What Is A Good Age To Start Tanning?


You might be wondering if there is a specific age when people can start tanning? Questions such as “are kids allowed to have a tan?” or “what is the age eligible for starting to tan?” can pop up in regards to this topic.

The first thing to ask is why have an age restriction to begin with?

Well, to answer that question, let’s start with basic information on tanning. If you want extensive knowledge on the matter, click here.

So there are two ways to tan, sun tanning and indoor tanning.

Sun Tanning

Sun tanning just involves laying down under the sun for a few minutes and letting the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays hit your skin to make it darker.

This is relatively easy to understand and self-regulate. Just take the necessary steps to do before and after tanning. More importantly, keep in mind the times when the sun’s UV rays are at their gentlest. Note those down, and you are good to go.

Indoor Tanning

Now, this might be something you are familiar with. You’ve probably heard of tanning booths, which might be one of the first things you hear when it comes to tanning.

This does the same thing the sun does, but indoors. Instead of the sun’s UV rays, it is from tanning bulbs with UV light inside.

There are people who prefer this option over sun tanning because you don’t have to be aware of the times when the sun’s rays are at its strongest.

Let’s say you can only tan at this point in time, and that happens to be a peak hour when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest. You can just schedule a visit at a tanning booth and tan there without worrying about peak hours because, well, it’s indoors.

Why The Need For An Age Gap?

So now that we know of the two methods of tanning, why would there be concerns regarding who gets to tan, specifically who gets to have their tanning session in a tanning booth?

Well, it’s not really a shocker to anyone that tanning is not a risk-free activity. If anything, it can have a negative effect on your skin due to harsh UV rays. Whether it’s in a tanning booth or directly from the sun, UV rays will have detrimental effects when you are exposed to them for too long.

I mean, we are already exposed to UV through sunlight whenever we go outside, what more when we purposefully do it via a tanning session?

Potential Risks of Indoor Tanning

So here are some potential risks that may occur with tanning.

Weakened Immune System

UV rays may have the ability to lower your immune system. The radiation from the rays can eradicate the skin’s natural defense mechanisms.

This might make you more prone to getting sick.

Allergic Reactions

Everyone has different skin types, and some might be more sensitive than others. If this is the case, then the UV rays might cause itchiness or rashes to occur.

Skin Cancer

This is the most dangerous effect of long exposure to UV rays.

The Age Restrictions

This caused some areas in the US to implement an age requirement for indoor tanning. While the age range varies from state to state, the general consensus is that minors under the age of 18 are “banned” from tanning salons.

Now is this a reasonable thing to do? Well, I can see why.

For most of us, children’s safety should always be prioritized. While they are young, they should take care of their overall health, and that includes their skin.

So it is important to keep young kids away from things that could potentially harm them.


So When Is The Right Age To Tan?

I would say that eighteen (18) would be a good age for you to start tanning if ever you want to do that.

By that time, you would have already heard about tanning and the possible risks that could occur if you do not do it properly.

Some Things To Keep In Mind

Now should you avoid tanning altogether? Well, anything in excess is bad so just be aware to not spend too much of your time tanning.

Out of the two, I would say sun tanning is safer for any age. Sunlight is essential for us to be healthy due to the presence of vitamin D. Although too much is bad, it is easy for us to know when too much is about to happen and protect ourselves from it.

Not to mention it’s easier to switch positions from time to time since you are outdoors.

If you still want to pursue that glowing tan skin, keep in mind the following:


Luckily we have a lotion that can protect us significantly from harmful UV rays. Even better is that this lotion is accessible to anyone who wishes to purchase them.

I am, of course, talking about sunscreen. This will be the most important form of protection from harmful and excess UV light.

To ensure total safety, be sure that the sunscreen is broad spectrum and has a minimum SPF level of 30. Anything lower might not do the job well.


Tanning can lead you to feel dehydrated, which makes total sense. The UV rays are capable of draining away all the water in your body.

To keep yourself healthy, make sure to constantly rehydrate by drinking water. Another good tip is to moisturize your skin. Rehydration is an essential step in order to avoid making your skin dry, brittle, and prone to weakness.


Just like rehydrating, cooling off is vital to keep your skin fresh and healthy.

Taking a shower will help in the cooling process. However, keep in mind to not do this immediately after showering. This is to maintain the effect of the tan you just got. But don’t forget to shower regardless.

Eight hours after the session is recommended would be a good time.

These are just some necessary steps to tan properly and safely.


Tanning can be a risky thing to do, which is why certain ages should not be allowed to partake in it.

If you have plans to tan your skin, it is always vital to make your health the number one priority. Be sure to learn about potential risks and all the necessary steps to avoid such risks, and you will be fine.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.