Do Reflective Tanning Blankets Work?

Reflective tanning blankets. Are they useful in the world of tanning, and an even bigger question is, are they safe to use when tanning in the sun?

These reflective tanning blankets are used primarily for outdoor tanning and are supposed to help accelerate the tanning process so that the tanner in question achieves a darker skin tone in minimal time without having to use other tanning products or self-tanners.

Most skin-conscious tanners are opting for self-tanners and spray tans these days, although there are still avid tanners who love to sunbathe outdoors in the sun and soak up the UV rays to achieve a glowing natural-looking tan.

Reflective blankets are relatively easy to find online but are not usually found in retail stores. This is because a lot of people have become more aware of the dangers of spending too much time in the sun’s UV rays.

About the Reflective Tanning Blanket

These tanning blankets are made from a reflective silver material that is placed underneath the tanner when they are lying in the sun. This enables the tanner to reflect the light from the UV rays so that it can get to the hard-to-reach places on the body.

One nice thing about these blankets is that they are multi-functional and can be used in many settings, including lazing around by the pool, in the garden, or at the beach.

They are made from materials that are extremely reflective to the naked eye and help to speed up the tanning process significantly faster than normal tanning in the sun’s rays.

Do Reflective Tanning Blankets Work?

Yes, indeed reflective tanning blankets do work as they attract the sun’s rays towards your body to improve the effectiveness of your tanning session.

It is, however, recommended that you take it slow when you first start using a reflective blanket and limit your time in the sun to a maximum of fifteen minutes. Thereafter you can gradually increase your sessions by an additional five minutes per session

How A Reflective Tanning Blankets Works

A reflective blanket works by attracting the rays of the sun to your body and then reflecting the rays back onto the skin. This silver reflective material essentially assists to accelerate the amount of time that it takes to tan the skin.

Using a reflective blanket to tan has been around for decades and is still to this day one of the best ways in which to develop a dark tan.

The blankets work especially well once you have already developed a base tan. All you need to do is put it onto the ground, lie down and let the tanning begin!

Reflective Blanket Safety Measures and Tips

  • If you have naturally pale skin, then it is better to steer clear of reflective tanning blankets. If you expose pale skin to the reflected rays emitted from a tanning blanket, then you are very likely to burn and damage your skin from the acceleration of the rays penetrating the skin.
  • Reflective blankets work best for people who have a naturally medium to dark skin tone or those that already have a substantial base tan.
  • UV rays are at their strongest at midday, so it is better to practice using your reflective blanket later in the afternoon or earlier in the morning when the sun’s rays are less potent. Although doing this may take you a long time to achieve the tan you desire, it is worth it if you want to protect your skin.
  • Make your tanning sessions shorter and expand them over weeks instead of days. This will take a lot more time and commitment but is crucial if you want to prevent any damage to your skin.
  • Sunscreen should always be used while you are tanning, especially if you are tanning on a reflective blanket. This will help you to achieve a great tan and help to prevent any sunburn or serious damage to your skin.

The Pros and Cons of a Reflective Tanning Blanket

There are mixed feelings when it comes to using a reflective blanket to get the ultimate tan. While some believe in it fully, others are very mindful of the damage that it could do to your skin if abused and used too often.

The Pros

  • These blankets are perfect to use with a UVA Sun Bed Canopy.
  • They help to create an even natural tan all over the body and reach places that are hard for the UV rays to get to.
  • The Reflective tanning blanket can reflect more UV tanning rays to give you a deep tan.
  • The blanket also assists to keep the body cooler during tanning sessions.
  • It is made with a long-lasting silver reflective material.

The Cons

  • If you use a reflective tanning blanket to tan too often it can increase the risk of developing sunburn which could later on in life cause certain types of skin cancer.
  • Your skin will become tougher and often more wrinkled if you tan excessively in the sun.
  • Too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays can also cause eye problems such as corneal burns, cataracts, and other eye disorders.
  • While a small amount of Vitamin D is healthy, too many UV rays from the sun can suppress your immune system.
  • Excessive exposure to UV light has also been known to lead to abnormalities in the structure of your DNA cells. These abnormalities can significantly increase your chances of skin cancer.
  • Using a reflective tanning blanket will make you tan faster but at the same time can cause it to get damaged faster as well.

Sunburn happens when UV rays penetrate through the skin and damage the cells in the epidermis. When this happens, the body starts to increase its blood flow to the areas of the skin that have been affected. This is the reason why sunburn makes the skin red and warm to the touch.

Unfortunately, it can take up to 48 hours for these symptoms to appear, so you won’t realize the extent of your sunburn until you have been indoors and out of the sun for a few hours.

Tips to Safer Tanning

  • It is important when tanning to protect your skin from damage that can potentially be caused by the UV rays of the sun.
  • If you want to tan in the sun using a reflective blanket, then here are a few tips to help you tan safely and prevent yourself from burning or causing long-term damage:
  • Always use sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 30 when using a reflective blanket to tan with.
  • Make sure that the sunscreen is water-resistant and remember to reapply if you get wet.
  • Seek shade when you feel that you are burning.
  • Be extra careful when sunbathing between the times of 10h00 and 16h00 as this is when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to prevent damage to your eyes.

Other Alternatives to UV Tanning

Just because you are scared to get burnt by the sun’s UV rays does not mean that you have to stay lily white for the rest of your life.  Various other alternatives can be used that are both safe and effective.

The Spray Tan

Professional spray tan solutions contain an active ingredient called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This process of spray tanning requires a tanning professional to spray a fine mist over your entire body. This process induces a chemical reaction that reacts with the skin to produce a golden-brown tan. Spray tans usually take about four to eight hours to fully develop after they have been applied.

Unfortunately, these sessions do cost money and often need to be booked in advance with the tanning salon.

Self-Tanning Products

If you want a practical, safe, and effective tan then it is a good idea to invest in some good quality self-tanning lotions, mousses, or sprays.  This is the perfect solution for anybody who does not want to risk exposure to any harmful UV rays from the sun and cannot afford to visit a spray tanning salon every two weeks.

There are two types of self-tanners currently available on the market:

Gradual Tanners

These are very much the same as a spray tan. The products contain (DHA) which is a color additive and is one of the main ingredients in most of the sunless tanning products that you find on the market today.

To use these tanners apply them to exfoliated skin that has been properly dried. The DHA causes a chemical reaction to react together with your skin to simulate a gradual tan. Gradual self-tanning products take about three days to darken your skin and then a further seven to ten days to fade.

Instant Tanners

If you need to have your body tanned in a matter of hours for a function, then instant tanners are your best option. These types of tanning products show up on your skin instantly and carry on darkening for a few hours after that.