning bed, (or potentially if you’re tanning at the beach wearing big UV-blocking sunglasses). The effect is caused by the use of tanning goggles. They effectively cover your eyes, plus the skin around them too.

By preventing UV light from reaching your eyes, goggles protect your eyes. But the downside is that the skin around the eyes isn’t tanned, making it lighter than the tanned face. 

Although tanning goggles can cause you to develop raccoon eyes, tanning goggles are a must if you’re using a bed. It is better to keep your eyes protected so you don’t go eventually blind, develop cataracts, or other eye problems. 

A way to prevent yourself from developing raccoon eyes is to move the tanning goggles around. In that way, the skin is exposed so it tans better and is even out. There isn’t a harsh line between the tanned area and the area that has not been tanned. 

If the raccoon eyes are already there, then all you can do is cover it up. You can blur the harsh tan lines by making use of makeup. Just make sure that shade matches your current shade. 

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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).