If you’re thinking about ways to build the kind of tan that will be the envy of everyone at that next beach or pool party, you may have considered indoor tanning.
You may have even read over some indoor tanning tips already, but in order to make a well-informed decision about your tanning needs, you should know the answers to the top ten most frequently asked questions about indoor tanning.
1. Is Indoor Tanning More Effective Than Outdoor Tanning?
Studies show that indoor tanning can help you build a base tan more quickly and effectively because of the controlled environment.
Because you can time your sessions and expose your skin to a consistent level of UV rays, the result is a more even tan in a shorter amount of time.
The controlled environment does make indoor tanning a more effective way to achieve a tan.
2. Is Indoor Tanning Safer?
There is always some risk in tanning, whether it’s outdoors during the hottest part of the day or in a tanning bed.
However, there are a number of factors involved with indoor tanning that does make the procedure safer.
Firstly, there are tanning technicians on site at tanning salons who can help you make the best choices about your tanning needs, what types of lotions to use, and how long you should time your sessions for in order to achieve your tan safely.
This especially reduces the risk for those who are using a tanning bed for the first time and may not be aware of the possible risks.
Because these technicians help you control how the tanning bed operates, the risk of suffering a burn is much lower than if you lay outside on your own for too long while trying to get a deeper tan.
Overall, the risk of suffering side effects from tanning increase the longer you tan, so it’s a good idea to space out your tanning sessions.
3. Do You Need Tanning Lotion for Indoor Tanning?
While it’s true that you shouldn’t wear outdoor tanning lotion while tanning indoors because it is designed for outdoor use and because it could permanently stain a tanning bed, wearing a lotion that is designed specifically for tanning indoors can actually improve the tone of your tan.
If you want a tan with a bit of bronze or one that has some glow to it, then there are products that you can buy directly from the tanning salon that will help you achieve this result.
Many of these indoor tanning products will also hydrate your skin as they accelerate your tan so that it doesn’t dry out.
While indoor tanning lotion isn’t necessary in the same way that sunscreen is for outdoor tanning, it will improve your overall result.
4. Should You Wear Protective Eyewear for Indoor Tanning?
Yes, protective eyewear is vital for indoor tanning.
Your tanning salon tech may provide you with tanning goggles during your session, although you should invest in your own pair.
It is not enough to drape a towel over your eyes because the UV rays that the bed gives off can still filter through the material.
If you’re worried about the skin around your eyes staying pale and giving you a reverse raccoon-eyed effect, you can carefully readjust the goggles during your tanning session to avoid this.
If you tan indoors without wearing protective goggles, you risk damaging the sensitive skin around your eyes that may cause premature aging, such as wrinkles and crow’s feet, as well as damage to the eyes themselves.
It’s also important to wear protective eyewear if you need to tan while wearing contacts.
While some salons might recommend that you take them out before tanning, it’s not dangerous to leave them in, as long as you wear your goggles.
To help keep your eyes moist during tanning, you can add a little saline solution to your contacts before putting them in.
Depending on their structure, indoor tanning may damage your contacts, so it’s best to ask your eye doctor about whether they would be affected.
5. Is Nude Tanning Possible in a Tanning Salon?
There are many salons that offer private tanning beds if you wish to tan in the nude.
Many people like to do this because it eliminates unsightly tan lines.
Tanning in the nude is just as safe as tanning in a bathing suit or underwear, as long as you make sure to carefully time your session.
It’s also important to keep in mind that areas of the body like the breasts and the genitals are more sensitive to UV ray exposure, so be sure to build up your tan slowly if you decide to go in the nude.
If you decide to tan nude, take a tour of the salon before you make an appointment and make sure that their sanitation processes and the products they use are effective in killing bacteria and germs that cause viruses.
Remember that you’re lying nude in a tanning bed that has also been used by other people who went nude, so taking the time to ask about sanitation is vital.
Choose a salon that uses hospital-grade cleaning materials to clean their beds and don’t be afraid to choose another salon if you feel that the one you’re visiting isn’t up to your standards.
6. How Do You Prepare for Indoor Tanning?
Indoor tanning does require more preparation than outdoor tanning, so you’ll have to remember a number of indoor tanning tips for the night before your appointment.
First, you should shower with warm water and a gentle, water-based soap before exfoliating the skin.
Sloughing away dead skin cells, excess body oil, and other impurities will allow your skin to better absorb the tanning bed’s UV rays.
On the day of your appointment, you shouldn’t wear makeup, scented body lotion, or any jewelry when you go in for your tan.
Heavily-scented lotions and other cosmetics may interfere with how effectively the bed’s rays reach your skin and may result in uneven tanning or may even damage your skin if they make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.
Your tanning salon technician can also let you know about any additional preparations you need to make.
7. How Does Skin Type Affect Indoor Tanning?
Your skin type has a great deal to do with how often and how long you will tan at an indoor salon, so it’s important that you discuss it with a tanning salon professional in order to create a tanning schedule that works for you and that is safe for your skin.
What many people don’t realize is that indoor tanning is a process that takes place over time and that you rarely get the results you achieve in just one visit.
However, the number of appointments you will need and the duration time you spend tanning will depend greatly on your skin tone.
Lighter tones will need more appointments in order to tan the skin gradually without burning it, and darker tones will need fewer appointments, as it will tan more easily. Understanding your own skin type will allow you to build an even tan and reduce the risk of burns.
Your skin type will also affect how frequently you will have to return to the salon once you build up a tan.
The lighter your skin is, the more frequently you will have to tan.
Once you achieve the color you desire, you will have to return to the salon several times a week in order to maintain it.
8. Can You Buy Indoor Tanning Products Outside of the Salon?
This is one of the most important indoor tanning tips to follow because it could seriously affect the health of your skin: you should never buy tanning lotion, accelerator, bronzer, or any other kind of indoor tanning products from online auction houses, flea markets, or other “discount” sources just to save a little bit of money.
While tanning salon products can put a dent in your wallet, you’re also paying for quality products that are certified as safe by the company.
In many cases, these products are either counterfeit or expired, both of which can spell trouble for your skin in the long run.
Fake products contain inferior ingredients that may not protect your skin, and expired products that have been repackaged into new bottles will not have any effect at improving your indoor tan at all.
If you want to save money on tanning salon products, there are a number of authorized companies online that may help you stretch your tanning dollar.
9. Will A Shower After Tanning Help Cool You Down?
While a cool shower probably would feel good on the skin, it’s always better to use moisturizer on your skin right after you tan instead of showering.
If you shower right after a tanning session, you risk scrubbing away the skin cells that absorbed the UV rays of the bed, which may result in a patchy or uneven tan. Instead, use a moisturizer that’s been approved by your tanning technician.
Using a moisturizer right after tanning will not only cool and hydrate the skin, but it will also help lock in your tan so that it sets more evenly.
Choose a moisturizer that’s unscented, as the melanin in your skin hasn’t had time to be triggered by the UV light, and scented lotions may interfere with the process because of the ingredients they contain.
Try not to shower until later on that evening or ideally, not until the following day.
10. Do You Need Medical Approval Before You Start Tanning?
There are no FDA laws that require you see a doctor before you decide to tan indoors, but there are many benefits of doing so.
The greatest benefit is the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a clean bill of health before you begin your tanning regimen.
Other benefits include a discussion of your family history, which is especially important if anyone in your family has ever experienced skin problems, diseases, or disorders.
Many skin problems are hereditary and tanning may trigger their symptoms, so having this discussion with your doctor or dermatologist is always a good idea.
If you already have existing skin problems like mild to moderate acne or rosacea, seeing your doctor before you tan is also a wise choice because he or she can tell you whether indoor tanning is right for your skin type and help you create a sensible tanning schedule that will suit your skin’s needs.
While it is possible to tan when you have sensitive skin, you will also have to pay more attention to detail when it comes to how often and how long you tan.
It’s also important to talk about any medications you’re taking that might possible cause your skin to react negatively to the UV rays that indoor tanning beds give off.
While there are many other indoor tanning tips available, these top ten frequently-asked questions will get you started on your tanning journey.
Keep in mind that your skin type and other factors will play in to how you create your tanning schedule and how you choose to tan.
Only you can decide if indoor tanning is the right choice for you and whether the risks associated with it are worth taking.
If you have any further questions about indoor tanning, you should take a tour of your local tanning salon so that you can tan with confidence all year long.