Frequently Asked Tanning Questions

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about tanning. We have answers to the most common questions about the tanning process here.  When you understand the tanning process and how it works, you will be more confidant in your ability to safely get that beautiful tanned look and feel your best.  There may be questions you have that you don’t see here. We did try to cover a big majority of frequently asked tanning questions for you. Should you have other questions, please feel free to call us at 905 -856-8770 or visit our tanning salon in person and ask one of our Smart Tan certified consultants.

How does tanning work?

Tanning beds use UV or Ultraviolet light to tan your body. There are two types of UV light in your tanning bed lamps -UVA and  UVB. Tanning beds are designed to mimic the same levels of UVA and UVB as the natural sun out side. Your skin will respond the same to these tanning rays as the sun outside. The UVB rays will promote the production of melanin, the pigment that makes you look tanned. The UVA tanning rays darken or bronze your existing melanin in your skin.

Is tanning in a salon safe?

In a nutshell, yes!  Tanning in a tanning bed gives you the same benefits of the outside sun, but in a controlled environment.  Just compared to being outside in actual sunlight, from day to day and hour to hour the strength of the sun outside changes dramatically. When inside using a tanning bed, you know exactly how strong your tanning bed is and exactly how long you are going to tan for. You get all the benefits of tanning outside but in a controlled manner to limit your risk of over exposure and burning. You can expect all the “Goodness” of the outside  forms of UV light.  Before tanning outside regularly or going on vacation, you should come inside and work on getting a base tan first so as not to get sunburned.

How often can I tan?

Ideally you should wait at least 24 hours between tanning sessions before tanning again.  You may come a little more often if you are starting out with very low minutes. Our terained staff can discuss your tanning schedule once we see you and establish your skin type.

How long should I tan when I first start?

Our trained staff will discuss your specific schedule based on your skin type and tanning goals. Most times we advise you to start with a smaller exposure time and ease into the tanning process. You can then increase your tanning session gradually as you start building a base tan. If you already have a tan from outside or from your vacation you will typically be able to go for longer session times in the beginning. Be sure to listen to the advice of our trained staff. Their job is to help you attain a beautiful tan without burning you. The advice you get is from years of indoor tanning experience.

What should I wear when I tan?

Our tanning beds are in private rooms where you can wear whatever you like. Some customers feel more comfortable in a bikini or swimsuit and want to have tan lines. Others choose to go more natural to avoid tan lines since no one will see you.  You also may choose to wear underwear to protect the more private parts of your body from burning. You will also be required to use specialized eye wear to prtect your eyes from any possible damage. Just like you should not stare directly into the sun outside, it’s not advised to stare directly at the tanning lights.

When shouldn’t I tan?

You should not tan if you have just tanned in the past 24 hours. You should not tan if you tanned outside that day. You should not tan if you have a sunburn. Don’t tan if you are taking photo-sensitizing medication, usually your medication will have a warning on the bottle.  Be sure and ask your doctor if you can tan if you are taking any kind of medication.

Should I use lotion ?

Today’s indoor tanning lotions have come a long way. They are specifically designed for the indoor tanners and contain ingredients to speed up and maximize your tanning results. Professional indoor tanning lotions are designed to maximize and accelerate your tanning results. Designed to give you a faster, darker, longer lasting tan.  These professional tanning lotions replace essential nutrients, minerals and moisture to keep your skin glowing and healthy. Lotions also contain natural extracts and antioxidants to shield free radical damage in your skin.

Do I need to wear an SPF lotion when I tan?

No, SPF tanning lotions are designed for dangerous outside tanning conditions or prolonged sun exposure. They should only be used if you are going outside in the hot sun for extended periods of time or if you are outside and do not have a vase tan. When tanning inside in a controlled environment you do not need to wear an SPF sun block lotion. You don’t want to block the sun tanning rays that you are  paying to get. We use a sensible exposure time and a tanning bed level to match your existing skin type and tan so that you don’t have to worry about burning at the tanning salon.

Why do I need to wear eye protection?

Just closing your eyelids is not adequate protection, your eyelids are too thin to stop ultraviolet light from penetrating the thin skin. For this reason you must wear eye protection when tanning at Desert Sun Tanning Studio.

Is there such a thing as a safe tan?

A tan is a natural process that happens in human skin when exposed to sunshine designed by mother nature.  Human skin also makes thousands of units of Vitamin D when exposed to sunshine UVB rays. The benefits of higher Vitamin d levels are tremendous.  The tanning rays UVA have been discovered to release Nitric Oxide in our skin contributing to a lower risk of heart disease.  However too much of a good thing can also be bad. Overexposure ( TOO MUCH TANNING ) can result in sunburn and skin damage, which is why we teach both tanners and non-tanners alike to be intelligent about their sun exposure. Moderate sun exposure for individuals who can develop a tan is the ‘smartest’ way to maximize the potential benefits and minimize the potential risks associated with either too much or too little sunlight. ( TOO LITTLE TANNING ) Is considerably more dangerous than too much tanning. So be wise and make sure you get adequate sun exposure, but just use common sense and don’t over do it.

Why do some people itch after tanning indoors?

Rashes or itching occurring on the body after ultraviolet light exposure are not an indication of skin disease, but of dry skin or a photosensitive reaction. They often are caused by a combination of heat from the tanning lamps, a lack of sufficient melanin in the skin being tanned and ultraviolet light. This is why it’s extremely important to properly moisturize before, during, and after your tanning session. Both irritations usually subside within several days after tanning has stopped.

How does indoor tanning exposure compare to the natural sun Outside?

The main difference is that inside “YOU” are in control of how much sun your body gets. When tanning outside, the strength of the UVA and UVB rays change constantly from minute to minute, hour to hour and day to day.  The UV rays do the exact same thing to your skin whether you tan indoors or outdoors.  Your skin produces Vitamin d and a tan the same way. In many ways indoor tanning is safer than the outside sun because you get all the benefits of the sun while being able to control the strength and exposure time to reduce the risk of getting too much sun. The sun’s strength outside is dependent on many factors. When you are outdoors in the sun you cannot control the amount of ultraviolet light your skin receives. Indoor tanning is a very controlled environment in which you can regulate the exact amount of UV light your skin gets. You can gradually increase your exposure time to increase your Vitamin d levels and achieve a beautiful healthy glowing tan without over exposing and getting a sun burn.

How do sunless tanning lotions work?

Most self-tanners use DHA (an ingredient derived from sugarcane), this is a harmless ingredient which reacts with the proteins and amino acids in your skin to create a bronze tan color. Some lotions use natural bronzers like walnut husks which lightly color the outer layer of the skin.

How much is too much tanning?

We like to use the term “moderate tanning”. Moderate tanning will mean something different for different skin types.  Skin type IV people with darker skin, darker eyes and darker hair will need more sun exposure to make Vitamin d than a skin type II person with lighter skin tone, hair and eyes would to make the same amount of Vitamin d.  Whatever your skin type, remember to always follow the Golden Rule of Smart Tanning ” Don’t EVER sunburn “.  Caution is needed for skin type I: a fair-skinned, red-headed, green-eyed person may not have the ability to develop a tan at all. This person should not attempt to tan inside or outside as they lack sufficient amounts of the sun protective melanin to prevent sun burns. Other than skin type I most people have the ability to develop a nice tan, and some of us tan very easily.  We think the key is simple moderation like everything else in life. Simply don’t over do it. Avoid sunburn at all costs. Get some sun every day, but not so much you get a burn.  You would be better off going more often for less time than less often for more time. Just imagine going out in the sun on the first sunny day of the season for 30 minutes as compared to going out for 5 hours. 5 hours the first day is most likely over doing it. The same thing applies to out ranning beds. Go for less minutes if it’s your first tan in a while, try not to go to long the first few times.

Aren’t dermatologists against indoor tanning?

Many dermatologists do speak out against tanning, however not all of them. Some ” BIG ” dermatologists have broken ranks with their peers in recent years, urging their profession to re-think its one-sided senseless dogma about sun exposure. Two of the most recent:

-Research dermatologist Dr. Sam Shuster, professor emeritus to the Department of Dermatology at Newcastle University in northern England, challenged his peers to quantify the alleged increase in skin cancer incidence, which is not based on actual numbers but only estimates. In the book, “Panic Nation: Unpicking the Myths We’re Told About Food and Health-Shuster calls his peers to acknowledge that a tan is the body” natural protection against sunburn -a reality that has been all but stampeded under the establishment’s rhetoric. “Unfortunately our attitude to sun and ultra-violet (UV) light is subject to much perverse and dubious technical ‘advice’, which society has passively accepted without questioning its provenance writes Shuster.

-Boston University Professor Dr. Michael Holick ‘the scientist who was involved in the discovery of the active form of vitamin D in the early 1970s – wrote the
book “The UV Advantage” in 2004, urging people to embrace moderate exposure to ultraviolet light as the body’s natural way to produce Vitamin D. Holick is one of the world’s leading authorities on vitamin D production. Since some exposure to sunlight is beneficial to your health, it is reasonable that if you wish to be exposed to sunlight, that you can do so with relative safety if you make sure that you do not receive a sunburn,-Holick says.

-Many rank-and-file dermatologists have more moderate views about sensible sun exposure, but have been intimidated by their peers not to discuss these views publicly. Indeed, upon publishing “The UV Advantage”in 2004, Holick was forced to resign his post at Boston University as a professor of dermatology, with the chair of that department calling his work “schlock science”. In spite of such rhetoric, in the two years since publishing his book, most of Holick’s positions have become mainstream thinking.

Can anybody get a tan?

NO, not everyone has the ability to develop a beautiful tan. It depends on your skin type. That’s why we use your skin type to determine your tanning schedule and what level of tanning equipment you should start in. Certain skin types cannot tan from regular sun exposure. However we do have options so that anybody can get a beautiful golden-tan look with our UV-Free tanning system process. Our trained tanning staff can help you determine the type of tanning best suited to your skin type. The six basic skin types are shown below:

Skin type 1: Always burns, never tans
Skin type 2: Burns easily, tans slightly
Skin type 3: Sometimes burns, tans gradually
Skin type 4: Burns minimally, always tans well
Skin type 5: Burns rarely, tans deeply
Skin type 6: Almost never burns, deeply pigmented

Why is moisturized skin important for a tan?

Healthy, moist skin will tan quicker, tan darker and keep its tan longer. When your skin is moist and hydrated you tan looks more radiant and your skin looks much healthier thus you have the beautiful glowing sun tan. Dry skin loses it’s tan quicker and does not look very nice or healthy. Please be sure to only use professional lotions and moisturizers when working on building and maintaining a beautiful tan. Department store generic lotions do not have the high quality and specific ingredients your skin needs when developing a tan.

If I can’t tan outdoors will I be able to tan in a tanning bed?

Most likely no, if you can’t get color from the suns UV rays outside, you won’t get a tan in an UV tanning bed. However, we do have a UV-Free tanning system to give you a natural looking tan without any UV exposure at all.

How do I know the beds are clean?

You can rest assured we only use FDA-approved cleaning solutions after every customer’s tanning session. We do not use the same cleaning towel over and over. We use a different towel every single time.  The sanitizing solution is also mixed using a medical shringe and measured to exact standards to make sure our sanitizer is effective.

How often do you change the tanning bulbs?

We change our bulbs more often than is recommended by the manufacturer. We make sure we always have fresh tanning bulbs so that you get the best results from your tanning sessions any time of year. We typically change our bulbs when they have reached approx. 450 hours of use. Any longer and we find your tanning results will  suffer from weaker UV rays. So we change them before this occurs and offer a 100% satisfaction tanning guarantee !