6 Tanning Myths That Even Your Salon Owner Might Believe

1. Myth: Showering right after tanning in a UV bed washes the tan away,

Truth: The full process of tanning takes 24-48 hours, but a shower won’t wash away your tan. When tanning, the melanocyte cells are activated by the UV light, which then initiates the production of melanin, the pigment in your skin. While showering will wash away any bronzers that may be found in certain lotions, it will not wash away the “tan” that comes from lying in the UV light. Certain bronzers do continue to work even after the tanning bed shuts off, so when buying a lotion ask your consultant and they will tell you if it would benefit you not to shower directly after tanning. Either way, it will not hurt your tan to shower after!

2. Myth: I get darker without a lotion.

Truth: While that may be what you think you are seeing, the reality is vastly different. Lotions are designed to feed and enhance your tan. They are formulated to hydrate your skin so it can better absorb the UV light, and contain nutrients to nourish and feed your skin exactly what it uses to produce tanning pigment. Step 1 lotions contain Vitatan (Vitamins) to help product pigment, and step 2 lotions contain CuO2 (Copper Dioxide) to bronze that pigment. Cosmetic bronzers are also a part of most lotions, and they also add to your overall tan. So why then do you sometimes appear darker immediately after tanning without a lotion? The simple answer is dehydration. The act of tanning without a lotion causes the skin to dehydrate temporarily, causing it to appear darker for a very short amount of time (minutes to hours, not days). This is why leather looks darker than skin. This is not considered a real tan (one that develops from Melanin being produced by cells in the skin). Rather, it usually has a more leathery, damaged appearance than a healthy natural one. It’s easy to see where the ‘Perception is Reality’ game can play tricks making you think you’re tanning better…but reality is reality and feeding your skin nutrients that produce a tan will not give you less of results. Also, anti-oxidants and nutrients will keep your skin looking healthy for years to come as well.

3. Myth: Closing my eyes protects them.

Truth: Your eyelids are one of the thinnest skin areas on your body, literally as thin as tissue paper, and block out less than 20% of UV light. You are still getting 80% of all of the light. Your eyes can actually get sunburned, and repeated exposure can eventually lead to serious damage. Whether in a bed or outside, make sure to wear protection. You have beautiful eyes, and you want to keep them that way.

4. Myth: She tanned the full time so I can too.

Truth: When we see someone doing something, we often think that we can/should too. If someone lost a lot of weight on a certain diet we want to try it. If someone went the full time in a tanning bed, we can too! However, not all skin was created equal in terms of tanning, although all is beautiful! There are several basic skin types ranging from fair to dark. Fair skinned people (Skin Type 1) tend to always burn and rarely get a tan, a Skin type 2 usually burns, but can tan, A skin Type 3 can burn but usually tans (this is the most common) and Skin Type 4 people tend to tan very easily.
A Skin Type 2 is different than a Skin Type 3 and should start with lower minutes to prevent burning. A burn does not “fade into a tan” and can cause quite the opposite in terms of results and should be avoided.

5. Myth: My burn will fade into a tan.

Truth: Those who think a burn fades into a tan usually suffer from the perception is reality issue with regards to dehydration (see post above about using lotion). The reality is that a burn is just damaged skin. A tan is when your cells produce a protein pigment called Melanin. Nothing about damaging your skin will produce more of this Melanin. In fact, when you burn your skin your body stops producing Melanin and uses those nutrients instead to repair the skin. You actually produce less Melanin in the skin when you burn. Any color you are seeing is going to be just damaged, dehydrated skin. Probably not what you were going for. Keep your skin hydrated, and do the correct amount of time to avoid a burn and your tan will look flawless. Remember to decrease the number of minutes you are going if you go into a more intense bed.

6. Myth: Spray tans turn people orange.

Truth: Professional Spray Tans do not turn you orange like many store bought products. The solution used in a professional salon does not contain the same preservatives as store bought brands that can cause this issue. Also, the number one reason for Orange appearance is overapplication (you’ve seen the people who go crazy with the bronzer brush). The same applies when you’re spraying a tan on at home. This is simplified and prevented when an automatic booth evenly mists the entire body giving you the perfect amount for that airbrushed look. Another factor in color can be your PH balance. This can be thrown off by using lotions or perfumes directly before applying sunless tanner or spray. Make sure your skin is clean and hydrated and make sure that you are hydrated as well. For added color, using a PH Balancing product or Sunless Accelerator can also help add deeper color. If you’ve never tried a professional spray tan, don’t worry, it’s not the tan in a can that you may be used to.