- Why should I tan?
The light is absolutely essential to all life on earth. Yet there are various reasons, both biological and psychological, why exposure to light is desirable. In addition, most people believe they look better with a tan. Thus, having a tan can provide a psychological uplift for some.
- What is the tanning process?
The ability to develop a tan is influenced by an individual’s predisposition. Yet the process itself is the same for everyone. Generally speaking, mainly UVB stimulates the melanocytes in the upper skin layer (called the epidermis), which then produce melanin. The pale pink melanin granules formed in the melanocytes are stored around the core of the keratin cells there. In this manner the pigment granula protect the sensitive DNA located inside the nuclei without impeding the other parts of the cell receiving ultraviolet light. UVA then darkens the melanin, thereby giving the skin a dark appearance. A tan gradually fades as the skin cells migrate to the surface.
- How often is a person allowed to tan?
Since 1986, the Food and Drug Administration guidelines maintain that a 48 hour time interval should pass between tanning sessions. Pigmentation and/or erythema (sunburn) may not be fully visible for between 12-24 hours. Thus, two tanning sessions within this 24 hour period could cause an unintentional burn and is not allowed. In general, maximum pigmentation should be built up gradually in 8-10 tanning sessions.
- Can we tan throughout the year without harming the skin?
Yes, in moderation. Skin damage will occur if a person overexposes the skin during indoor tanning, outdoor tanning or combines exposure indoors with exposure tothe natural sun. One should always be mindful of the dangers of overexposure, as it can lead to chronic skin damage.
- Can teens and children tan indoors?
Yes. There exists no biological reason why teenagers and children couldn’t tan indoors. However, teenagers under 18 years old must obtain the written consent of their parent or legal guardian. ID is required.
- Why do some people itch after tanning?
Itching and/or rashes may be linked to several unrelated causes, so it is important to get a tanning history on each customer. Some people are naturally photosensitive; that is, they may have an allergy that becomes symptomatic upon exposure to UV. Others are susceptible to heat rashes, a cause totally unrelated to UV light.
Certain chemicals or ingredients found in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, and even the acrylic cleaner may cause itching as well. Rashes caused by the products generally occur in localized areas on which the products were applied. Customers should be advised to tan with the skin as clean as possible. If discontinued use of a suspected product does not inhibit the rash, a person should discontinue any exposure to UV light until the condition subsides or see a physician. If the customer wishes to tan thereafter, his/her exposure schedule should be adjusted to shorter sessions over a longer period of time.
- Is pigmentation induced by exposure to indoor tanning equipment the same as a tan obtained by the sun?
Yes. Both the sun and indoor tanning equipment emit UVA and UVB, a combination of ultraviolet light that most efficiently produces pigmentation and darkening in the skin. The most prominent difference in exposure is the times in which the tanning process takes place and also the external factors existing in outside sunlight. Some examples include the angle of incidence (time of year and day), altitude, cloud coverage, pollutants, proximity to the equator, reflective surface, etc.
- Must protective eyewear be worn while tanning indoors
Yes. The Food and Drug Administration (21 CFR 1040.20) requires each indoor tanner use protective eye-wear that meets its transmission specifications. Salon operators’ will refuse tanning devices to those who will not wear eye-wear. Customers should be instructed to always wear protective eye-wear in the manufacturers’ recommended manner. Disposable eye-wear is for one-time use only.
- Are any lotions or creams beneficial to the tanning process?
Yes. It is recommended that in order to achieve the best tan, you must keep your skin healthy. This includes regular cleaning and moisturizing. It is particularly important that before tanning, the skin be as clean as possible. However, one must ensure that the soaps, cleansers and moisturizers used do not contain photosynthesizing substances that could cause a skin rash or burn upon exposure to UV light.
To achieve the deepest, darkest, longest lasting results we’ll recommend a product for your skin type.
- Is it harmful to wear contact lenses when tanning indoors?
There are no known reasons why contact lenses may not be worn while tanning indoors.
- Will I achieve a tan indoors if I cannot tan in the sun?
Normally, a person tans indoors only as well as he/she is able to tan outdoors. Yet, those fair-skinned people who generally cannot tolerate the uncontrollable rays of the sun often achieve some color when tanning indoors. This can be attributed to a different spectral output as well as carefully timed tanning sessions in a controlled tanning environment. Skin type and individual photo-sensitivity determine who will have success tanning indoors.
We’ve done well tanning those hard to tan people!
- What is the difference between Sunblock vs. Sunscreen?
Sunblocks are opaque formulations which absorb, reflect and scatter up to 99% of both UV and visible light. They are often used on localized, sun-sensitive areas such as the nose, lips, ears and shoulders. Because they are messy and may stain clothing, they are not acceptable for application over large areas. An example of a sunblock is zinc oxide. On the other hand, sunscreens absorb specific wavelengths and are classified as drugs by the FDA because they are “…intended to protect the structure and function of the human integument against actinic damage.”
Sunscreens are considered more cosmetically refined due to their pleasing consistency and are, therefore, typically used over a prolonged period of time for effective photo-protection.
- Can indoor tanning cure acne?
Photo-therapy (or use of UV light) has been effective in easing the skin problems common to this condition. The use of UV light for acne treatment should only be administered by a qualified physician.