Tanning FAQ’s

Can I Tan Indoors While Pregnant?
Tanning beds are not recommended for pregnant women. Although there is no correlation between tanning beds and damage to an unborn child, pregnant women are advised to stay away from anything that raises body temperature. While pregnant, your best option is to tan outdoors with direct sunlight while using an SPF lotion that will not penetrate into your bloodstream.

Can I Tan While on Medication?
If you’re taking medication, consult your physician before using a tanning bed. Some medications are sensitive to light, or “photosensitive.” This can increase your risk of severe sunburn. A long list of medications can cause a photosensitive reaction, so check with your doctor or ask your tanning salon for a list of these medications.

Should I Wear Eye Protection While Tanning?
Federal Law requires eye protection while using a tanning bed. Most salons will provide sanitized goggles or will allow you to purchase your own pair of goggles. Goggles protect against UV rays, which can penetrate the eyelids—even when the eyes are closed—and cause irreversible eye damage.

Is indoor tanning the same as tanning outside in the sun?
When you tan at an indoor tanning facility, your skin produces a tan the same way it does when you lay out in the sun: through ultraviolet (UV) light. There is one important difference, though. When you are out in the sun, you cannot control the amount of UV light you are exposed to, because it is affected by changes in the atmosphere. Indoor tanning is one way to regulate the amount of UV light you are exposed to, because it is a controlled environment. You can gradually increase your exposure time to make sure you don’t get a sunburn, which is harmful to the skin.

How do the beds and booths work?
Tanning beds and booths basically imitate the sun. The sun emits three kinds of UV rays (the ones that make you tan). UV-C has the shortest wavelength of the three, and is also the most harmful. The sun emits UV-C light, but then it’s absorbed by the ozone layer and pollution. Tanning lamps filter out this type of UV light. UV-B, the middle wavelength, starts the tanning process, but overexposure can cause sunburn. UV-A has the longest wavelength, and it completes the tanning process. Tanning lamps use the best ratio of UV-B and UV-A light to provide optimal tanning results, with a lowered risk of overexposure.

If I never can get a tan outside because I burn, can I get a tan indoors?
If it takes you a while to get a tan outside, it may be easier for you to get the color you want (brown instead of red) by tanning indoors. You would need to start with a short exposure time, and increase it very gradually. However, if you NEVER tan from the sun, you will not tan from tanning lamps, since they emit the very same tanning rays as the sun does.

How often should I tan?
In order to build a tan, it is important to tan regularly. Don’t let too much time go by between visits, or your tan will begin to fade. You can tan up to once every 24 hours to allow your tan to fully develop in between visits. You can build up your tan by going to an indoor tanning facility three to four times a week. Once you have a tan, you can maintain it by tanning two or three times a week.

How long does it take to get a tan?
Usually, you will begin to notice results after a few tanning sessions, but it may take a few weeks of regular tanning (at least three times a week) to get to the color you are looking for. If you are developing a base tan before going on a trip, you would want to start tanning about three or four weeks before you go. Using a quality indoor lotion will not only enhance your tan but also reduce the amount of time it takes to get a good tan.

What should I wear?
It’s totally up to you.! Some people choose to tan in their bathing suits or underwear, and others prefer a more “natural” approach. Since you are in a private room while tanning, you can wear whatever you like. The only thing required is that you do wear eye protection every time you tan, because eyes are unable to protect themselves from UV light, even when they are closed, and the light can cause temporary and permanent damage to them. Many different eye protection options are available at all tanning facilities. If you are tanning a previously unexposed part of your body, be sure to cover it up for part of your tanning time, so it can catch up safely with the rest of your tan.

What should I ask when shopping for a place to tan?
There is one very important question to ask of a tanning facility to be sure it will meet your needs. What you need to know, obviously, is if you will get the best tan for your money. This isn’t just based on the prices, though. Be sure you don’t settle for a cheap tanning session that doesn’t give you results.

Find out when the tanning bulbs were changed. Manufacturers estimate the life of their tanning lamps at 800 or 1000 hours, but it is important to realize that the strength of the bulbs depends on how new they are. When bulbs are brand new, they are at their peak strength. A bulb stays close to this peak strength for the first 150 – 250 hours. After that, the bulb strength drops sharply, stays at this point for 400-500 hours of use, and then starts to lose intensity until it has no tanning power at all. Be sure you tan at a place that can tell you when the bulbs were changed last, so you know for sure what you’re getting. They should also know exactly when they will change the bulbs again, based on the volume of people they tan, and the number of hours on their bulbs. Just remember, the newer the bulbs, the better the tan. Knowing how new the bulbs are will help you determine how long you should tan, too. If the bulbs are newer than those you are used to, you should decrease your tanning time to prevent overexposure. Tiki Tan maintains an accurate record of all bed usage and has a bulb replacement schedule in place for all beds.

If I get really hot in a bed or booth, am I getting a better tan?
When you lay out in the sun to tan, you usually get really hot, so many times this is associated with getting tan. However, although the heat and the UV light both come from the sun, only the UV light affects tanning. This is why skiers can get sunburn in the middle of winter. If the sun is out, there is UV light reaching you, even when it’s cold out. The same thing is true with tanning bulbs. If you get too hot while tanning, it could indicate that there isn’t enough air conditioning at that facility, or the ventilation is poor. You should be comfortable while tanning. Since heat won’t give you better results – why put up with it?

When shouldn’t I tan?
It is not recommended to tan, either outdoors or indoors, if you are taking photosensitizing medication. If you aren’t sure, ask your doctor, or ask a tanning consultant at your tanning facility to see a list of these medications, which can greatly increase the risk of overexposure. You should also avoid tanning if you are pregnant, due to the heat, unless your doctor approves it.

Do I need to wear lotion when tanning indoors?
You don’t need to wear an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) lotion when you tan indoors because these lotions, by nature, are designed to allow you to spend a longer time in the sun. For example, an SPF 8 would allow you to stay in the sun 8 times longer than you normally could. Since you are controlling your exposure time when tanning indoors, you don’t need to use an SPF. You should also avoid using outdoor oils when you tan indoors. These oils will make the acrylic dirty and prevent you from tanning. However, there are products specifically designed for indoor tanning, that help moisturize the skin while helping you tan faster. These can be purchased at Tiki Tan and should be used to help you get the best result possible. . Most lotions have important vitamins that allow you to achieve a deep, dark tan without having your skin peel, which can result in splotching and fading.