Frequently asked questions about indoor tanning
Whether you get your tan indoors or outdoors, you skin produces a tan the same way – by absorbing ultraviolet light. When you tan outdoors there are a large number of factors that affect how much ultraviolet light you get – sky conditions (clear vs cloudy), latitude (how far north/south you are), altitude, time of day, season, the type and strength of sunscreen; the list goes on. Fifteen minutes today may give you a tan; fifteen minutes tomorrow could burn you badly.
By tanning indoors you are in a controlled environment where you get a consistent amount of ultraviolet light day in and day out. Exposure times are determined by equipment and trained professionals that take into account previous tanning sessions as well as the tanner’s skin type. In this way your tan gets a chance to develop properly without burning.
Many people mix indoor and outdoor tanning – the indoor session gives them the controlled exposure and gets the tan started; they can now go outside, put on sunscreen and enjoy the day, replenishing the sunscreen as necessary.This is the best of both worlds. This is SMART tanning.
If you can tan outdoors in the sun, you can tan indoors – it’s the same type of light, in the same proportions, as you would get outside. It is a higher intensity but it is over a relatively short period of time so you can get the same exposure in 20 minutes indoors that you would need over an hour to get outside. If you always burn when outdoors, do not waste your time or money trying to tan indoors because the result will be the same – you’ll just burn sooner and faster. If in doubt our staff will assist you in determining your skin type (see below) and this skin type will tell you whether or not indoor tanning is for you.
This depends heavily on your skin type (see below) and health, and the frequency of visits. On average it will take 3-7 sessions to achieve a good base tan if you tan every second day and follow the regimen recommended by our staff. After a base tan is established you can maintain it with regular visits. The frequency of the visits depends on your individual skin characteristics and the type of tanning bed but will typically be once or twice per week. Use of a quality tanning lotion will allow your tan to develop faster, with better colour, and last longer. Plus, you’ll find that you need fewer tanning sessions to achieve and maintain your desired colour.
For best results, you should wait 36-48 hours between sessions as it may take that long for your skin to react to the last session. It takes as long as 48 hours for your body to produce melanin after your tanning session, so going more frequently does nothing to help develop your tan – it simply dries and thickens your skin, which makes it harder to tan.
Yes. Indoor tanning lotions ensure that your skin is best prepared for its exposure to tanning rays, and maximize the tanning experience. Here are some good reasons why you should consider using a quality tanning lotion:
• Excellent skin care – lotions are scientifically designed to rejuvenate your skin cells for noticeably younger and smoother skin. Most higher-end lotions use the same high-quality skin care ingredients that you would find in products such as L’Oreal, Oil of Olay and many others.
• Moist skin tans more quickly and efficiently than dry skin. This means that you get better tanning results with fewer visits. Using a quality lotion can actually save you money AND give you a deeper, darker, more natural tan.
• Darker results – achieve up to 50% darker results than what your skin can do naturally. This is done by adding ingredients that promote extra melanin production. Some lotions contain extra bronzing agents that will give you extra colour that will last 5-7 days longer.
• Hydration – lotions add then seal the moisture in your skin. Hours after your session you skin will feel softer and smoother, and look darker.
• Dry skin prevents you from getting a decent tan. How?
• Dry skin reflects UV light, preventing it from producing or reacting with the melanin deeper in your skin.
• Dry skin flakes/rubs off quickly, taking your hard-earned tan with it.
• You should use tanning lotion for your skin for the same reason you use shampoo or conditioner for your hair – it enhances, softens, moisturizes and improves the look and feel of your hair. The same applies to your skin.
Yes, always. First of all our insurance policy demands that we ensure that each customer has protective eyewear, and our waiver form reflects that. Secondly, UV light can cause significant damage to the cornea and retina of your eyes, resulting in cataracts or worse. Eyelids or towels are not enough as the UV light will still penetrate them and do damage. Not using proper eye protection may result in short term effects such as tired, itchy eyes, headaches and loss of night vision. No one should ever be in a tanning bed without eye protection. As with many other things, the bad effects of not wearing goggles may not manifest themselves until years later when you suddenly ask yourself, “Why do my eyes itch/hurt?” – it may relate back to the incorrect/missing eye protection from years earlier. Protection now is the key.
Once you stop tanning (indoors or outdoors), your skin will fade back to its normal colour in approximately 28-30 days. It takes about that long for the upper layer of your skin to be sloughed off and replaced by untanned cells from the lower layer. Proper skin care with tanning lotions and moisturizers will delay the exfoliation process, however a tan can only be maintained through repeated exposure to UV light.
Skin types are the way individual’s skin is categorized based on its likely reaction to ultraviolet light. Our staff will help you determine your skin type and recommend a tanning regimen based on this. The skin types are as follows:
TYPE 1 – Always burns easily, severely, never tans. TYPE 2 – Burns easily, tans minimally or lightly peels. Fair skin. TYPE 3 – Burns moderately and will eventually tan. TYPE 4 – Burns minimally and will tan well. TYPE 5 – Always tans, rarely burns. TYPE 6 – Always tans profusely. Never burns.
Note that anyone with skin type 1 will not be allowed to tan as the likelihood of burning is too high.
Once you stop tanning (indoors or outdoors), your skin will fade back to its normal colour in approximately 28-30 days. It takes about that long for the upper layer of your skin to be sloughed off and replaced by cells from the lower layer. Proper skin care with tanning lotions and moisturizers will delay the exfoliation process, however a tan can only be maintained through repeated exposure to UV light.
We do not use the word SAFE when it comes to indoor tanning – we prefer the term SMART. Here’s why: the term “safe” implies that one can recklessly abuse something without any fear of causing harm. Reckless use of ultraviolet equipment can certainly cause harm to an individual so “safe” is not in our vocabulary. By educating the public and preventing reckless abuse, professional tanning salons are playing a key role in promoting a SMART approach to sunburn prevention that recognizes that people do perceive different benefits from being in the sun. In this way we are able to teach sunburn prevention in a practical way that respects both the potential benefits and the risks of sun exposure. And, we can apply it to both indoor and outdoor tanning equally as our goal is to achieve adequate and proper sun exposure without burning.