Avoiding Tan Lines from the Tanning Bed

Published: 27th March 2009
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Tanning salons were a huge fad in the mid-80's, immediately after being introduced by Fredrich Wolff in the late 1970's. Today, tanning beds are not as trendy as a few years back, now that the danger of melanoma (aka skin cancer) has spooked the largest part of passionate tanning supporters.

Tanning has a few popular uses nowadays:

  • Young adults and teens trying to attract the opposite sex

  • Getting ready for swimming season

  • Bodybuilders tanning for competition

  • Heliotherapy for seasonal depression

Regardless of your motivation, you've decided that you want to give tanning a shot. You want to know how to use a tanning bed. Understand that there are basically two breeds of full body tanners offered, the tanning bed and booth. Your choice of booth vs. bed will likely be set by the units on hand at tanning saloons nearby. Ask the manager of your closest tanning salon which of their packages will work best for your tanning goal.

Ask which tanning lotion will be most effective for your tanning goal as well. There are as many varieties of tanning lotions as exist skin colors and tanning goals.

Once you've paid for your tanning package, the cashier will assign a tanning bed and room number.

After you get to your tanning suite, secure and lock the door, and get out of those clothes and into the bed. You can leave your underwear on if you're afraid of being walked in on or roasting your parts. Or if you're going for an even all-over tan, you should get used to the idea of tanning in the nude to prevent leaving tan lines.

How to use a tanning bed:

Rub in the tanning lotion on your entire body, but not your face, since the lotion is not hypoallergenic, it can trigger breakouts, especially with the added heat/sweat. Raise the top of the tanning bed or open the tanning booth door, as appropriate.

If you're using a tanning booth, you might want to bring a CD, tape, or boombox so you can jam out while you're just standing there.

If your hair is long, you'll want to secure your hair up on top of your head with a hair tie. Otherwise, when the fan starts blowing, your hair might start flying around, and put funky tan lines on your face.

Next, it is crucial that you wear the protective goggles provided by the tanning salon during the entire time that the tanning bed/tanning booth is in operation. The UVA/UVB energy from these is so strong that it can cause cataracts if you're not wearing adequate eye protection. It's not enough to close your eyes. Your eyelids are thin enough that the enough of the rays will pass through them and still cause irreparable damage.

At long last, fire up the tanning bed. You might need to press a "start" button or a timer to set, depending upon how your tanning salon works. If you're just starting tanning and are fairly pale, your first few visits should be from 6 to 10 minutes. After a while you can build up to as high as 30 minutes per session.

Whether you use a bed or a booth, the unit turns off when your time runs out, letting you know that you've been bronzed to golden beauty. Open the lid or door, remove your sunclipse, and dry off the lotion and sweat with a towel. Get clothed again and gather your things!

Remember to take your iPod with you on your way out. Don't take a shower after tanning; the active ingredients in soap can fade your tan if you use them too soon after tanning. Now that you know how to use a tanning bed, you're all set for a healthy, radiant tanning bed tan.

Aaron Andrews is a long time tanning bed user. After working in tanning salons since the mid-80's, he moved to a tanning bed manufacturer and supply company. He now puts his years of knowledge and experience into a series of tanning tips to help you make the best tanning decisions and operates TanIndoors.com a site dedicated to improving your indoor tanning experience.

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