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15 Minutes in Tanning Bed is Equivalent to How Long in the Sun?

15 Minutes in Tanning Bed is Equivalent to How Long in the Sun?

15 minutes in a tanning bed is equivalent to about 2 – 3 hours in direct sunlight. Against popular opinion or belief, using a sun bed is really not a direct alternative to being exposed to direct sunlight on a hot day.

Notably, the UV rays that are used in sunbeds are indeed six times more intense than direct sunlight. When you use a sun bed, the UV rays are far more concentrated, and to achieve the same results you need to be in the sun longer. Tanning beds use fluorescent bulbs that release UVA and a smaller amount of UVB.

They do this to mimic the effects of sunlight, resulting in a more natural looking tan. However, tanning beds damage your skin just like the sun does.

It doesn’t matter where it’s from. UV radiation is dangerous for your skin. According to reports, tanning beds are said to be twice as dangerous as the midday Mediterranean sun. And the World Health Organization notes that they are as damaging as cigarettes when it comes to cancer risk.

That is more or less the primary reason why places like Brazil and New South Wales, Australia have entirely banned the use of tanning beds, and many other places have outlawed them for minors. So, in general, tanning beds are worse for you than the sun but both damage your skin.

If you’re someone who can’t be in the sun for long, then you really shouldn’t be spending a long time in a sun bed. Staying far away from a tanning salon is the best thing, but there’s a lot more you can do to protect yourself. Protecting your skin doesn’t mean living in a cave. You can still get out there and enjoy the sun. It’s all about being prepared.

Pros and Cons of Using Tanning Beds

A tanning bed is one of the best methods you can use to have a radiant, smooth, and dark skin tone. Note that this bed emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation that helps in toning your skin complexion. However, before using a tanning bed, consider these pros and cons to know whether it’s good for you or not.


  1. First and foremost, you can use tanning beds at any time of the day. The procedure can be carried out any time you want to look great or when you want to have radiant skin for a party.
  2. Have it in mind that the tanning procedure when using tanning beds is done in such a way that you don’t have any blotchy spots in your skin owing of the ultraviolet radiation. A tanning professional will handle the tanning bed to ensure the UV is evenly distributed and you don’t have any patches or uneven tan.
  3. Just like the UV from sunlight, UV radiation from tanning beds lets your body absorb vitamin D which is necessary for boosting blood concentration. The absorbed vitamin D also helps in regulating levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
  4. Also, note that people with skin conditions like dermatitis can use a medically supervised treatment using tanning beds. Although note that doctors don’t recommend self-treatment for dermatitis at the commercial centers.
  5. Using a tan makes you feel good and more beautiful, and it also can boost your self-confidence.
  6. Also, have it in mind that lying in a tanning bed is relaxing and super comfortable as you would feel very well while the bed does its work on your skin. The ultraviolet light and cosmetic tan perform better in a relaxed body and that is what the bed offers.
  7. A tanning bed prompts the formation of Vitamin D in the body as it is very necessary for healthy living. Vitamins are quite deficient in light persons who stay in cold regions and don’t get heat from the sun. With a tanning bed, there would be increased production of this Vitamin.
  8. Recent reports have shown that lack of sunlight isn’t ideal for psychological health. A tanning bed functions in almost the same way as sunlight and improves the psychological health of a person when he/she lays on it.
  9. A tanning bed also makes your skin look shiny and nice which is the major goal and benefit.
  10. With a tanning bed, you wouldn’t experience sunburns


  1. Note that using tanning beds can cause skin rashes, itching, dizziness, and nausea. If you have sensitive skin, you may feel some skin irritation when you use tanning beds.
  2. Also, the UV radiation emitted by the tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma (a skin cancer condition). According to experts, steady use of tanning beds will expose you to a lot of radiation that has a negative effect on your health in the long run.
  3. A good number of body skins do not react well with ultraviolet light as it instantly causes blisters and continuous itching. A lot of bad stuff that can happen with using the tanning bed as they would make you uncomfortable.
  4. A tanning bed can also result in eye damage and can be very fatal. This is as a result of the ultraviolet light that is infused into your skin. In a short time, you may start experiencing eye diseases like keratitis and conjunctivitis.
  5. Frequent use of tanning beds causes skin inflammation, which then leads to irritation and that makes the whole complexion change process fruitless.
  6. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause skin burns. Unprofessional tanning operators may not really know how to handle the tanning beds and may not be in a position to offer first aid in case of skin burns.
  7. Frequent exposure to the UV radiation will make your skin lose its elasticity and this may lead to premature wrinkling or sagging skin.
  8. Also, note that people who use tanning beds may develop an addiction that requires them to use tanning beds more often. Tanning beds are also associated with body dysmorphic disorder which is more or less a psychological disorder.
  9. Have it in mind that tanning beds cause premature aging because of the effect of ultraviolet light on the skin. This light is known to damage the skin DNA which automatically leads to premature aging which isn’t nice.
  10. Also know that tanning bed when used for a while weakens the immune system of the body as a result of the ultraviolet light. This is not nice because when the immune system becomes weak, the body becomes exposed to dangerous diseases.

Pros and Cons of Direct Sun Tanning

Sun Tanning, commonly referred to as Sunbathing, which is the act of sitting or lying in the sun, sometimes with the intent to tan, has some health benefits if done properly.

Even though there is a major difference between going outside for 10 minutes without sunscreen and regularly spending time in a tanning bed. Nonetheless, here are the pros and cons of this tanning style.


  1. According to experts, fewer symptoms of depression may be reported after spending time in the sun. Sunlight it is believed prompt the brain to release the hormone serotonin, which can boost mood and promote feelings of calm. Even without depression, spending time in the sunshine will likely boost mood.
  2. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which leads to stronger bones and may help to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.
  3. Vitamin D also helps the body combat diseases, including heart disease, muscle sclerosis, the flu, and certain autoimmune diseases and cancer.
  4. Vitamin D can protect against preterm labor and infections associated with birth.
  5. Sunbathing also helps with regulating your circadian rhythm, and your body will start to get reliably drowsy when the sun goes down.


  1. Overexposure to the sun can speed up the aging of the skin which will instigate the skin to look older and have more wrinkles. Note that this is quite the opposite of why people decide to tan in the first place.
  2. Also, note that the sun can burn the skin causing sun spots which some might not find to be cosmetically appealing.
  3. In addition, overexposure to the sun puts you at greater risk of getting skin cancer. This is simply not a very fair trade.