Tag: Tanning

Tanning Bed – Beginner’s Guide

Are you considering indoor tanning? With bathing suit season well underway, many people will be going to their local tanning salon to get a bronzed body before hitting the beach. But what if you have never been in a tanning bed before? What do beginners need to consider?

Before going tanning, I recommend making an informed decision about whether or not the pros outweigh the cons. Many experts claim that there are too many risks, and tanning beds should be reserved for medicinal purposes only. Others claim that the benefits far outweigh any risks.

I encourage everyone to at least be aware of the risks, informed about the benefits, and do a little research on their own so that they can make an informed decision regarding tanning beds.

Risks of Tanning Bed

  • skin cancer (studies have been done that link tanning beds to skin cancer and show that they increase the risk of skin cancer by 75% and melanoma by 20%)
  • premature aging
  • wrinkles
  • damaged immune system
  • eye damage, such as cataracts and blindness

Benefits of Tanning Bed

  • a convenient tan
  • self-treatment of eczema
  • self-treatment of psoriasis
  • self-treatment of seasonal affective disorder
  • tanning provides a supply of vitamin D, which can help prevent several cancers such as breast and colon cancer

Tips for Those Who Have Never Tanned Before

If you still want to go tanning even after knowing the risks, that’s fine. I enjoy tanning, and I also find it very relaxing. Going tanning for the first time can bring up a lot of questions, such as should you use tanning lotions, do you need to wear protective eyewear, and what bed to use. The people who work in tanning salons can usually help you with any unanswered questions you may have, but still, it’s smart to do your own research.


The first time I went tanning, I asked the woman working for a little advice regarding which lotion to use. I also inquired about what the difference was between the lotions. I had no idea what a “bronzer” was and didn’t know what the words and ingredients written on the bottle meant. She said that all of them were pretty great, and it really didn’t matter. Yep. All thirty lotions displayed in front of me were “great.”

Needless to say, I spent thirty dollars on a lotion that was a great moisturizer but did not help with my color at all. Three weeks later, I had silky soft skin that was still really pale in color. This is why it’s a good idea to know a little bit before you go to a tanning salon. You never know how informed the employees are.

What Do You Wear?

Some people are absolutely appalled at the mere thought of laying in a tanning bed naked, especially knowing that someone else lay in that tanning bed naked. Others could care less and trust their tanning salon to sanitize properly the bed before they get into it.

So what (if anything) should you wear? There are a lot of different views on this particular question, and it all comes down to one very simple answer: wear whatever you are comfortable in. If you wear your bathing suit every time, you will have tan lines that reflect that, but that’s your choice.

Ideas for What to Wear

  • nothing (go naked)
  • a bathing suit
  • underwear
  • tanning stickers (these can tell you how much darker your color gets, and can make a pretty temporary tattoo)

Do You Have to Wear Protective Eyewear?

Excessive amounts of UV exposure to your eyes can result in damage to the eye itself, the retina, and can cause cataracts and even blindness. I have read stories of people that have gone blind their first time in a tanning bed. While that is not a likely outcome, if you opt away from protective eyewear, it is a possibility.

Simply closing your eyes or putting a towel over them does not provide enough protection to prevent damage to your eyes. Many tanning salons provide disposable protective eyewear for one-time use that stick to the area around your eye to provide protection.


Buying tanning goggles is another option. Many of these have a string that wraps around the back of your head to ensure that they do not move while tanning.

Many tanning salons do not check to see if you have protective eyewear before you go tanning, and no one is going to follow you into a tanning bed to ensure that you are wearing them. Protecting your eyesight is your responsibility.

How Long Should You Go Tanning and What Type of Bed Should You Use?

How long you should go tanning depends on your skin type. The tanning salon will have you fill out some paperwork and determine your skin type. They should be able to help you with this decision (but still, you should do your own research).

If you burn extremely easily, you may want to start out only going five minutes in a Level One or Two tanning bed. The tanning salon that I go to only has one Level One bed, and often they recommend people use a Level Two. I, personally, started out going seven minutes in a Level Two bed and did fine. If five minutes does not give you a burn, you can try to go seven minutes the next time, and consistently add two minutes at a time. If you notice that you are starting to burn, wait an extra day or so before returning to the tanning bed. Trust me, it is possible to tan with out getting burnt.

Tanning salons offer different levels of beds as well as different types of tanning beds. The levels determine the amount of UV rays and therefore how quickly you will tan. These levels start out at Level 1 and go up to Level 4. Different types of beds include a lying-down bed, a stand-up bed, and even one that has a strip of tanning bulbs down one side to help tan your sides.

There is no particular bed that is better than another, it all depends on what you like. If I have a lot of energy, I like to use a stand-up tanning bed, and sometimes I dance while I’m in there. The beds you lie down in are much more relaxing, though, and sometimes I prefer that. Ask your tanning salon what different beds they have, try some different ones, and see what’s right for you.

Move Around

When tanning, don’t lie still the entire time. This can cause wrinkles in your tan, which are not pretty. Wherever the UV rays do not reach, your body will not tan, so try this: prop your head up slightly on a pillow or lean it slightly forward (or use the pillow if the place provides one). Now, think about any wrinkles in your neck in that position. If there is a wrinkle there, the tiny bit of skin inside that wrinkle will not be exposed to the UV rays, resulting in a white line (tanning wrinkle) across your neck. This is why different positions when tanning can be helpful in achieving an all-over, even tan.

What Type of Lotion Do You Use?

There are a lot of great tanning lotions on the market today. Consider these options:

  • A moisturizer is vital because tanning will dry your skin out.
  • If you are looking for more color, then you may want to try a lotion with a bronzer or intensifier as well. A bronzer will add more color to your complexion. Most lotions that contain bronzers will say something along the lines of 10x or 30x on them. The higher the number, the more bronzer the lotion contains, and the darker it will help you get. Another trick is to look at the color of the lotion before purchasing it. The more bronzer a lotion contains, the darker its color will be.tanning-salon-marketing
  • Other types of lotions include maximizers, accelerators, tingle lotions, and cooling lotions.
  • When applying lotion, it is important to take your time and apply it evenly. If you wind up with five times more lotion on your stomach and hardly any on your chest, it can lead to an extremely uneven tan. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a great idea to buy a small sample packet of the lotion to test before committing to an entire bottle.

Peace Love and Cupcakes Tanning Lotion

This is one of the first tanning lotions I bought, and it’s still one of my favorites! Peace Love and Cupcakes is a lotion by Australian Gold and has a great, sweet smell to it. It also has 10x bronzer. Now, keep in mind the higher the number, the darker it will help you get. If you burn easily, you may want to start out with a low bronzer just to make sure. Also, you aren’t supposed to shower directly after tanning, and no one wants to walk around smelling like tanning lotion all day. That’s why there are two things I always check before buying a lotion: the smell and the color. The color is another way to tell how dark you will get instead of simply looking at the number before the bronzer.

With this lotion, I could see color within a day, and got complimented on how great I smelled!

Shea You Love Me Tanning Lotion

This lotion is an intensifier. Bronzers and intensifiers are supposed to do the same thing but in different ways. Bronzers have pigments in them to help you look dark while you’re getting a tan. These are great if you want to hurry up and wear shorts without white legs 🙂 Intensifiers are supposed to help your skin produce more melanin so that you get a deeper, more natural-looking tan. I’m on the fence with that. I tried this product for an extended period of time, and did not see a difference. I still love the product, but I use it for my face now. I have sensitive skin so I was a bit skeptical about spending this much on a lotion, but it was worth it. Shea You Love Me is very moisturizing, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free. Tanning can cause dry skin, and I don’t want my face to get any darker (it’s already in the sun so much, and I want my whole body to match) so this is the perfect lotion for my face. I only use about the size of a pea for my face, and this one bottle has lasted me months!


Source: hubpages.com

What You Need to Know About Tanning


What You Need to Know About Tanning

Until the advent of spray tanning and sunless tanning products, the phrase “healthy tan” was a bit of a contradiction. Tanning with ultraviolet (UV) radiation, whether it comes from the sun or from an indoor tanning bed, is dangerous. So why do more than 1 million people tan in tanning salons in the United States every day?

Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation

Many tanning myths stem from confusion about the effects of different types of UV rays. Ultraviolet radiation is part of the light spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. These wavelengths are invisible to the naked eye and include UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. While shorter UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, UVA (long-wave) and UVB (shortwave) penetrate the atmosphere.

UVA Rays

UVA rays account for the majority of UV radiation that reaches the earth, and most tanning beds primarily emit UVA rays. Though less intense than UVB rays, UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply. They reach the lower layers of the epidermis where they trigger cells called melanocytes to produce melanin. This brown pigment is what causes the skin to tan, and also protects the skin from burning. People with darker skin produce more melanin and often do not burn in the sun. However, just because a person does not burn easily does not mean they are protected from skin cancer.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), UVA also damages skin cells called keratinocytes, which are located in the deepest layer of the epidermis. This can initiate the development of skin cancer.

UVB Rays

UVB rays are the primary cause of most sunburn or skin reddening. They are more intense during certain seasons or times of day. For example, UVB rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the spring, summer, and early fall months.  However, UVB rays can burn or damage the skin at any time of year.

For some time, there was conflicting information on the potentially dangerous effects of UVA and UVB rays — scientists once believed that only shorter UVB rays were of concern. However, new evidence shows that longer UVA rays can be just as damaging to the skin and eyes. By damaging the skin’s cellular DNA, both UVA and UVB rays increase the risk for skin cancer, cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye), and premature skin aging.

Risks Associated with Tanning

UV radiation causes premature skin aging and increases your risk for burns. If you tan, however, that’s the least of your concerns.

Tanning indisputably increases the risk of skin cancers, including a rare but deadly form of cancer called melanoma. The incidence of melanomas diagnosed at a more advanced stage is on the rise, and researchers believe indoor tanning is to blame. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), use of tanning beds increases the risk for melanoma by 75 percent, and risk increases with each use. This number gets higher for those who begin using tanning beds before the age of 35, increasing the risk for melanoma to 87 percent.

These advanced cancers are lethal. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), melanomas account for 9,700 out of an estimated 13,000 skin cancer deaths each year. Survival rates are higher (approximately 91 percent) in cases where the cancer has not metastasized (spreads to other parts of the body); however, five-year survival rates for regional and distant metastases plummet to 62 and 16 percent, respectively.

Non-melanomas, including basal and squamous cell cancers, occur both on the skin’s surface and within the deepest layers of the epidermis. These cancers are more common, and typically appear in sun-exposed areas, such as the face, ears, and neck. Unlike melanomas, these cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Myths about Tanning and Sun Exposure

Some people think only childhood sunburns are dangerous. If you had a few bad childhood sunburns, they argue, why bother to protect yourself now? The damage has been done. However, the danger of tanning is dose-related and cumulative — that is, the more UV radiation you’re exposed to over a period of time, the higher your cancer risk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely regulates the use of tanning beds.

Another argument is that using a tanning bed gives you a so-called base tan that allows you to avoid sunburn. But research indicates that any radiation is dangerous, whether its source is the UVA rays that tan the skin or the UVB rays that burn it.

Protecting Your Skin

So, what’s the final word on tanning? Don’t do it. Avoid tanning beds and lamps, and limit your sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UVB rays are most intense. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing when outdoors.

If you absolutely must have a deep glow, try a spray tan. The same chemical, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), is used whether you get airbrushed in a salon or apply the spray at home. Because DHA is a color additive, the safety of the agent has been reviewed and approved by the FDA. DHA is also used in sunless tanning lotions, mousses, bronzers, and moisturizers. Whether you pay a lot of money for them at a department store cosmetics counter or buy them inexpensively at a drugstore, it is up to you.

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