Tanning Tips For Men

man tanning near ocean

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A few days ago, I went to the tanning bed (yes, I do tan occasionally; I can own it). I even saw two other guys there at the same time! So, yes, men do tan. In fact, tanning (in a bed or outdoors) is becoming more popular with men.

It’s not a surprise since there are upsides to tanning, such as producing Vitamin D in the winter months. Studies even confirm that darker guys (without being super dark) can be more attractive in dating.

Keep in mind these tanning tips for men are meant to be for casual male tanners. At the end, I explain how to navigate a tanning place (from start to finish). If you want that, scroll to the bottom.

Go Outdoors If Possible

God gave us the sun, so we might as well use it. It’s free, very effective, and, is generally less damaging to the skin than beds. During the summer, there’s no point in going to tanning beds unless you absolutely have no way to tan outside (like you live in an apartment in the city).

You can be creative with this. Run or work out shirtless. Go to a beach. Or just tan in your backyard (this is helpful so others don’t see you and possibly embarrass you). Lying on a trampoline is a cool way to get a tan if you have one. If you need a full body tan you may be limited by indecency laws, but otherwise try to do your tanning outdoors as much as possible.

The advantage is that the sun will get you tanned but likely won’t be strong enough to cause the skin damage associated with beds, unless you live pretty close to the tropical zones.

The disadvantage is that you are at the mercy of the weather and daylight. So, if you need tanned and it’s raining or you work all day, then you might have to tan indoors, at least occasionally.

Don’t Go Overboard

Unless you’re on the jersey shore or in bodybuilding competitions, this is one of the most important tanning tips for men. Looking too tan has several downsides.

The first one is that most people think it looks unnatural and unattractive. The second one is over tanning can make your skin age prematurely. You don’t want to look like you have a leather face by the time you’re thirty.

Go for a nice bronzed look and then stop. Some people find tanning addictive, but don’t get into that pattern. Get the right look, then take a break. Or space your tanning bed visits or times outdoors to maintain the best look.

You might want to also wear sunblock on your face, even while outdoors or in the bed, because your face gets a lot more sun than your other body parts. If I’m lazy I’ll just put my shirt over my face.

Also, avoid anything that damages the facial skin before tanning (like exfoliating creams) because it can make the skin more vulnerable to damage.

Tanning Beds

Going tanning can be a daunting experience for a guy, especially the first time. However, it’s not a difficult process. Usually, it goes like this. You walk in, sign up for a package, and answer a few questions. Once you’ve paid and are approved, if there’s no wait you can go to a bed. You can usually choose between more or less powerful beds and different times in the bed. I usually choose the lowest powered bed and 15-20 minutes. They’ll assign you a room and goggles.

The bed will usually have a time that counts down while you get dressed. Once you’re ready and stripped you can lie down on the bottom bed and pull the top down. It might have a “start” option or you can just wait until the countdown is finished. Then, the bed turns on and you tan. Make sure to wear your goggles. You can relax and listen to music, etc. I’d highly recommend covering your, ahem, part. And, the first time you might want to put sunscreen on your backside so it doesn’t burn.

When you’re done, follow the directions to return the goggles and you can leave!

Use It To Meet Women

If you go to the beach, run outdoors, or hit the beds, use that as a chance to meet ladies. Since tanning is a typically female endeavor, if you tan you’ll likely be around a lot of beautiful women who are open to meeting guys.

You might not want to talk a lot about your tanning habits around the ladies, though. It might make you look overly feminine or vain. However, use all your skills to chat up the ladies you have (our site teaches it) since while tanning you’ll be in spots where ladies predominate (tanning bed areas, especially).

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, dating expert, and business owner. His articles have been viewed millions of times, and he has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.


  1. Tanning is something I never do and refused to do for the longest time. Well, since my fiance and I are going to be going on our honeymoon to Mexico in July, I figured that I might as well try and see if I can. This helped me know how to tan properly and I plan on asking for a low powered tanning bed and staying in there for not more than 15 minutes tops.

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