Indoor Tanning Tips

A lot of people everywhere enjoy getting a good tan but many people do not like spending a lot of time in the sun. One way that they overcome this problem is by tanning their skin in tanning booths. Indoor tanning provides many people with an alternative to sun bathing. This tanning method is quick, fairly easy and provides people with a tan that last for at least 30 days. Even though indoor tanning is a convenient thing to do there are some precautions that people must take in order to avoid damaging their skin. Here are some indoor tanning tips that will help people with the tanning process.  

1. Avoid Damaging your Skin

Most people might not think that tanning beds and booths will damage their skin but the reality is that these specialized pieces of equipment can in fact destroy a person’s dermal layer like the sun. When a person exposes their skin to the sun their bodies are impacted by three different types of UV rays. The sun’s UV rays are broken down as UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. UV-A and UV-B rays are the type of energy that is emitted by tanning equipment. These particular two types of rays are used for tanning because they cause the least amount of damage to a person’s body. UV-C rays will damage a person’s skin. This type of UV ray is responsible for causing cancer and creating sunburn. Even though UV-A and UV-B are best suited for indoor tanning these two types of rays can still cause damage to a person’s body. People who tan must wear some sort of protection that reduces the impact of the UV light.  

2. Understand how your Skin can be damaged by UV Rays

When a person uses indoor tanning equipment they are exposed to 95% UV-A rays and 5% UV-B rays. This amount of UV light is similar to how the sun shines during the summer. Once a person’s skin is exposed to UV light the top layer (also called the dermis) began to produce melanin. This happens every time that they are exposed to the sun for a long period. Believe it or not when a person tans their skin it reacts to sunlight as a defense mechanism. This defense mechanism is necessary so that a person’s dermis will be burned away or mutated by sunlight. The longer a person is exposed to the sun the more their body produces melanin. Darker skinned people can withstand longer tanning times without damaging their skin because they naturally have more melanin in their dermis.  

3. Skin Type and the Tanning Process

People come in a variety of skin colors but only certain types of skin tones are more suited for tanning than others. Darker skinned people can naturally withstand the tanning process for a greater period of time than fair or lighter skinned individuals. Fair or lighter skinned people cannot stay out in the sun as long because they do not have more melanin unlike darker skinned individuals. Since this is the case, fair or lighter skinned people cannot and should not use indoor tanning equipment for a long period to time. Most tanning facilities management and attendants typically have some knowledge about skin tones. Darker skinned people will tan easier than lighter skinned individuals. There are is a skin type chart that some facilities use in order to determine how long people should tan. Fairer skinned people should only tan between 20 to 33 minutes. Lighter skinned people should tan between 28 to 47 minutes and darker skinned people can tan up to 227 minutes. Keep in mind that a tanning chart is just a basic guideline for this process. Some people will be able to tan for a greater period of time and others less.  

4. How often should a Person Tan?

When most people tan their skin they do so on an incremental basis. Most tanning personnel recommend that people start slowly and gradually with the tanning process and to increase the frequency of this process over a period of time. Many indoor tanning facilities will start off new clients with 5 minute tanning sessions before increasing their tanning times up to 12 minutes. People are also warned to wait before tanning their skin every 48 hours in order to avoid damage. A good schedule for tanning typically includes 3 sessions per week. People who tan should also keep in mind that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibit clients from 1 indoor tanning session within a given day. By law, tanning facilities must not allow anyone to go through this process for more than once within a 24 hour time period.  

5. Skin Preparation for Tanning

There are some things that tanners should do to their skin before they start a session. First time tanners are encouraged to exfoliate their skin for up to one week before they start their first indoor sessions. Commercial exfoliating kits are great for this activity. People can also use a body pouf to gently prepare their skin. This process is necessary for removing dead skin and creating a smooth surface. This will allow the UV rays to penetrate the skin more clearly and effectively. Indoor tanning lotions work the same as regular tanning creams. The lotions help to maximize the process and people should put them on before they begin to darken their skin. When a clients tan they typically wear a bathing suit or their undergarments. Many people also tan completely nude. If a person decides to tan in the nude they should wear some type of small towel or protective covering for the sensitive areas of their bodies. This is necessary because the sensitive areas on most people’s bodies are prone to damage by UV light exposure. People must check with the rules and procedures of a particular tanning facility in order to determine if tanning nude is acceptable in their location. Tanners should remove all jewelry, eyeglasses and contact lenses before they begin the process. The FDA requires that people wear some type of eye protection before they tan and most facilities will give people a set of UV tanning goggles in order to protect their eyes from the strong light. Items such as makeup, perfume and deodorant should not be warn as well since they can act as a shield for the skin during the tanning process.  

6. Moisturize your Skin before you Tan

While it is true that people should not wear any type of products on their skin before tanning, they should moisturize their skin before they begin this process. Moisturizing the skin will help people to receive a better tan. Skin that is moisturized absorbs UV rays with better results. This means that moisturized skin will tan faster and more effectively. People should use a special tanning lotion to moisturize their skin. Bronzers can also be used as a part of the moisturizing process for the purpose of tanning and these products can help to enhance the color of a person’s skin by using DHA which causes the dermis darken between 2 to 4 hours after use.

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7. Health Conditions that Prevent Tanning

Tanning is an activity that is not suited for everyone. Obviously, people who have bad skin or some type of major skin condition should not tan. People who have high blood pressure, who are taking antibiotics or specialized prescriptions should avoid tanning as well. A medication chart is usually available at local tanning salons. These charts typically point out the types of health conditions and prescription medications that are not suited for tanning.  

8. Understanding the Different Types of Tanning Equipment

There are different types of tanning equipment that people can utilize for tanning. Regular tanning beds and Super Beds are two of the most common types of equipment that are found inside of most facilities. A regular tanning bed requires 3 to 5 sessions a week in order to maintain a tan and they should only be used for up to 15 minutes. A super lay-down model allows for 2 to 3 sessions a week with each session lasting only 15 minutes. Super stand-up equipment is located in some facilities and this unit allows people to remain standing while tanning their skin. This piece of equipment allows for 2 to 3 sessions a week for up to 15 minutes. All tanning equipment use different wattage and bulbs for the tanning process. Another thing that should not be forgotten when tanning is that UV-A rays are responsible for causing the melanin pigments to darken and UV-B rays will stimulate melanin production. Tanning beds will emit UV rays electronically in order to create this process.  

9. The 3-Step Process to Tanning

Some tanning facilities use a 3-Step system for tanning their clients. This process is used to create a fast and dark tan. Each step is utilized to darken a person’s color and to extend the life of the tan. The first step involves the use of tan builders such as vitamins and nutrients. This builds color quickly into the skin. The next step is a tan booster which provides advanced ingredients that help to deepen the color of a person’s skin. This is accomplished by greater energy and oxygen intake. The final step is dark tan extenders that will aid in the further development of a person’s skin color. Ingredients such as vitamins and copper are used for this process. People can only tan for so long before they reach a point where their skin can no longer be safely darkened. Once a person reaches this stage they should stop the tanning process. Each person will know when they reach their limit. A person should not go over a recommended schedule for tanning.  

10. After a Tanning Session Ends

People should wait at least 4 hours before taking a shower or bathing when they are finished tanning. A person’s skin is still manufacturing melanin long after the tanning procedure has ended. Their skin will need more time to manufacture the tan and bathing will interfere with this process. People can also put on special after tanning lotion to moisturize their skin after the process is completed.  

11. Other Considerations for Tanning

People should make it a point to get their tans as even as possible. This can be accomplished by frequently rotating their bodies through a tanning cycle. People should avoid folding parts of their bodies while they are inside of the tanning bed. Performing actions such as placing their chin on their chest or bending their legs should be avoided. White tan lines will clearly reveal parts of a person’s body that has been covered up during the tanning process. People should pay close attention to areas of their body that are somewhat resistant to the tanning process. The underarm and upper thigh areas are two places that should be given more consideration. Tanners should also keep in mind that once melanin production begins within a person’s body the less exposed areas will naturally darken as well. People should also wear some type of lip protection during the tanning process. A person’s lips do not have the ability to produce melanin and the UV light will burn this area causing it severely chap or blister. Lip balm is generally used to block out UV light during the tanning process.
People should also keep in mind that long term indoor tanning poses the same risk as tanning in the sun. People should minimize their exposure to the tanning process in order to remain healthy. This can be difficult for some people because indoor tanning allows them to pretty much tan all year round. A lot of people who live in cold climates tend to indoor tan during the winter months in order to keep up their appearance. While there is nothing wrong with tanning during this time of the year a person must be careful not to over tan their skin. Some people will use indoor tanning during the winter months and sunbath during the summer season. Once again, this might lead to overexposure of the skin. People are strongly encouraged to limit tanning to a particular season of the year in order to avoid long term skin problems. These indoor tanning tips will help people to safely and effectively tan their skin.

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