Close this search box. is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Tanning Without Goggles: Reasons Why You Should Never Try It

Tanning Without Goggles

When tanning, there’s one rule you should NEVER break, and it’s to always use tanning bed goggles.

NEVER. We repeat. NEVER go inside a tanning bed without wearing proper protection for your eyes.

We know it seems like an obvious thing NOT to do, but for some reason, people’s heads are hard as a rock! But let’s not be stubborn.

Tanning goggles are designed to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays. Keep scrolling for all the GOOD reasons why you should always wear tanning bed goggles inside a tanning bed.

Table of Contents

Tanning Goggles are a MUST!

Goggles are a MUST!

You might not be a fan of raccoon eyes or tan marks left by tanning goggles, but, trust us and all the other tan salon experts, you’ll sorely regret it.

Long-term exposure to UV rays from a tanning bed is dangerous.

The end results are sunburnt eyes and swelling―definitely not the look you’re going for. And, comparing it to the other consequences, these are pretty mild!

Harmful UV rays and UVB rays from the tanning bed can do so much worse. A sun bed uses UV light and UV radiation that produces UVA and UVB rays which are more powerful than the sun.

Our only form of protection is the trusty tanning goggles that keep out ultraviolet rays.

What Happens If I Don't Wear Goggles in a Tanning Bed?

Have you ever looked directly at the sun, blinked, and seen random floating blobs in the air right after?

Well, laying inside an indoor tanning bed and keeping your eyes wide open―without protective goggles, mind you, does the same effect…only 10 times worse.

[Food for Thought]: 10 minutes inside a tanning bed is equal to 4 hours on the beach.

We’re aware of how the sun causes premature aging and wrinkles on the skin, but tanning beds are on an entirely different grade.

(Indoor tanning is dangerous.―FDA says.)

Because they produce high levels of ultraviolet rays or UV rays in short,  it doesn’t only tan the skin, but also burns the cornea, our eyes’ protective layer, and last form of defense.

So, what happens then?

Say, you “accidentally” forgot to bring tanning bed goggles and was left with no choice but to brave the UV rays and UVB rays with naked eyes, it’s no big deal, right?


You might not sense the burn immediately, but 12 hours to a day later, it’ll feel as if someone threw sand on them. Ouch!

You can suffer severe corneal burns without realizing it until it’s too late. Like silent killers, tanning without goggles will slowly, but permanently damage your eyes.

The Effects of Tanning Without Goggles

The Effects

If you’re an adventurer at heart, this will make you change your mind and force you to use tanning goggles.

The risk of eye damage from a sun bed’s UV rays is 92.56% greater than developing skin cancer. The skin on our eyelids is so thin and delicate that even one tanning session can damage the eyes!

As a result, the effects of using a tanning bed without wearing goggles are both short and long-term.

1. Short Term Eye Damage

Never underestimate the power of a sun bed. Use tanning goggles!

Even if it’s just once or twice, occasional exposure to UV light leads to short-term damage such as photokeratitis, a.k.a. the sunburn of the cornea, and basal cell carcinoma.

Its symptoms include the following:

  • tearing
  • redness
  • swollen eyelids
  • blurred vision/ hazy vision
  • decreased eyesight
  • PAIN

The damage can last for days when you’re not careful.

If you’re one of the people who forgets to wear goggles in tanning salons, you might want to set a reminder for yourself next time and save yourself from trouble.

2. Long Term Eye Damage

Refusing to break the cycle of avoiding wearing goggles leads you down the dark path.

Overexposure, long-term exposure, or repeated exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV rays) welcomes the inevitable: the gradual loss of vision and, in worst cases, blindness.

Here are eye diseases you SHOULD worry about if you have a bad habit of going under the tanning bed without the right eye protection:

  • Cataract: Eye damage resulting in cloudy vision. Cataracts are common among elderlies, but can also develop from too much exposure from UV rays. If not taken out, cataract leads to blindness.
  • Macular Degeneration: Permanent vision loss.
  • Chroidal Melanoma: Affects the retina, the part of the eye responsible for seeing light.
  • Pytergium: Abnormal tissue growth on the eye area that can block your eyesight.
  • Melanoma Cancer: Wrinkles are just the tip of the iceberg, your skin can develop cancer around the eye area.

Maybe it’s time to rethink your old ways and minimize the risk of long-term damage to your eyes.

Is It Okay to Keep My Eyes Closed?

Is It Okay to Keep My Eyes Closed

Well, if you keep your eyes screwed tightly shut inside the tanning bed, you’ll be able to protect your eyes, right? You ask. 


Closing your eyes is NOT the same as protecting them.

Eyelids and the area around the eyes are sensitive skin. At most, it can only block out 25% of UV rays. That leaves 75% more to cover!

REMEMBER, merely shutting your eyes does not give enough eye protection from repeated exposure to UV light. It can’t completely block the UV!

Can I Wear Sunglasses in a Tanning Bed?

Then, are glasses enough to protect you from overexposure?

Many people seem to think that sunnies can protect your eyes, and so they bring with them their favorite pair of shades inside the tanning bed.

BUT that’s far from the truth.

Sure, the sunglasses are the perfect fit for the beach, but indoor tanning? NOT at all.

Why? They’re not designed to protect your eyes to withstand UV light coming from a sun bed.

Never underestimate the power of UV rays from tanning beds. They’re far more powerful and more dangerous than the sun.

How to Protect the Eyes From Tanning Damage

How to Protect

When it comes to eye protection our motto is to stop damage before it starts. And, it should be yours too.

Tanning beds call for extra safety measures and other safe practices, here are the 5 healthy habits to take with you in the tanning salon.

1. Wear Protective Goggles

The BEST way to protect your eyes and minimize the risk of damage is by wearing the right protective goggles, A.K.A. tanning bed goggles.

Tanning goggles are the proper eye protection that provides maximum UV protection and are comfortable to wear. Just don’t mind its funny appearance because it does a good job at protecting your eyes anyway.

Although it’s not very fashionable, they do the job of protecting your eyes from the burn of tanning beds and they come in all shapes and sizes. We’re sure you’ll find a pair that matches your style.

But, in case, there isn’t, does it really matter? You only need to wear it for a few minutes while under the tanning bed. No one has to see except for the tan specialists in the tanning salon.

HOT TIP: Use only FDA-approved tanning goggles. You can also go the extra mile and add cotton pads to your eyes while tanning as another layer of protection in the goggles.

2. Maximum UV Protection

Tanning goggles shouldn’t only be the perfect fit, but should also provide maximum protection.

It isn’t just a standard for tanning goggles to provide enough protection against harmful UV rays, but 100% protection is necessary if you want to protect your eyes.

The goggles should be able to block over 99.9% UVB and UVA rays from the tanning bed.

3. Bring Your Own Goggles

Proper hygiene has never been more important today with the outbreak of COVID19. You can never be too careful when it comes to your health and safety.

That’s why we advise our readers to always bring your own goggles! No one knows if the tanning goggles in salons are properly sanitized.

4. High-Quality Tanning Beds Only

Tanning salons offer a variety of tanning bed levels. Always go for the best quality and high-level ones, especially if you have sensitive skin.

While lower-quality sun beds with affordable price tags might seem like a tempting deal, it increases your risk of overexposure to UV rays.

A topnotch tanning bed is worth far more than even the best spray tan.

5. Choose an Expert Salon

It’s important to choose tanning salons that follow safety standards and COVID19 protocols.

More than ever, tanning beds are hot spots where viruses and bacterias can fester, so choose tanning salons with good reputations.

Tips to Avoid Tan Lines: How to Wear Goggles Like a Pro


If there’s one thing we dislike about tanning goggles is the tan lines, tan circles, tan marks, and raccoon eyes that come with it. It gives us too much ’90s beach mom vibes!

But, that said, there is a way to get around those raccoon eyes and lines:

  • Keep repositioning your goggles every few minutes while inside the bed. This will help with your tan to even out all the areas. However, don’t completely lift it off your face. Just slightly readjust them from time to time.
  • Align the bottom of the goggles to the bottom of the eyelids at all times.
  • The corner lens should be placed on top of the corner of your right eye. The same applies for the left lens and the corner of your left eye.

HOT TIP: For stubborn tan spots, you can try covering them with a concealer.

Choosing the Best Tanning Goggles

Now, that’s all cleared up, let’s choose the best FDA-approved goggles for a nice day to tan. Before you find out where to buy tanning goggles, these are the 4 things you should look for in a pair of goggles.

#1 Color

Tanning goggles come in the craziest colors: neon pink, shocking orange, and even slime green!

You can choose among many varieties. There aren’t any safety restrictions when it comes to it, although just be wary that the brighter the color, the more it glows annoyingly against the light.

#2 Size and Shape

The perfect size for goggles are anything that isn’t too loose on the bridge of your nose. While bigger sizes might be comfortable, it results in bigger tan lines.

#3 Durability

No to lens popping! Look out for ones that can last you more than five tanning sessions.

Be wary if just one tanning session makes it brittle already. That means it won’t last long.

#4 Comfort

Of course, we wouldn’t wear goggles if it weren’t comfortable. When buying, check for the straps, if it fits perfectly.

Make sure it’s not too loose and not too tight. You don’t want it falling out during your tanning session.

#5 What Can I Use Instead of Goggles?

If tanning goggles aren’t your thing, try out the next best way to protect your eyes: tanning stickers!

They fit over the eyes and provide enough protection from UV rays despite being a throwaway.

A disposable eye protection is still way better than keeping your eyes closed!

Let's Sum It Up

Let's Sum It Up

Got everything?

Here’s a final reminder: ALWAYS wear protective goggles whenever you indoor tan. Not doing so will cause bad side effects like eye problems and even blindness!

Because UV light and UV rays from tanning beds are dangerous, they can cause serious sunburns and long-term damage to the eyes such as cataracts, impaired vision, and blindness. Big yikes!

That’s why you have to take good care of your body. After all, we only have one pair of eyes.

Now, go grab yourself a pair of tanning goggles to wear! We hope this article helped!

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.