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Indoor Tanning FAQs

Indoor Tanning Lotions – Questions and Answers.

Question: Why use a lotion with sunbeds?

Exposure to ultraviolet whether on a sunbed or in the sun, can be a shock for the skin, particularly if you haven’t had any exposure for a while, it will definitely have a drying effect on the skin. To help build and maintain a beautiful tan, today’s lotions deliver essential moisturisation, they also shower the skin with nutrients and anti-oxidants that help counteract any damaging effects caused by ultraviolet. Most lotions have a magnifying effect, allowing a greater penetration by the UV rays, thus producing more melanin and hence your tan will also be magnified. More advanced lotions use more advanced technology and also use very exotic botanicals that are known to feed the skin, this in turn builds a better faster tan and help you to keep it longer.

Question: I don’t have a tan, cant I just go straight for the higher formulas?

This isn’t the best way to do it, the first formulas contain only ingredients designed to jump start the tanning process, formulas 3 and 4 contain ingredients scientifically designed for use once a base tan is established to help deepen and darken an existing tan. Your skin will of course have the benefit of all the skin-caring compounds, but its best to use level 1 and 2 to begin with. Tingle products should only be used once tanning has commenced.

Question: What are bronzers you keep referring to?

Products that contain bronzers use self tanning ingredients to supplement tanning results with an additional boost of colour while your natural tan develops. The key ingredient is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), which causes the skin surface to turn brown after 2-4 hours, mimicking a natural tan. DHA is a colourless sugar, which when applied to the outer surface of the skin causes a change in the skin colour. This is the same ingredient used in self tanning products.

Question: Why use a bronzer than when I’m going to use a sunbed?

A natural tan takes about 24-48 hours to develop. Therefore, a product that contains a bronzer is an excellent way to get a boost of colour while a natural tan develops. Customers with a fair complexion or who want to see results immediately will enjoy the instant gratification of seeing bronzed results 2-4 hours after application. Bronzing products are also beneficial to even out skin tone. Its best not to shower or workout for 6 hours after the use of a product with a bronzer.

Question: What are tingle products?

Tingle products cause an immediate reddening of the skin, caused by a stimulation of the micro circulation of the epidermal layer of the skin, when the customer then uses the sunbed, the tanning process starts immediately and the results are quite spectacular. Tingle products usually use a combination of Benzyl Nicotinate, Methyl Nicotinate and Hexyl Nicotinate.

These ingredients are vasodilators, meaning they increase micro circulation by causing the blood vessels in the skin to open, which increases blood flow. This increased blood flow also increases the oxygenation of the skin and aids in the delivery of required nutrients throughout the skin. This speeds up the skin’s natural growth and maintenance processes, and thus has a positive effect on developing darker tanning results.

These products are only suitable for pre-tanned persons with non sensitive skin type 3 or above, whilst amazingly popular with tan fans the sensation is not favoured by all as your skin will go red and will tingle. This reddening can last for a few hours, if you are uncomfortable, the sensation can be reduced by washing in cool water. If you have sensitive skin but have applied these lotions, apply skin with an anti-irritant such as Benadryl.

* Those with skin type 1 will not tan and should not use sunbeds nor should they sunbathe in the natural sun, your skin will not produce the required pigmentation and UV will damage your skin. If you are in doubt about your skin type, please check with our skin type assessor.

Question: What is smell associated with sunbed use?

Heat created by a sunbed causes the body to perspire. Perspiration disrupts the balance of bacteria on the skin, allowing the odour causing bacteria to increase in number. Due to this increase in bacteria forming on the skin it causes an unpleasant odour known as the “after tan odour.” Many products now use anti-adhesive components, these bind with the bacteria, stopping the bacteria binding to the skin and causing odour.

Question: What lotion is right for me?

We have a formula system, giving a formula number to each lotion, this will indicate to you what stage we feel the particular lotion is best for.

Question: How does the formula system work?

Lotions given a formula 1 or 2 are specifically designed for those who have not been exposed to UV for a while and do not have a base tan, the vitamins and nutrients supplied by these lotions help the skin build a base tan much quicker than you would without the assistance of a lotion. Formulas 3 and 4 are for those who have reached their tanning plateau, these improve tanning results, provide greater energy and oxygen intake, as well as provide essential moisturisation – all critical to developing a deeper, darker tan. Formula 5 lotions are all tingle lotions, these are suitable for those with skin type 3 and above and their use is described later.

Question: Why is keeping skin moisturised so important?

In simple terms skin that is moisturised absorbs UV light better and therefore will tan faster. Moisturisation is also important in aiding the skin to perform at its optimal efficiency and thus will allow the development of faster, darker colour. Skin that is dry and dehydrated will look dull and sullen and will not look at its best. In more scientific detail: Skin loses water to the atmosphere by diffusion through the epidermis and the sweat glands.

Constant cell renewal, the intercellular lipids and the NMF (natural moisturising factor) keep moisture loss in balance. Moisture loss from the skin is referred to as TEWL or Tran epidermal water loss. It is necessary for the skin to maintain between 10 and 20% water in the stratum corneum to avoid dry skin conditions. Dry skin is rough, feels abnormally tight and may show signs of fine lines and wrinkles. Because the skin is rough, it will not be able to reflect light from its surface uniformly giving the skin a dull appearance.

This also affects UV-absorption because the dry, rough skin may refract UV-light. The task of moisturising cosmetic products is to improve the degree of hydration of the skin. Active moisturising ingredients help counter the drying-out of the stratum corneum of the epidermis, and thus contribute to the skin’s smoothness and elasticity, while helping deliver greater tanning results.

Question: Aren’t tingle products dangerous?

No, not at all, although they should not be used by those with sensitive skin. In fact, Benzyl Nicotinate and Methyl Nicotinate are often found in muscle rubs that are recommended by doctors for muscle soreness and stiffness. Tingle products do not cause any damage to skin cells and, in fact, actually help these cells function more efficiently.

Question: I don’t get the same tingle with my product anymore, why?

It does seem that some people’s skin gets used to tingle products and they have to use a more intense product to get the same tingle effect. However, the positive effects that the tingle ingredients have on the skin continue to occur even when the feeling is not as intense. Some tingle products contain higher levels of tingle ingredients tan others, tingle cooler products are also becoming popular, these contain cooling agents that reduce the tingle feeling, but not the results.

Question: What are cooling products?

A cooling product contains special skin cooling ingredients that counteract the heat of a sunbed by drawing warmth away from the skin.

Question: So many lotions, so many prices, wont a cheap one do just as well?

The indoor lotion market is by global standards a very small one, there are no massive International Companies building a big brand name through huge advertising budgets, the use of super models, TV hype etc., these brands can then pass the cost of this onto the customer through high prices, when Tesco own brand would probably be just as good. In the indoor tanning market, an expensive lotion just has to deliver, or it will not sell, the price really is a good reflection on the ability of the product in question. Some of the botanicals used in the more expensive lotions are hugely exotic, very rare and very expensive, they are known to vastly improve skin care and tanning results. In this business price really does matter.