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Through its light, warmth and radiant energy, the sun provides the basis for all life on our planet. The sun stimulates the mind and soul. It provides a sense of inner peace and well-being that both comforts and energizes. When the sun is shining, spirits are lifted and rejuvenated - and there is not a lot that can get us down.

The degree to which you are able to tan is determined by your body's ability to produce melanin. Melanin is a pigment that is found in the skin - except for the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and lips. Melanin is produced through cells called melanocytes. Differences in skin color and degrees of tanning are attributed to the amount of melanin the cells can produce. The actual tanning process, whether using indoor tanning equipment or tanning outdoor in the sun, begins when the melanocytes are stimulated by ultraviolet (UV) light. Exposure to UVB stimulates the melanocytes and leads to the formation of pigment granules. Exposure to UVA oxidizes the pigment causing the skin to tan.

Tanning occurs in two phases. The first phase is IPD or Immediate Pigment Darkening. This is most noticeable in darker-skinned individuals who have a higher degree of melanin already present in their skin. IPD may fade quickly after the first tanning sessions. As exposure times increase, the IPD will last longer. (Not all skin types experience IPD.) The actual biosynthesis of melanin in the skin requires three to eight days to develop. Accordingly, phase two of the tanning process is known as Delayed Tanning.

As your tanning sessions continue in accordance with the schedule for your skin type, a steady migration to the skin's surface of newly-formed, darkened pigment begins. This allows you to maintain your tan with just one or two sessions per week. The calculated combination of UVA and UVB administered in accordance with the exposure schedule for your skin type allows the tanning process to occur within the controlled environment of the tanning system.

There is little doubt that having a tan can positively influence your entire outlook on life. For example, many people realize that having a tan makes them feel and appear slimmer. Why? Because dark skin, like dark clothing, absorbs light. Light colors (white especially) actually reflect light and make you appear larger. In fact, many health clubs and weight loss centers observe that people who tan in conjunction with a fitness program are more apt to stay with the program longer than those who do not tan. The reason? People who tan may begin to see a noticeable change in their appearance faster than those who do not tan. For years you have been told 'if you want to look slimmer wear something dark' - now you know why! Having a tan can also be a real confidence builder. For example, having a tan before you vacation at a tropical resort allows you to blend in with the crowd and not stand out like a tourist! At the same time, having a tan in the middle of the winter draws positive attention and is an indication of an active, energetic and successful lifestyle. Indoor tanning allows you to change your appearance, look good and feel great by doing virtually nothing!

TANNING TIPS

  • Never try to hurry a tan, and always use common sense. This is the most important rule. In other words: never sunbathe more than once a day. As a rule of thumb, tanning up to 10 sessions in two or three weeks is acceptable. The tan achieved will then be retained by sunbathing once or twice a week.
  • If you are taking medications, please be aware that certain medications may be photosensitive. That is, they may cause an adverse reaction when the body is exposed to UV light. A list, which identifies many photosensitive medications, foods and ingredients, should be on display in your salon. Always consult your physician if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Before tanning, remove all cosmetics from your skin and take off all jewelry. Before and after tanning, use skin care products to keep an attractive tan looking good for longer. Solar cosmetics are particularly suitable for this type of skin care because they are tailored to the specific needs of tanned skin. Ask your salon for details.
  • Follow the recommended exposure schedule for your skin type. It should be listed on the front of the tanning unit. Consult with the salon staff who will advise you on proper procedures.
  • Keep your eyes closed and always wear protective goggles while tanning. Contact lenses should be removed prior to tanning.