Tanning Bed Questions

The Legality of Tanning Beds in The U.S. & Around The Globe

Written by: Anastasija

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Tanning beds are a fast and effective way to achieve a long-lasting glow on your skin. However, there are some risks involved when it comes to indoor tanning. Laws on tanning beds vary depending on your age and what country or state you are located in. Read on to learn more about laws on tanning beds around the world as well as if tanning beds are illegal in the United States and around the globe.

Are Tanning Beds Illegal in The United States?


Tanning beds are legal within the United States. However, in most states, you must be 18 years of age or older to use a tanning bed legally and you will have to wait 24 hours before you schedule another tanning session.

In 2014, the FDA reclassified indoor tanning equipment from low-risk to moderate-risk for its users. This change resulted in a requirement for visible box warnings on each device stating that they should not be used by people under 18 years of age. After the new regulations were put in place by the FDA, the laws for tanning beds in the United States gradually began to change.

StateAge RestrictionsParental ConsentLicensing RequirementsAdditional Regulations
California18NoYesBan on tanning bed use for minors
New York17YesYesMandatory eye protection for all customers
Florida18NoYesWarning signs about health risks required
Texas16YesYesLimit on tanning bed sessions per month
Illinois18NoYesBan on tanning bed use for minors
Table 1: Tanning Bed Regulations in the U.S. by State

Today, the use of tanning beds is banned for minors under 18 in 22 states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia…

In a total of 44 states, tanning is restricted for minors in some way or another. Most states regulate the use of tanning beds by minors under 18 years of age by requiring parental permission or a prescription before they are allowed to use an indoor tanning bed. There are also some individual cities that have issued local ordinances banning the use of tanning beds for people under 18.

The regulations that are enforced surrounding indoor tanning bed use are also aimed at limiting how often an individual can participate in a tanning session. With the 24-hour tanning law in place, most states require that you wait at least a full day before you climb into a tanning bed again. With the use of computer systems, it is increasingly easier for companies to keep track of how often you are tanning and ensure that you do not enter the tanning bed more than once within a 24-hour period. With that said, the most effective tan comes from sessions 1-3 times per week, so it is not necessary to go tanning every day.

Although indoor tanning has decreased significantly since the new advice and regulations came out in 2014, about 7.8 million adults over the age of 18 still use tanning beds in the United States.

Also read: Wondering if “Tanning Beds Whiten Your Teeth?” (Explained)

Countries With Strict Tanning Laws

Since the early 2000s, countries have been imposing more restrictions when it comes to indoor or commercial tanning bed use. France was the first country to restrict youth from using tanning beds in 1997. By 2003 the only two countries with tanning restrictions for minors were France and Brazil. However, a lot has changed since then. While most countries have put in place at least some sort of regulations on indoor tanning since then, the countries with the strictest tanning laws are Brazil and Australia.

In Brazil, indoor tanning has been banned for adults and minors since 2011. However, the ban on tanning only applies for cosmetic reasons and does not include a ban on tanning for therapeutic reasons, such as psoriasis treatment. UV treatments can be especially helpful for psoriasis because it calms the immune system and prevents flare-ups.

CountryAge RestrictionsParental ConsentLicensing RequirementsAdditional Regulations
United Kingdom18YesYesRestricted access to high-intensity tanning beds
Canada18YesYesMandatory warning labels on tanning equipment
Australia18YesYesBan on commercial tanning bed use for minors
Germany18YesYesLimit on UV radiation intensity in tanning beds
Brazil16YesYesMandatory use of protective eyewear
Table 2: Tanning Bed Regulations in Select Countries

Meanwhile, in Australia, the laws on tanning are some of the strictest that you will find in the world. Commercial tanning beds have been banned in all the Australian states and territories apart from Western Australia since January 2015. This ban officially took effect in Western Australia exactly one year later, in January 2016. The introduction of this ban on commercial tanning beds means that it is an illegal activity to charge a fee for any tanning sessions. However, since the ban only applies to commercial tanning bed uses, it is still possible to own and use tanning beds privately throughout the country.

Regulation / GuidelineDescription
Age RestrictionsLimiting tanning bed use to individuals above a certain age
Parental ConsentRequiring parental or guardian consent for minors to use tanning beds
Licensing RequirementsMandatory licensing and regulation of tanning bed facilities and operators
Eye ProtectionRequiring the use of protective eyewear to prevent eye damage
Health WarningsMandating the display of health warnings and risks associated with tanning bed use
UV Intensity LimitsImposing restrictions on the maximum UV radiation intensity emitted by tanning beds
Ban on Use for MinorsProhibiting or restricting tanning bed use for individuals below a certain age
Training and Education Programs for OperatorsRequiring operators to undergo training and education programs on safe tanning bed practices and customer guidance
Table 3: Common Tanning Bed Regulations and Guidelines Worldwide

Countries and States with Lenient Tanning Laws

While restrictions on indoor tanning bed use have been becoming more popular in recent years, only 11 countries have imposed strict restrictions on tanning bed use for minors. Most other countries have chosen not to take action when it comes to imposing restrictions on tanning bed use.

In addition to some countries that are lax on tanning laws, some US states still allow teens to use tanning beds. For instance, the state of Tennessee allows children and teens over the age of 14 to use indoor tanning beds without the presence of a parent or legal guardian. In fact, children under the age of 14 can even step inside a tanning bed if they are accompanied by a parent who is willing to sign a warning statement. South Dakota and Montana both have similar laws when it comes to tanning for teens under the age of 18.

There are also a few other states which allow tanning for teenagers over the age of 16 without parental consent. In many cases, if a child under the age of 18 wanted to go tanning, they would need a signed parental consent form that acknowledges the risks associated with indoor tanning. In any case, tanning is legal for adults in all of the states and territories of the United States of America.

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

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