Have you ever wondered if you need to know anything before you go tanning? Maybe there’s something important that you missed or don’t know about tanning. Whether you’re a first time tanner or a regular tanning enthusiast, here are a list of tips to keep in mind the next time you decide to go tanning. Going tanning could be as simple as just showing up at the tanning salon, but we want to make sure you get the most out of each session. On top of helping you look your best, following these tips can help protect your health and safety.
- 1 Prepare
- 2 What to Bring
- 3 At the Salon
- 4 Product Use
- 5 After-Care
1. Get educated
This is the first step and it’s also why you’re here. There’s a lot of questions to ask and the answers are all out there. Ask your local tanning salon whatever you’re curious about when you arrive. Understand what your skin type is and what your needs are. Read up on the different types of tanning beds and what each of them are good for. Understand the risks of using a tanning bed, and you can be sure you’re using them in the safest way possible.
2. Shower and exfoliate your skin
UV rays work by going through your skin and stimulating a responsive in your body produce melanin to make your skin darker. UV rays are made up of both different types of UV rays, including UVB rays, which are most directly responsible for tanning and don’t penetrate as deeply through the layers of your skin. By keeping your skin fresh and well-exfoliated, you leave your skin primed for getting tanned evenly all over your body. If you’re using any tanning lotions with bronzers, the bronzers often work by darkening the color of old layers of skin.A fresh exfoliation helps make sure any bronzing is done evenly.
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3. Avoid fragrances and oil-based products
Extra products outside of just your tanning lotion can cause issues when you go tanning. The first is that if you use any extra moisturizers or oil-based products before putting on your tanning lotions, those products can get in the way of you getting a good tan. Bronzers may not be applied well to your skin and you can end up with a blotchy tan. Fragrances, on the other hand, can also react poorly in the UV light. You could experience an allergic reaction or a sensitivity to the light combined with your fragrance. It’s best to avoid these products before you go tanning.
4. Make sure tanning is safe for your health situation
Everybody’s different. You might find out that you have a sensitivity to being exposed to UV light in a tanning bed. Your health may not be able to handle laying in a tanning bed for too long, making you faint or dizzy. If you have a type I skin where you just burn and can’t tan, going tanning can be risky, putting you at a high chance for burns or skin cancer. If you’re unsure about something, it’s best to ask your doctor about what you can do to reduce any risks of tanning.
What to Bring
5. Bring a towel and water
Although these items aren’t super critical, they can be a lifesaver in some situations. Having water on hand is great for just general comfort and hydration. You might find yourself really thirsting for a drink after your session, and you’ll thank yourself for remembering to bring water. As for a towel, a towel is a great overall tool for wiping up excess lotion when you’re applying your lotion. If you’re using bronzer, designate a towel to be your tanning towel since bronzers can leave color behind.
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6. Use protective covers and lip protection
Eye covers are a must-have when you go tanning. Your eyelids cannot fully protect your eyes from UV radiation, which can damage your eyes with prolonged exposure. Tanning salons will usually provide eye protection for you to use because it’s so important for your safety. Hair covers and nail covers are also great for protecting your hair from sun damage and your manicures from fading. And the last critical piece of protection you should keep on hand is lip balm or chapstick with SPF. It’s easy to overlook sensitive parts like your lips when you go tanning. They can easily get sunburned if you’re not careful, and burnt lips are an uncomfortable experience.
(image from livestrong.com)
At the Salon
7. Ask for discounts and deals
When you get to the salon, it never hurts to ask for any discounts or deals. If you’re a first-timer, they might have deals you can use. Even if it’s not your first time, tanning salons usually have specials going on to get customers through the door. Most tanning salons are happy to do what they can to make sure you have a good experience so you come back as a repeat customer.
8. Tan the minimum amount you need get a reaction
The most common mistake people make when they go tanning is overdoing it. Tanning for too long comes with several problems. You’re more likely to get burned, you put yourself at higher risk for cancer, and you might be spending more money than you need to develop a good tan. Another common effect of UV exposure is premature aging and damage to your skin. You can often combat some of those aging effects by keeping your skin moisturized and giving it time to cover. WIth excessive tanning, you could be damaging more of your skin at once.
9. Move around to avoid uneven spots
Having an uneven tan is one of the easiest ways to get yourself a tan that looks unnatural. Common culprits are your armpits and the points on your body in contact with the tanning bed. The points on your hips, butt, or arms that are touching the tanning bed will not tan as effectively, and over time, you’ll end up with lighter spots on your body. Regularly lift your arms in the tanning bed and change how you’re laying to keep your tan even.
(image from miamiglowtanning.com)
10. Cover sensitive areas
Parts of your body that don’t see as much sun or get UV exposure could be sensitive to prolonged tanning sessions. This usually includes your nipples or your upper leg areas. Keep sensitive parts covered either for a limited time or for your entire session to avoid unpleasant burns. A towel comes in handy to protect your legs for short periods of time.
11. Definitely use some kind of lotion
UV rays are the number one offender when it comes to premature aging and skin damage. Although tanning lotions without SPF won’t block SPF since you’re trying to get tanned, tanning lotions or regular lotions work great at keeping your skin moisturized. By keeping your skin hydrated, you keep it protect it from drying out and getting damaged. Moisturizers are a great way in general to prevent wrinkles and aging.
12. Apply evenly and wipe the excess
This tip is especially important if you’re using bronzers or any sunless tanning products. Apply your lotion evenly so you don’t have any splotchy color. If your tanning lotion has any bronzing agents, excess product around certain parts of your body can make the skin there darker than you might like. Keep a towel handy to wipe away extra product between your fingers and the palms of your hands. Other areas like your knees and elbows will also get darker from bronzers because of the extra skin there. We recommend giving them a light wipe to keep them matched with the rest of your body.
13. Watch out for bronzer staining your clothes
Bronzer will stain your clothes if you’re not careful. Depending on what works for you, you can take a different approach to bronzer stains. You might want to just wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained. You might also opt for keeping stain remover on hand to treat any stains that happen on the spot. Definitely follow any instructions on the bottle to thoroughly let the bronzer dry before putting on any clothes.
(image from wikihow.com)
14. Continually moisturize your skin
Prolonged UV exposure can dry out and damage your skin over time, contributing to premature signs of aging. Although you can’t entirely stop the effects of aging, by using moisturizers and lotions, you can help slow the onset of wrinkles. Find out what product works for you. There’s a lot of products to choose from, and the best moisturizer is the one that you’ll actually use.
15. Take care of your overall health
What does this tip even have to do with tanning? We all want to look our best, and developing a healthy glow is just a small part of taking care of ourselves. Get regular skin examinations for cancer. Tanning will help you look great, but taking care of your health and fitness helps you feel great. There’s also no doubt that UV exposure contributes to aging, which is a trade-off for getting that beautiful tan but can be fought with a good diet and healthy habits. Start tackling any health goals you have today!