Tanning Booth How-To

Published: 01st November 2007
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Indoor tanning spas became all the rage in the mid-1980's, just after Fredrich Wolff introduced the concept in 1978. These days, tanning salons are not as fashionable as a few years back, now that the threat of melanoma also known as skin cancer has virtually frightened off most passionate tanning enthusiasts.

Tanning has a few popular uses nowadays:
  • Teens want to stay attractive

  • Preparing for a summer trip

  • Bodybuilders tanning for competition

  • Treatment of seasonal depression

Whatever brought you here, you've decided that you want to give tanning a shot. You need to understand how to use a tanning bed. Realize that there are two fundamental breeds of full body tanners available, the tanning bed and booth. Your choice of booth vs. bed may be limited by the options in use at tanning salons in your area. Ask the manager of your closest tanning salon which of their packages will work best for your tanning goal.

Have them explain which tanning lotion is best for your tanning goal too. There are as many tanning lotions as there are skin types and tanning goals.

The attendant will take you to your tanning suite once you've paid.

Once you're in your room, close and lock the door, and get as naked as you feel comfortable. You can keep the bare essentials on if you're concerned about privacy or toasting your privates. Or if you're going for an even all-over tan, you should get used to the idea of tanning naked to prevent leaving tan lines.

How to use a tanning bed:
Apply tanning lotion on all of your skin, but not your face, since the lotion is not hypoallergenic, it can cause acne. 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 fasten your hair up on top of your head using a scrunchy or clip. Otherwise, when the fan starts spinning, your hair might get in the way, and leave weird lines on your face.

Next, it is critical that you wear the goggles provided by the tanning salon during the entire time that the tanning bed/tanning booth is in operation. The ultraviolet light from tanning bulbs is so intense that it can cause cataracts if you're not wearing adequate eye protection. Closing your eyes is not enough. Your eyelids are so thin that the a lot of the rays will go right through them and still injure your cornea.

At long last, fire up the tanning unit. You might have a single "start" button to press 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 half an hour per session.

Bed or booth, the unit turns off when your time runs out, indicating that you've been bronzed to golden excellence. Exit the bed/booth, remove your protective eyewear, and wipe off the lotion and sweat with a towel. Dress yourself and gather your things!

Remember to take your iPod with you on your way out. Don't shower for the rest of the day; the active ingredients in soap can work against your tan if used too soon after tanning. Now that you know how to use a tanning bed, you're good to go for a healthy, radiant tan.

Aaron Andrews is a lifelong user of tanning beds. He has worked in a number of tanning salons since the mid-80's, and then for a tanning bed manufacturer and tanning bed 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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