View Full Version : Do tanning beds/booths desensitize your skin to the sun?

06-27-2009, 12:51 AM
I'm asking because ever since I stopped going to the tanning beds/booths three years ago, I can't seem to get a tan from the sun. Has this happened to anyone else? I'm stumped. I'm not doing anything different. I'm even still using the same lotion as before which worked great in the beds/booths and I got nice and dark. I refuse to go back to the tanning beds/booths, though.

06-27-2009, 09:03 AM
I think the answer is no, but who knows...........I went to tanning beds for years, I quit going 2 years ago because I walk everyday 3 to 5 miles and I got tan that way, no need for tanning beds. Here is the bad part, I got basil cell carcinoma on my under arm about 3 months ago. This is a part that doesn't get much sun outside, so I think that it came from the tanning beds, glad you quit going, but watch your skin.


06-27-2009, 10:12 AM
Hey, thanks for the reply. I've asked people about this before and everybody has pretty much said 'no'. They say, if anything, it makes you more sensitive to the sun. This doesn't seem right to me, though. I think I don't tan in the sun now because my skin is used to the heat of the tanning beds. The sun just isn't as hot, even on days when it's in the 90s. Before going to the tanning beds, I used to tan with not much problem. From my stomach down took a bit of work, though. This area was even tough to tan in the beds, but it eventually did. Now, it won't budge in the sun. I wish I could tan just wearing shorts and walking. I've worn shorts an entire hot summer and got absolutely nothing except on my upper body. The only way I've ever been able to get any color on my lower body is by laying out.

So, is what you got a form of skin cancer? That's so scary. Was it caught in the early stage? Are you okay now? I stopped going because the last year I went, I ended up with moles on my stomach that weren't there before. So, I got scared and stopped going. That's never happened to me when I layed in the sun and I've pretty much been laying out all my life, I'm 39.

06-27-2009, 10:25 AM
Yes, it is skin cancer, not the bad kind, but bad enough. I had this under my are for 3 months before I decided to have a biopsy, so now I have to have it cut out instead of acid burning the skin. There should be no problems. But you, indeed you need to keep an eye on those moles, they can turn into skin cancer. I think that the melatonin in your skin has changed and that is probably the reason for not tanning so well, maybe it is a good thing as you don't want skin cancer. I know what it is like to want to be tan, I lived at the beach my whole life, always worshipped the sun, then I started with the tanning beds when I was 40, I used them until 2 years ago and I am now 66 (a young 66):) over twenty years of tanning beds, and never a problem, but it is not showing up. Be careful. Olay had a body lotion out that leaves you with a nice glowing color, I use it when I think I need some more color. I just put it on like any lotion, no streaking, doesn't show up when wearing off, just wears off like you need to tan again. Try it out.


06-27-2009, 04:08 PM
Wow, twenty years is a long time. I just went for like three or four years. I didn't go year round, just late Spring/early Summer. The last year I went, though, I went until Fall. I'm having one of the moles removed soon. My doctor said it isn't cancerous. It just looks gross, though, and I want it off. I hope everything goes well with your operation and that they get it all out.

I've use the sunless lotions before and they work okay. I had to use it all last summer because the weather here wasn't warm enough. Michigan weather is very touch and go. I just don't have any patience for the sunless stuff anymore, though. It either takes forever to dry or it ends up making me look like a carrot. I used to use Aveeno Continuous Radiance. The color was really nice and it even dried fast. I loved it. Unfortunately, though, I had to stop using it due to my hormonal imbalances. I have too much estrogen, and the soy in it was aggravating my problem. It's listed as a main ingredient so there probably was a lot in it. So, I switched to Loreal Sublime. I've been using it for the past couple of years. It's okay, nice color, but again, it takes forever to dry. If they actually made a decent one that I could use, I would use it and not bother laying in the sun really. I even tried that one that everybody on here raves about called Ocean Potion. It dried fast, but it gave me no color at all so I took it back.

06-28-2009, 09:29 PM
Are you serious? Not trying to be rude but do you really think that you can desensitize your skin to the sun? That is bogus. You absolutely cannot desensitize your skin with anything BUT sunscreen, a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. And no, you will not get a tan if you wear a sunscreen properly because you are not allowing your skin to burn. Any amount of color that you get is the result of your skin burning.
So unless you want cancer, like the previous poster, you need to quit that bad habit. Seriously... I've been in a really bad situation due to laying in the sun before - something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy and I stay out of the sun from now on. I am very pale and burn/freckle very easily. Just one day of tanning has left me with so many freckles (and not the light kind, the dark, brown/black ones) all over my back and body... it's nasty. Thankfully they are not raised moles, they are just really ugly freckles.

The time I got burned was about 6 or 7 years ago. I stayed out in the sun for about 6 hours without sunscreen (I also live in Michigan, I went to a beach in Holland). I got burned so bad that I couldn't get out of bed for two weeks; I couldn't eat, sleep, walk, or even go to the bathroom by myself (imagine going through that at age 16, in the middle of summer in July). I eventually ended up going to the hospital because I couldn't take the pain anymore; I obviously wasn't going to get better without medical attention.
Turns out I had 2nd degree burns all over my legs and lost at least a few layers of skin ALL over my body (the only parts that didn't peel were feet and hands). It was a nightmare. The doctor told me that I'm pretty much messing with my life and any amount of future unprotected sun exposure would surely result in cancer. Now I've educated myself and am smart about this kind of thing. I don't need to die from something as preventative as skin cancer.

To this day I still notice random freckles developing on areas of the body that I don't even expose to the sun very much (mostly legs). I just pray that I never get a suspicious mole because I know automatically that it would be bad news.

So unless you want to go through something I went through, or even worse, stay out of the sun or at least wear sunscreen at all times while outdoors. Use the fake stuff... it's not as bad as people make it seem. If you use it properly (exfoliate and moisturizer regularly) the tan will look natural enough. ALL tanning products contain the same ingredient (diydroxyacetone) which turns skin brown. Some products just contain more of it than others (hence the reason they are labeled as light, medium, or dark). The only difference are inactive ingredients which don't affect the color.

This is just my rant... you can take it however you want to, but seriously consider the safe route instead of damaging your skin just to achieve some color that fades in a matter of weeks.

06-29-2009, 02:24 PM
As everyone else mentioned, no, you won't desensitize your skin to the sun. Tanning beds just make you tan faster, so you likely won't tan as much in the sun unless you were to spend a really long time out there. A 15-20 minute tanning session in a bed equals a couple of hours or more out in the sun. That's why it works so much faster.

That is smart of you to quit going to the salon. I used to go in the past and while I did love the color, I stopped because I want to take good care of my skin. I don't want the risk of cancer and I also don't want to get wrinkly, leathery skin. Luckily I did not tan for very long, so my sun damage is minimal.

Don't be afraid to try self tanners. They seem to keep improving as new ones come out. I'm happy that some finally don't smell awful, don't stain clothes, and it's much quicker than laying out in the sun anyway. Your skin will be safe with these and will look much better in the years to come.

I do naturally tan, even with sunscreen, but very lightly (perhaps because it's over 100 degrees here!). I use up my sunscreen pretty quickly and definitely apply a lot. I love the misting kinds because they are fast and easy to use. I don't really go out in the sun much just because of work and planning a wedding taking up a lot of time, but I make sure to use that sunscreen! A tan ISN'T healthy for your skin, although I'd say it's better than a bad burn. I also think bronzer is a great way to go. It gives you a great, natural glow for your face or wherever you apply it and it's so easy and fast to use. I also hear that it's best to get SPF 30-50 for good protection. I have SPF 30. Going to the really, really high SPF's don't protect a huge % more than the SPF 30-50's, but hey, if a person burns very easily, every little bit of protection is good.