FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Is there such a thing as a safe tan?
The word “safe” means “zero risk.” It could just as easily be said that it isn’t “safe” not to tan. There’s plenty of research that says totally avoiding the sun can increase your risk of many forms of cancer, including skin cancer.
See the links below to learn the truth behind this subject.
Does tanning cause skin cancer?
This is like saying that water causes drowning, when in fact we need water to survive, just as without sunshine we would all die. Studies clearly define the biggest risk factors for skin cancer as repeated sunburn and heredity. Fair skinned, freckled people should especially be careful not to SUNBURN as this is what has been shown to possibly contribute to skin cancer. There are many many other studies suggesting that people who receive regular sun exposure are at
for many forms of cancer.
See the links at the bottom of this page for more info on this subject.
Why do I always hear that tanning is not healthy?
Unfortunately, those that benefit from your fear of the sun (big pharmaceutical companies who make huge profits on sunscreen sales, and the cosmetic dermatology industry who want you to get your “UV light treatments” in their offices for much more money than you pay at your tanning salon) are behind the anti sun message. Your fear of the sun equals big money in their pockets. There are a growing number of doctors, researchers, and even some dermatologists, who are beginning to see the studies being done on the health benefits of MODERATE UV light exposure. It is now a known fact that the body NATURALLY produces lots of healthy vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin!) when exposed to UVB light. And the benefits of Vitamin D are far too many to mention here. For a more thorough answer see the LINKS at the bottom of this page for plenty of good information on this subject. The key to healthy UV light exposure is to never sunburn, as this will in fact damage your skin. We recommend you do your own research and look at both sides of this issue so that you can determine what makes the most sense when it comes to your health.
Why do my hands, face and/or legs not tan as well as the rest of my body?
First, consider why the face might give us tanning problems. Women put make-up on the face. Just as the chemicals in some make-up can make the skin photosensitive to UV light, it is possible that some chemicals in make-ups might hinder the tanning process. Removing all make-up before tanning is always advised.
Men shave, and this scraping of the skin, along with any preparations used to ready the skin and whiskers for the process, play a part in helping the skin shed tanned cells more quickly.
The skin’s renewal cycle takes about a month and skin cells that have finished their cycle lie on the skin’s surface until shaved or washed away. Since these cells also tan, the skin sheds or loses some of its tan when it is cleansed. Many people cleanse the face even more often than the rest of the body, thereby hastening the sloughing of tanned skin cells.
The legs present a slightly different situation. Some people experience a problem tanning their legs in a stand-up unit and should try a tanning bed instead. In a tanning bed, position might be checked. Feet should be spread for half the session, then together for half to expose all sides of the legs.
If a tanner is over 40, it helps to know, this is about the age that the body begins to lose melanocytes, the pigment cells that help the skin tan. Controlled, systematic exposures can slowly replenish what has been lost.
To optimize your ability to tan every exposed part of the body, indoor tanning lotion should be worn on every area of skin exposed! Remember that clean, moist skin tans best.
Can someone who has a tattoo or scars from burns or incisions tan indoors? Should special attention be given to those areas, where skin is more sensitive?
Really there are a couple different situations that need to be addressed a little differently. Persons with fresh tattoos have had chemicals injected into their skin, which can make that local area very sensitive to UV exposure while the tattoo is still healing. After about two to three weeks, when the skin has had a chance to heal, people should cover their tattoos with sunscreen or chapstick to protect the tattoo from further exposure. At this point the chemicals have lost their photosensitivity. The tattoo, though, has the ability to fade with exposure to UV, whether that UV comes from indoors or outdoors.
Scars are a little different issue. Here, the skin has tried to compensate for damage done to the affected area. In most cases, scars, whether from incisions or from burns, generally don’t tan very well. Instead, they often become sensitive to UV exposure, and can burn more easily. Persons with scars are advised to use sunscreen on those areas to minimize UV exposure.
What causes white spots?
There are many reasons for white spots. The following are some of the more commonly known reasons for white spots and what can be done to even out the color of the skin.
One reason for white spots is vitiligo. Usually these spots are fewer in number and larger in size. The melanocyte cells in the affected area are beginning to degenerate and die off. Treating these spots requires medical attention.
Another reason for white spots is a scalp fungus known as tinea versicolor. This microscopic fungus flakes off of the scalp on to the upper body, just like dandruff, and remains unnoticed until a person starts to tan. Home remedies for these problem spots include shampoos like extra strength Head and Shoulders and extra strength Selsun Blue. Sunbanque can also order you a special sunspot lotion to help eliminate these stubborn spots.
Skin needs three things in order to help it tan— UVA, UVB and oxygen. No oxygen, no tanning occurs. In the initial stages of tanning, oxygen comes from the bloodstream underneath the skin. The pressure created on certain spots of the body from laying on the acrylic sheet constricts blood flow – that means little or no oxygen, and little or no tanning. By the way, this kind of white spot can happen to anyone who lies still on the acrylic sheet. Body size is not the deciding factor. The remedy? Move. A person doesn’t need to roll over on the acrylic to do this. Those suffering from white spots on their back side should use the flat part of their right forearm and, if needed, the flat part of their right foot to raise up one side of the body from the acrylic sheet. Give your skin a chance to breathe. Lower that side, and then raise the other and do the same thing. Tanners might have to do this two or three times a session to maintain good circulation, but this practice should eliminate those white spots.
I have reached a tanning plateau. How can I break through it?
It depends on what is causing the plateau. Sometimes a person needs to alternate between a couple of tanning lotions or oils, based on the nutritional and moisture needs of his or her skin. Medications, and even a poor diet, can cause a temporary plateau. A couple of cold, hard realities you may need to face are your tanning goals and limitations. If your goal is to look like a piece of charcoal, you may need to adjust your goal to something that is a little more realistic.
Everyone also has a genetic limitation. Skin type II individuals (lighter skin) won’t ever be able to reach the depth of color that a skin type V (dark skin) can achieve from tanning. If you happen to be a tanning addict, it’s probably time to give your skin a break. Organs usually require at least occasional rest, including skin. You might want to take a reasonable break from tanning to allow your skin to properly rebuild itself. If you are still unsatisfied, you may need to try a bronzer from a bottle, or the Versa Spa airbrush SUNLESS Tan booth.
Can ringworm be contracted through a tanning bed?
Ringworm (which is not really a worm) is a contagious fungus, but would be difficult to prove that the fungus came from tanning equipment. Smart Tan salons like Sunbanque properly sanitize tanning equipment between every session. While ringworm can be transmitted through both contaminated objects (such as a wrestling mat) and improper personal hygiene, by far the fungus seems to be spread by direct physical contact with pets, or other people (e.g. wrestlers, or a child in a child care setting) and improper personal hygiene. One of our top priorities at Sunbanque is cleanliness and hygiene.
How do medications alter the tanning process? Which type of medicines should I avoid while tanning?
Medications and other substances (e.g. dyes used to tattoo the skin, certain foods, etc.) can sensitize a person’s skin to ultraviolet light. The reaction to that sensitivity could either be photoallergic (where the skin reacts to UV exposure by breaking out), or photophobic (where a person must protect his or her eyes from brighter light sources). The most common reaction is photosensitivity. Photosensitivity occurs when the level of UV exposure needed to produce a burn is reduced. So instead of helping someone to tan more easily, photosensitizing agents should be thought of in terms of how easily they cause a person to burn.
The best way to determine if a medication has photosensitizing potential is to consult with the prescribing medical practitioner or pharmacist. Sunbanque has access to an extensive listing of agents that have been identified as photosensitizing. Let us know if you need a copy.
What causes tanning rashes?
There are several ways a person could get rashes from tanning. The most common, by far, is sun poisoning. Sun poisoning most commonly looks like rashes. Essentially, sun poisoning is the result of too intense exposure(s) during initial tanning sessions. Another cause of tanning related rashes is photoallergy. Most salon operators are familiar with photosensitivity, the sensitivity to ultraviolet light that is caused by certain medications and foods. Photoallergy is an allergic reaction that is produced when combining ultraviolet light exposure with certain medications. One type of allergic reaction could be the formation of rashes. If rashes are just on one side of your body or around the eyes, then they are probably due to a response to the sanitizer that is being used on the acrylic and protective eyewear. Even when mixed as directed, some people with more sensitive skin will develop a reaction to the sanitizer we use to disinfect the tanning beds. The preventive step is to rinse off the residue of the sanitizer with water after we have completely sanitized the acrylic or eyewear. Let us know if you think this is the problem and we will rinse the acrylic with water for you. In rare cases, you could develop a temporary rash from a reaction to a specific ingredient in a tanning lotion that you used. It is thought that most lotion-related rashes are caused by inexperienced tanning operators and/or inexperienced “tingle”-based tanning lotion users. New tanners need to start out with low or no-“tingle” tanning lotions and then gradually condition their skin for the hotter lotions, if they so desire.
How often can I tan?
When first starting out we recommend tanning every other day, so as to avoid a skin damaging sunburn. The body continues to tan for 24 hours after your tanning session so there isn’t a need to go 2 days in a row, especially when beginning a tanning program. If you are already tanned, or when you get to a nice color, or if you want to get darker quicker, then it is ok to tan once a day until you reach your desired color, but only after you have a base tan.
Can outdoor tanning lotions be used with indoor tanning equipment?
No, outdoor tanning lotions can not be used indoors as they ruin the tanning acrylic. The same goes for baby oil and other outdated tanning technology. Even if outdoor lotions didn’t ruin tanning acrylic you would still want to avoid them, mainly because they will cloud up the acrylic and not allow the UV light to get through and you will tan LESS. The question to ask is, “What kind of tan are you hoping to achieve?” If you wanted a cheap tan, you could go to a discount store, get a discount lotion, step outdoors and get a discount tan.” But if you want a professional result, Sunbanque is the place to come. “Not only do we use professional equipment, the tanning products we carry deliver a professional result.” A couple of things are happening during the tanning process. First, your body is losing moisture. This is natural, and will take place whether you tan indoors or out. Professional tanning products include high-quality moisturizers and nutrients that your skin needs to replenish what was lost. Second, despite our tanning equipment’s powerful capabilities, everyone has a natural tanning limitation. Most lack the nutrients skin needs in order to achieve its maximum tanning potential. Professional tanning products provide these. So feed your skin what it’s starving for.
595 Chickering Rd
North Andover, MA 01845