Hey Beautiful! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

If you are wanting a natural, golden tan, a tanning bed may be the best method for you. It is very hard to tan our legs due to a lack of melanin which occurs especially in our legs. In this article we look at how to tan your legs in a tanning bed to achieve the best results.

How To Tan Your Legs In A Tanning Bed

Using a tanning bed can give you a natural tan. It is a more popular method of tanning than using fake tan products. A tanning bed can create a flawless tan but tanning your legs is easily the hardest part of your body to tan!

Here are some tips to help you tan your legs in a tanning bed:

  • Prep for tanning: Before you tan in a tanning bed, it is best to prepare your legs to make sure you have the best chance of tanning them quickly. Exfoliating your legs before a tanning bed treatment can help remove the dead skin cells on your legs making your legs softer. If your legs are softer the UV light will be able to penetrate the skin easier.
  • Hydrate the skin: You can hydrate your skin from both within and out! Make sure to drink plenty of water a week leading up to your tanning appointment. You should also use a hydrating lotion on your legs to make sure your skin is prepared for the UV light.
  • Use different postures in the tanning bed: Trying out different postures when tanning your legs in a tanning bed can make all the difference! Moving your legs so that the rays hit all sides of your legs will help you achieve an even tan. We recommend lying on your side and moving positions frequently. If you feel your upper body is tanning quicker, just place your legs under the tanning bed.
  • After care: The first couple of tan after you have gone for a tanning appointment are crucial to how your tan will turn out. Making sure to moisturize the tanned legs with an oil free moisturizer will help the tan stay.

We found a useful demonstration video by Ehowbeauty, showing which positions you should try lying in to best tan your legs using a tanning bed:

Why Do My Legs Take So Long To Tan?

If you are finding that your legs are taking very long to tan it may be due to your legs having a lack of melanin.

Here is a list of things to avoid if your legs are taking too long to tan:

  • Avoid hair removal: After you have had a tanning bed appointment, it is important you avoid any form of hair removal on your legs. This includes waxing, shaving and bleach hair removal kits. These techniques to remove hair on your legs will actually exfoliate your skin too. This can remove or disturb the first few layers of your skin. These top few layers are where your tan will be.
  • Avoid baths: After you have had a tanning bed appointment, it is best to avoid long baths. The steam from a long bath can open up your pores and exfoliate the first few layers of your skin. This means your tan will fade quickly.
  • Avoid tight clothing: After you have had a tanning bed appointment, avoid wearing tight clothing around your legs for two weeks. Tight clothing will rub up against your legs and naturally exfoliate them. This can cause your tan to fade quickly.

How Long Does It Take For Your Legs To Start Tanning?

Most people will tan between 1 to 2 hours of being in the sun. If you are using a tanning bed then you often need to follow up with several appointments. The tan is noticeable after three sessions under a tanning bed. If you are wanting to get a darker tan, you may have to have sessions that run across a few weeks. Make sure to tan at least three times per week.

Why Do The Bottoms Of My Legs Not Tan?

The bottoms of your legs may not be tanning as well as the top of your legs due to less production of melanin. The production of melanin in the skin will reduce around your calves cause the skin to be thicker and less likely to tan quickly.

Here are a few tricks and tips to help you tan the bottom of your legs, even if your melanin levels are low:

  • Avoid minerals and petrolatum oil: Petrolatum oil can be a key ingredient in a lot of lotions and moisturizers that are designed to be used as body lotions. Though, it is best to avoid petrolatum oil if you want to use a tanning bed to tan your legs. Petrolatum oil can cause the skin to rejuvenate and turn over skin cells quickly. This will normally stimulate collagen. But it can have a bad effect on your tan as it can cause your tan to fade quickly. This fade effect is due to the facet your tan sits on the first few layers of your skin.
  • Use lots of moisturizer: It is essential to keep moisturizing your skin when you tan in a  tanning bed. If you do not moisturize your skin, you run the risk that the skin on your legs will turn dry. This can make your tan fade. It is best to choose a moisturizer that has natural ingredients, like coconut oil or shea butter, which can lock in the moisture for hours at a time. You can also use a tan extending moisturizer to help keep your tan topped up. We recommend the Australian Gold Moisturizer Lock Tan Extender Lotion. This moisturizer contains vitamin E which is hydrating for the skin and will make your tan last longer.


Why Do My Thighs Tan Faster Than My Calves

The reason your thighs may tan faster than your calves may be due to the production of melanin in your body. Your claves, when compared to the rest of the body and especially your thighs, do not produce the same amount of melanin. This may be affecting your tan. This lack of melanin will cause the skin to be thicker around your calves. This means that the UV light from the tanning bed will not be able to penetrate the skin as easily as the rest of your body.

Tan Your Legs With Caution

Using different postures and prepping for your tanning bed appointment will help you tan your legs more easily and quickly. Although tanning beds are risky for your health and can be just as bad as tanning in the sun. We recommend tanning with caution!

How do you tan your legs in a tanning bed? Do you find t’s harder to tan your legs in a tanning bed?