Tanning questions & answers!

Before tanning it is very important to understand how the tanning process works.
            These questions and answers will fill you with knowledge and help you tan more safely!

Q: Why develop a base tan?

A: Your body’s natural protection against the sun is a base tan. The increased melanin surrounds the DNA cells protecting them. Your skin also thickens providing more protection to the layers below the epidermis. Without this protection sunburn is more likely to occur, therefore damaging the skin cells. Always follow the golden rule of tanning: NEVER BURN.

Q: Should I shower after tanning?

A: Showering will not wash away your tan. However, if you are using a lotion with an added bronzer it may be good to wait, as to not wash away the sunless tanner, but you only need to wait a few hours. If you use an accelerator lotion, you do not need to worry about washing away your tan.

Q: Do I need to burn to start a base tan?

A: Absolutely not! To tan smartly you should never sunburn. Tanning is similar to everything else and should be done in moderation and without overexposure. Do not expose red skin to more sunlight. This can permanently damage the skins ability to repair itself see example below:

1. A typical new client begins tanning with 5-minute sessions, gradually develops a tan and can work her/his way up to 20-minute sessions. At this point, she/he becomes naturally FOUR TIMES more resilient to sunburn than when she/he first started tanning. (5 minutes x 4 = 20 minutes). So that tan has an SPF 4 value.

2. When someone with a base tan uses sunscreen outdoors, they essentially multiply the effectiveness of the sunscreen. In other words, an SPF 15 product applied to the skin of a person whose base tan has already made her four times more resilient to sunburn creates a net SPF of 60. (SPF 15 x 4 = SPF 60).
In sunny environments many fair-skinned people can sunburn during normal outdoor activities even while wearing sunscreen. But with a base tan their sunscreen becomes more effective and they are much less likely to sunburn.

Q: How long does it take to get a good base tan?

A: 6 to 10 sessions

Q: How does the tanning process work?

A: UVA and UVB rays are both needed to produce a tan. Tanning beds provide both UV rays. Each type of bed has a different ratio of the two rays in order to give a different result. UVB rays signal melanocytes to produce melanin and raise it to the surface. UVA oxidizes the melanin previously produced, turning it brown. UVA also penetrates deeper, lasting longer, which means UVB does not penetrate as deep and is quicker to fade.

Q: Can I tan if I’m pregnant?

A: The heat can disturb your growing baby but the rays will not penetrate deeper than the layer of skin named the Dermis. Make sure to consult your physician before continuing to tan. At Sun City Tanning we recommend the UV free spray tan or the leg tanner to our expecting mommies.

Q: Does the temperature of the bed matter?

A: No, the temperature of the tanning bed will not effect the tanning process taking place. The bulbs and wattage within the bed will be what causes a difference.

Q: What causes my skin to smell after tanning?

A: Melanin! A natural side effect of melanin production is the smell. Some lotions have ingredients in them that will help reduce the smell, but a shower will definitely contribute to removing such smell.

Q: Does tanning help or cure eczema?

A: Unfortunately, there is no cure to eczema. However, tanning does help. People with eczema tan 2-3 times a week.

Q: Does indoor tanning cure acne or help control it?

A: Photo-therapy (use of UV light) has been used in treating skin problems of this condition for many years now. Tanning drys the skin which helps control acne break outs and in some cases eliminate it all together.

Q: Does tanning help with depression and seasonal affective disorder? (Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that is triggered by the seasons of the year. The most common type of SAD is called winter-onset depression). 

A: Anything that can help mimic the effect of daylight will help with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Therefore, yes, tanning beds will increase the production of melatonin in your skin and will help with SAD symptoms. Research does indicate that indoor tanning can help with a variety of things such as helping the body produce vitamin D,in the case of a D deficiency, which some say can help with a variety of things, including preventing heart disease, depression, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

1. More than three million consumers frequent tanning salons for self-treatment of psoriasis, eczema, acne, vitiligo, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and to increase vitamin D levels.

2. Approximately one million indoor tanners said they were referred to tanning facilities by their dermatologist.


Q: Is the spray tanning solution safe?

A: DHA has been tested, and approved by FDA, so YES, the solution is safe, even for sensitive skin, or pregnant women.

Q: Is there anything that I can do to assure that I get the best spray tan?

A: Absolutely. One of the most important things that you must do is to thoroughly exfoliate before spray tanning. The shallower the dead skin layer on the surface of your skin, the more time it will take for this layer to build up before it starts rubbing off. That means the better the exfoliation, the more even your tan will be throughout it's life and the longer it will last. The best exfoliation by far is with the Baiden Mitten. Of course it is just as vital to moisturize every day after spray tanning to keep your skin from drying out and exfoliating prematurely.

Q: How long will the tan last?

A: Depending on how well you prepare, and take care of your spray tan after wards, about 5-10 days. If you tan regularly, your skin will get used to the spray, and will hold the color longer. Then you might need a top up every 2 weeks or so.

Q: How soon after the spray tan can I shower?

A: Leave it on for at least 3-4 hours. If you spray tanned with a clear solution then you might choose to go to bed without showering, and wake up brown! If you spray tanned with a solution that contained a bronzer, better take that shower 3-4 hours later, or you could stain the sheets.

Q: The results of my last spray tan was different than the previous one, even though it was done in the same spray tan salon.

A: Again, it comes down to your skin. Your skin is a living thing, and is affected by many things like: time of the month, season, food you eat, stress, medication you take etc. If your tan is different, even though solution used was the same, the most probable cause is the condition of your skin.

Q: What if I have a very fair skin that has never been able to tan?

A: Hey, this is exactly why the spray tanning process was designed in the first place, for people that could not tan by any other method! Most likely you will get a fantastic color with spray tan! Of course, people that tan easily will tan too.

Q: What if spray tanning solution will get into my eyes?

A: It’s best to keep your eyes closed during the misting process; because although DHA has been approved for external use it should not come in contact with mucous membranes. If you tan regularly it is especially important as there is no data showing what effect DHA has on a body with extended use.

Q: I had a spray tan in a booth, and when I came out, I had streaks on the back of my legs.

A: This problem occurs only if there is a bronzer in the solution. Next time, after you come out of the booth, immediately wipe the backs of your legs. If the streaks will not disappear, the shop assistant should gently wipe them off with wet wipes, and then lightly re apply tanning solution.

Q: Can I go swimming after spray tanning?

A: Wait at least 6 hours. Chlorinated water will bleach your tan really quickly, so I would not advise it. If you want to swim in the sea, make your swims short. The longer you soak yourself, the faster your tan will come off.

Q: Can spray tanning cause pimples? If so which spray tan is the best to use that doesn't cause acne?

A: Most spray tanning solutions are aloe vera based and that is why they do not cause break outs. Often, you get less break outs after a spray tan. However, you might be sensitive to some other ingredients in the solution which could give you more pimples. There are so many different solutions and different people are sensitive to different things, so it is really difficult to recommend any particular one.