Set a tanning schedule recommended for your skin type. Indoor tanning professionals will recommend a tanning schedule using incremental exposure times. These exposure times should be based on your skin type, and will help your skin develop a tan gradually without burning. For most skin types, a few indoor tanning sessions will be required for your skin to oxidize the melanin and result in darker skin.
Start slowly and gradually increase your indoor tanning exposure over time. Some indoor tanning facilities start all new customers off with 5-minute tanning sessions and gradually increase to 12-minute (or longer) sessions. Because indoor tanning lamps differ in UV strength and output, there is no formula for comparing indoor and outdoor exposure times. Consult the facility’s staff to help you determine optimum exposure times.
Wait at least 48 hours between tanning sessions to avoid skin damage. Daily UV exposure can cause skin damage. However, if you wait too long between indoor tanning sessions, your tan may start to fade. Most indoor tanning professionals recommend 3 indoor tanning sessions a week until a tan is developed, and then 2 each week after that to maintain the tan.
Remember, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations prohibit more than 1 indoor tanning sessions in a single day.
Avoid overexposure. You can tell if you have gotten too much UV exposure if your skin starts to sting while tanning. Stop tanning as soon as you feel any prickling or stinging sensations on your skin.