Sunbed eye protection: why is it so important?

Eye protection when using a sunbed. - The Tanning Shop

Wearing eye protection while working on your sun-kissed glow is vital to protect your eyes from potential short-term and long-term damage that can occur when eyes are exposed to UV light.

How can UV light damage my eyes if I do not wear eye protection?

Sunbeds emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, primarily UVA and UVB rays, to stimulate the production of melanin in the skin. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays and are responsible for the immediate tanning effect. Unlike the skin, which has the ability to repair itself, your eyes are particularly vulnerable to UV exposure because they lack this protective mechanism.

What types of eye protection are available for use on a sunbed?

The two most common types of eye protection available are reusable sunbed goggles and single-use sunbed eye protection stickers. We provide free disposable eyewear in every single sunbed room in all of our salons.

Will closing my eyes protect them?

To put it bluntly, no. Your eyelid skin is much thinner than the rest of your body only providing the equivalent of SPF 5 protection to your eyes and will only block up to 25% of UV rays. This is the case for both natural sunlight and sunbeds, make sure to cover your eyes with sunbed-specific eye protection when using a sunbed and look for sunglasses that offer high UV protection when spending time outdoors in direct sunlight. Find out more about choosing the right type of sunglasses here –

Can I just wear my sunglasses on the sunbed?

While sunglasses are excellent for outdoor vision protection, they aren’t sufficient for sunbed tanning as the UV rays surround you completely. Your eyes need protection from all angles, not just the front. Although sunglasses offer some protection, they should not be used as a substitute for specially designed eye protection.

I have lash extensions can I still wear eye protection?

Yes, absolutely! Eye protection is so important when tanning that you can now purchase eyelash extension specific eye protection such as WinkEase Lash Room which are specififically designed to accommodate longer lashes.

What are the short-term risks of not wearing eye protection when using a sunbed?

Photokeratitis – occurs when the eye’s cornea becomes inflamed from overexposure of UV light.
Symptoms usually clear up within 24-48 hours if you give your eyes plenty of rest and take a break from UV light exposure
More information is available on Photokeratitis here:

Pterygium – is a noncancerous growth that develops on the white bit of your eye and is sometimes referred to as ‘Surfers eye’. It is linked to exposure to high levels of UV light usually from spending most of the day outdoors.
The treatment for a pterygium largely depends on its size and whether it is impacting your vision.
More information is available on Pterygium here:

What are the long-term risks of not wearing eye protection when using a sunbed?

Cataracts – A cataract is a common eye condition where the lens inside the eye becomes less transparent. Overexposure to UV light can increase your risk of developing cataracts.
More information is available on Cataracts here:

Macular degeneration – is an eye disease which is caused by the deterioration of the Macula which is a small area in the middle of the eye’s retina and is the leading cause of age-related blindness. Extended overexposure to UV light can increase the likelihood of developing Macular degeneration,
More information is available on Macular degeneration here:

Eye cancers – there is some evidence to suggest that overexposure to UV light can increase your risk of developing eye cancer.
More information is available on Eye Cancer here:


To mitigate the short-term and long-term risks to your eye health, you must always wear protective eyewear specifically designed for use with sunbeds whether you choose sunbed goggles or protective eye stickers – this eyewear is crafted to block out UV light and protect your eye health. Speak to a member of our team in-store if you are unsure how to use the free eye protection available in all of our salons.