The Food and Drug Administration's research shows that tanning once a week can provide the same level of tan as going three times a week, but the agency still recommends that people avoid tanning beds. There is ultraviolet light exposure when using a tanning bed, which means an increased risk of cancer for those who use tanning beds frequently.
There are alternatives to tanning beds, including spray tans and tanning lotions. These alternatives have their own risks, but there is no ultraviolet light exposure using these alternative methods. To avoid prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, spend time outdoors in the early morning and later afternoon when the sun is still strong and capable of tanning the skin but the amount of ultraviolet light is low.