do we get a tan?
A. The tanning
process is really quite simple, and works the same way whether
you tan indoors or outdoors. Ultraviolet light is the
catalyst, and a pigment produced by your skin called melanin does
Here's a basic explanation of the tanning process:
in the skin's outermost layer, the epidermis. About five percent
of the cells in your epidermis are special cells,
called melanocytes. Everyone has the same number of melanocytes
in their body – about five million. Your heredity dictates
your skin type, and how much melanin your body will produce.
When exposed to ultraviolet B light (short-wave UV), the melanocytes
produce melanin – the pigment that is ultimately responsible
for your tan. The pinkish melanin travels up through the epidermis
and is absorbed by other skin cells. When exposed to ultraviolet
A light (longer-wave UV), the melanin oxidizes or darkens. This darkening
of your skin – your tan – is its natural way of protecting
itself against UV overexposure.
A sunburn, or erythema, is the result of UV-overexposure – when
too much UV light reaches the skin and disrupts the tiny blood vessels
near the skin's surface, causing it to redden. The reddening is the
result of increased blood circulation, naturally triggered by the
skin trying to repair damaged cells.
In order to most effectively avoid UV-overexposure, a tan should
be acquired gradually, according to the guidelines recommended by
a tanning salon professional.
never tanned indoors before. What if I just want to give it a try?
A. That’s no problem! In fact, it’s absolutely free!
That's right – if you’ve never tanned at a Tropi Tan
Tanning Salon before, you can enjoy a week of tanning FREE OF CHARGE.
NOTE: If you are under 18, you need the permission of a parent or
guardian before you can tan.
can I expect during my free tanning?
A. When you come
to the salon for your free week of tanning, you will first be asked
to fill out a consent form. This form will provide us with information
about your Skin Type, which helps determine your initial exposure
time. To avoid the risk of burning, please be sure to read the form
carefully and answer the questions accurately.
Next, a tanning consultant will show you to a tanning room and explain
how to use the sunbed or booth. If you have any questions at this
time, just ask!
The salon’s computer controls your tanning session time.
You will have four minutes to prepare – undress, apply lotion
and eye protection -- before the tanning system’s timer starts
running. (This helps to reduce client-waiting time when our tanning
schedules are full.) When you're ready, simply press the blue START
button on the timer panel. If you are using a sunbed, lie down,
pull the sunbed canopy down over you, and relax! If you are tanning
in a booth, undress, apply your lotion and eye protection in the
changing room, then press the blue START button, step into the tanning
booth and close the door. Enjoy your tanning session!
When your session is complete, the tanning systems shut off automatically,
so there is no risk of overexposure. Our tanning consultants will
want to know about your experience, and will be happy to address
any other questions or concerns you have.
Q. Why tan indoors?
A. We know that outdoors, we are exposed to a wide range of the sun’s
UV light, including the most intense rays. Indoor tanning systems
do NOT utilize these potentially harmful rays. Tanning indoors also
eliminates many environmental factors that are present outdoors,
allowing us to carefully control each client's UV exposure and reduce
the risk of sunburn. The design of the tanning systems allows the
UV light to reach all parts of your body for an even tan.
The indoor tanning industry is at the forefront in educating the
public about how to successfully avoid sunburn over the course of
one's life. In fact, studies have consistently shown that indoor
tanners, once they begin tanning in a professional salon, are up
to 81 percent less likely to sunburn than they were before they started
Q. If I always sunburn outside, can I get a tan indoors?
A. It may actually be easier for you to get the color you want (brown,
not red!) by tanning indoors. To keep you from burning, Tropi Tan’s
tanning consultants will start your sessions with a short exposure
time, and increase it very gradually. However, if you NEVER tan
outdoors, you will not get a tan from tanning lamps, since the
UV light they emit is the same as the sun.
Q. How long does it take to get a tan?
A. While everyone is different, most people will notice results after
just a few tanning sessions, but it may take a few weeks of regular
tanning (at least three times a week) to get the color you are
looking for. If you want to develop a base tan before going on
a sunny vacation, you will want to start tanning about three or
four weeks before you go.
tanning salons get very hot and uncomfortable?
A. While some
salons do get very hot, we have gone to great expense to eliminate
uncomfortable heat at Tropi Tan Tanning Salons. We install nearly
one ton of air conditioning for every tanning system in the salon.
That's the equivalent of two window AC units per sunbed! We also
spend extra money on equipment that doesn't get as hot, and we design
our rooms without ceilings for maximum ventilation and air circulation.
Some tanners believe that if they are not sweating in a sunbed,
it is not working. This is not true. The lamps used in our tanning
systems give off a lot of heat, but it's the UV light – NOT
heat -- that makes you tan.
Q. Why does a tan fade?
A. Cells in the deeper epidermis layers of the skin are constantly
reproducing and pushing older cells upward toward the top layer,
where they are sloughed off in about one month. As your skin replaces
its cells, the cells laden with melanin (the pigment that produces
a tan) are lost. So, the tanning process must continue with the
new cells, and therefore, a tan can be maintained only by repeated
Q. Does redness indicate a better tan?
A. Some people think that if they don't see a slight redness after
tanning that they “didn't get anything." The truth is
that any amount of redness is actually an indication of sunburn (or
erythema) – your skin's worst enemy.
is an “upgrade” sunbed?
A. The term “upgrade” refers to tanning systems that
employ more lamps (often with special facial tanners) and generally
require shorter exposure times than a standard tanning system.
Once you’ve achieved a base tan in our standard sunbeds, we
recommend that you tan in our upgrade sunbeds at the next highest
tanning level each time, repeating the cycle with increased exposure
times. This process will force your skin cells to continue to produce
and release pigment, allowing you to gradually achieve a darker tan.
Tropi Tan Tanning Salons offer many upgrade sunbeds at varying co-pays,
depending upon the type of membership you have. Call or visit any
Tropi Tan Tanning Salon for details.
Q. How often can I tan?
A. You can tan only once in a 24-hour period; pigmentation (tan)
and/or erythema (sunburn) may not be fully visible for between
12-24 hours. Thus, two tanning sessions within a 24-hour period
could cause an unintentional burn.
You can achieve excellent results with three or four sessions per
week, and maintain your tan with two or three sessions per week.
Of course, everyone tans differently, and your daily skin care regimen
will affect the life of your tan.
Q. Why do we always
hear that tanning is bad?
A. Tanning is an important issue to the dermatology industry because
skin cancer represents the only subject that its lobbyists can
promote as critical or life threatening. Unfortunately, in their
zeal to scare consumers into their offices, lobbyists for the dermatology
industry have twisted the facts and exaggerated many research findings.
They continue to mislead the public about the dangers of tanning,
whether indoors or outdoors.
There is also the issue of the “Almighty Dollar.” The
fear of the sun generated by dermatologists feeds a multi-billion
dollar industry lead by huge special interest groups who conduct
and promote most of the research on skin cancer. Lobbyists for pharmaceutical
firms that sell billions of dollars worth of sunscreens and SPF cosmetics
have teamed with the dermatology industry to promote a misinformed
campaign of sun abstinence.
Conversely, there is no major industry except the indoor tanning
industry that makes money by promoting the positive effects of sunshine.
The indoor tanning industry consists of small companies that can’t
match the marketing power of the multi-billion dollar "sunscare
Over the last few years, thousands of indoor tanning professionals
have supported an organization – the Indoor Tanning Association – which
was founded “to protect the freedom of individuals to achieve
a suntan, via natural or artificial light.” This organization
is currently working to develop a national advertising campaign that
will increase public awareness of “smart” tanning, the
importance of avoiding sunburn, and the many positive effects of
regular, controlled UV exposure.