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Frequently Asked Questions

 About Indoor Tanning


Indoor Tanning Concerns


Tanning Smart

  1. What is in tanning creams that accelerates a tan and are they safe to use?
  2. I have reached a point where I can’t get any darker, what can I do?
  3. Do indoor tanning lotions contain SPF?
  4. Can I use a regular moisturizer purchased from a drugstore?
  5. What can I do to extend my tan?
  6. How does the Matrix provide the best tanning results?

Sunless Airbrush Tanning

  1. How long is a sunless airbrush tanning session?
  2. What should I wear during my sunless airbrush tanning session?
  3. What are the recommendations after a sunless airbrush tanning session?
  4. How often should I re-apply?

I’VE NEVER TANNED BEFORE – WHAT IS IT LIKE?
To begin with, your first tan is 50% off to try us out. The knowledgeable staff at Baja Tan will determine your exposure time based on your skin type and recommend a tanning schedule. Your first session is usually between 8-12 minutes in length.

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HOW LONG IS ONE SESSION?
The first time in an indoor tanning bed can be anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on your skin type. Many salons have different equipment and lamps, therefore you should follow the recommended exposure time and schedule made by one of our Baja Tan Technicians.

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HOW LONG BEFORE YOU START SEEING RESULTS?
Most people start seeing results by the second or third visit. A tan doesn‘t happen overnight, you need to build a base tan. Remember to tan smart – never burn.

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HOW OFTEN IS A PERSON ALLOWED TO TAN?
A 24 hour time period should pass between tanning sessions. Pigmentation and/or over-exposure may not be fully visible for 12-24 hours after your original session. Two tanning sessions within this 24-hour period could result in an unintentional burn.

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HOW QUICKLY CAN I INCREASE MY TANNING TIME AFTER MY FIRST SESSION?
If you do not experience any redness after your first session, we recommend that you increase your tanning time by 2-3 minutes each time thereafter until reaching the maximum tan time for the particular bed.

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WHAT SHOULD I WEAR WHEN TANNING?
You may tan in shorts, underwear, bathing suit or nothing at all. You wear whatever makes you comfortable. Be cautious when tanning in the nude, especially if these areas have not been previously exposed to the sun or indoor tanning. For the first few visits cover these areas for at least 1/2 of the length of your session. Allow these “sensitive areas” to become desensitized gradually, you’ll be glad you did.

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WHY DOES A TAN DISAPPEAR?
A tan disappears because the top layer of your skin replaces all of its cells every 28-30 days. Keeping your skin moisturized, will prolong a tan, however a tan can be maintained only by repeated exposure to UV light.

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IF A PERSON CANNOT TAN IN THE SUN, WILL HE/SHE TAN INDOORS?
Normally, a person tans indoors only as well as he/she is able to tan outdoors. Yet, those fair-skinned people who generally cannot tolerate the uncontrolled rays of the sun often achieve some color when tanning indoors. This can be attributed to a different spectral output as well as carefully timed tanning sessions in a controlled tanning environment. Skin type, heredity, and individual photosensitivity all determine who will have success tanning indoors.

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WHICH IS SAFER, TANNING INDOORS OR IN THE SUN? WHY?
Indoor tanning is a controlled environment, which allows you to slowly build a gradual tan, to develop pigmentation and increase your natural SPF – thus providing a safer environment. You can gradually increase your exposure time to achieve the tan you desire without burning. The external factors of tanning in the sun, such as time of year and day, geography, altitude, cloud coverage, pollutants, earth’s thinning ozone layer, and reflective surfaces are harder to control or predict – which increases your risk of overexposure. When you are outdoors in the sun you cannot control the amount of ultraviolet light you are exposed to.

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SHOULD I SHOWER AFTER A TANNING SESSION?
Because the body continues to produce melanin after the tanning session, it is recommended that you do not shower after a tanning session for approximately 2 hours. If you used a bronzing or sunless product during your tanning session it is suggested that you wait 4 hours before taking a shower.

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WHY DO SOME DERMATOLOGISTS WARN PEOPLE AGAINST SUN EXPOSURE?
While some dermatologists may advocate total avoidance of all sun exposure, the media seems to quote only those who do. Many dermatologists and others from the medical community have acknowledged the need for moderate sun exposure, while advocating the use of sunscreens.

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CAN TANNING INDOORS CAUSE CANCER?
Excessive exposure to any UV light source may lead to skin damage, which may cause skin cancer. While there has been no comprehensive study on the causes of skin cancer, three high risk groups have been identified: 1) severe sunburns at a young age 2) history of skin cancer in the family and 3) very fair skin, red hair, freckles or moles. If you fall into one or more of these groups, any UV light exposure should be treated with even greater caution. The fact is, most forms of skin cancer are treatable. Even melanoma, which accounts for only 5% of all skin cancer, is 90% treatable if caught in its early stages. Early diagnosis is essential. It is recommended that all UV exposure be moderate.

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MAY PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD SKIN CANCER TAN INDOORS?
It is strongly recommended that those who have suffered skin cancer avoid tanning either indoors or outdoors. Such people may be genetically predisposed to contract skin cancer or be unusually susceptible to it. Any exposure may trigger another outbreak.

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I AM PREGNANT – CAN I TAN INDOORS?
There is no current scientific and/or biological reason why a pregnant woman cannot tan indoors or outdoors. In fact, some researchers believe the production of vitamin D caused by exposure to UVB may be beneficial to both the mother and fetus. However, there is some concern that the heat build-up that occurs when tanning indoors or outdoors may adversely affect some pregnant women, just as a sauna or jacuzzi might. It is recommended that pregnant women consult their physician before tanning indoors or outdoors.

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WHY DO SOME PEOPLE ITCH AFTER TANNING INDOORS?
Itching and/or rashes may be linked to several unrelated causes. Some people are naturally photosensitive to UV exposure while others are susceptible to heat rashes, a cause totally unrelated to UV light. Certain chemicals or ingredients found in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, and even the acrylic cleaner might cause itching. Customers should be advised to tan with the skin as clean as possible. If discontinued use of a suspected product does not inhibit the rash, discontinue any exposure to UV light and consult your physician. Heat rash, or tanner’s itch, may also indicate that the light and heat generated by tanning bulbs or the sun have dried your skin, especially in previously unexposed areas. Discontinue tanning for a few days, then slowly build your time allowing melanin production to increase. For temporary relief try an unscented emollient cream. If symptoms persist, discontinue tanning and consult your doctor.

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WHAT CAUSES WHITE SPOTS?
There are several reasons why white spots become noticeable on the body once the tanning process begins. Patches of skin, which do not tan, could be the result of genetic determination. White spots could also appear due to the presence of a fungus, which lives on the skin’s surface. While the fungus is harmless, it does absorb UV light, which would normally penetrate the skin. This fungus did not appear as a result of tanning; it merely becomes noticeable once tanning occurs. It can be remedied though the use of prescription drugs or some other topical lotions.

White patches of skin, which are often prominent on the shoulder blades and just above the buttocks, can be caused by the pressure from the body as it reclines on a hard tanning bed surface. This pressure inhibits the flow of blood through that area of skin. Since blood carries oxygen, which is essential to the tanning process, this area does not tan. Periodic body shifting during tanning will make these patches disappear.

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IS IT HARMFUL TO WEAR CONTACT LENSES WHEN TANNING INDOORS?
When the eyes are kept closed and proper protective eyewear worn, UV light is blocked from penetrating the eye or lens. However, the heat generated by indoor tanning equipment could cause the eye to dry a bit, thereby making the lens uncomfortable. Just as one should moisturize the skin after tanning, you may also use eye drops recommended by your optometrist to remedy dryness.

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IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTRACT A STD FROM INDOOR TANNING EQUIPMENT?
Contracting a sexually transmitted disease requires the exchange of bodily fluids from one person to another. This exchange does not take place by using indoor tanning equipment. At Baja Tan, tanning equipment is properly sanitized after each use and we recommend that you do not share your eyewear with others.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TAN SMART?
To tan smart is to build up your tan in a controlled and gradual manner. This gives your body a natural tan without burning, giving pigment a chance to develop and increasing your protection to UV light. It may take longer but you reduce the risk of over exposure and skin damage. Gradual exposure utilizing the advice of a Baja Tan Technician will not only build a better tan but will prevent the negative aspects of over exposure.

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DEVELOP A BASE TAN?
Moderate exposure to UVB rays help develop a natural barrier in the skin to protect the body from excessive UV light. UVB rays stimulate the production of melanin, which absorbs and scatters radiation to thicken the epidermis (the top skin layer), thereby limiting the amount of UV light. If this photo-protection (base tan) is not developed or a sunscreen is not used, sunburn can occur and the DNA of the skin cells may become damaged.

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WHAT IS THE SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OF TANNING?
There are two different types of ultraviolet rays, UVA & UVB, both are required to tan. UVB “activates” and UVA “oxidizes” (browns) your skin’s melanin. The skin’s oxidation or tanning process continues even after your session, up to 24-48 hours! Individual genetics determine the amount of melanin and tanning potential.

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WHAT IS A “PHOTOSENSITIZING AGENT”?
Photosensitivity is defined as a chemically induced change in the skin that makes an individual unusually sensitive to light. Diseases, allergies, cosmetics or medications may cause photosensitivity. Medications such as psoralen, diuretics, birth control pills, tranquilizers, antibiotics and high blood pressure medicine may also affect one’s photosensitivity. Certain substances such as citrus fruits, celery, cosmetics and soaps can also increase photosensitivity. Harsh disinfectants, some lotions and sunscreens may also cause sensitizing reactions. If you are unsure if your medication is a photosensitizing agent, consult your pharmacist.

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MUST PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR BE WORN WHILE TANNING INDOORS?
Although they may seem like a nuisance, the goggles that you wear while tanning are very important. Your eyelids alone offer almost no protection against UV light, which can damage the cornea and retina and lead to cataracts. Not using proper eye protection may also result in short term effects such as tired, itchy eyes, headaches and loss of night vision. No one should ever be in a tanning bed without eye protection. Buy your own pair to avoid the risk of infections like pink-eye which are easily transmitted. Don’t take chances with your eyes. A quick fix for raccoon eyes is our sunless airbrush tanning system, which can blend your tan in less than a minute. Your tanning consultant can provide you with further details.

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WHY DO PEOPLE USE LOTIONS?
Many people use indoor tanning products to maximize their tanning experience. The following are reasons why consumers enjoy using tanning lotions:

1. They supply the skin with essential nutrients necessary for a tan and help moisturize the skin to keep it looking young and healthy.
2. Moist skin tans more quickly and efficiently than dry skin, resulting in a better tan in fewer visits.
3. Indoor tanning products help counteract the drying effects of heat and light associated with tanning (moisturized skin is healthier).
4. Active ingredients supplement the skin’s cells with the same proteins that enhance the tanning process naturally.
5. Specially formulated indoor tanning lotions help your tan last by retaining ultraviolet induced melanin longer.
6. The latest lotion technology includes antioxidants that help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

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WHAT IS IN TANNING CREAMS THAT ACCELERATES A TAN AND ARE THEY SAFE TO USE?
The main active ingredient in tanning lotions is Tyrosine. Tyrosine is essentially amino acids from proteins that are converted through several metabolic steps to produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment responsible for causing your skin to darken and provides a natural SPF factor of up to 10. Tyrosine is added to tanning accelerator products to supplement the body’s normal level of tyrosine at the skins cell level thereby speeding the tanning process. Indoor tanning lotions also helps counter the drying effects of tanning, prepare the skin to tan more efficiently, and makes a tan last longer.

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I HAVE REACHED A POINT WHERE I CAN’T GET ANY DARKER, WHAT CAN I DO?
You have reached what is called a “tanning plateau”. You must adjust your tanning program within the guidelines of developing a healthy tan. To increase magnification and intensification properties it is suggested to move from a tanning product used to stimulate melanin and build a base tan, to one that penetrates the skin surface with selective oils, nutrients, vitamins, minerals and amino acids for dark tanning. Often “tingle” products, formulas that produce a warming-reddening sensation by increasing the circulation of the top layer of skin, will take even dark tans past the plateau. No matter what product you use during your tanning session keep in mind that it is vital during the plateau stages to heavily moisturize and condition the skin.

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WHEN SHOULD I APPLY TANNING LOTION?
Most tanners apply their indoor tanning lotion immediately before tanning to maximize the product’s magnification, hydration, and skin conditioning properties.

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MY FACE AND LEGS DON’T TAN AS WELL AS THE REST OF MY BODY.WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Moist skin tans better than dry skin. The face and legs are naturally low in moisture and become dryer with normal activities. It is important to keep these areas constantly hydrated during the tanning process. There are several indoor tanning products available that are specifically formulated for hard to tan areas.

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HOW CAN I GET IMMEDIATE COLOR WHEN I HAVEN’T TANNED FOR AWHILE?
Use an indoor tanning lotion with natural bronzing and tanning agents. This type of lotion gives beginning tanners a deep, dark colored sunless tan as their true base tan develops.

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CAN I USE MY INDOOR TANNING LOTION OUTDOORS?
Yes. Our lotions have been designed for indoor and outdoor use. However, our products do not contain a sunscreen or SPF, which we highly recommend for outdoor exposure due to the uncontrolled environment. We would recommend not using a tingle lotion outdoors. Outdoor tanning lotions may NOT be used while tanning indoors as it may harm the acrylic in the beds. Using an outdoor tanning lotion indoors actually inhibits the tanning process, rather than acting as an amplifying agent.

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DO INDOOR TANNING LOTIONS CONTAIN SPF?
Indoor tanning, which is done in a controlled environment, is controlled by exposure time.  Indoor tanning lotions are designed to maximize your tanning results while minimizing your chances of overexposure.  Outdoor tanning lotions should not be used for indoor tanning.  The SPF contained in outdoor tanning lotions prevents desired results while tanning indoors because the ultraviolet exposure is already regulated by the exposure time.

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CAN I USE A REGULAR MOISTURIZER PURCHASED FROM A DRUGSTORE?
These may be used after your tanning session, but an indoor tanning lotion should be used during your tanning session.  An indoor tanning lotion has enhanced tanning ingredients.  Indoor tanning lotions contain many minerals and nutrients that are key in developing and maintaining healthy skin.  Swedish Beauty, Australian Gold, Designer Skin, California Tan, and Supre lotion products that are available at Baja Tan have many beneficial ingredients such as; Co-Enzyme Q-10, hemp seed oil, encapsulated Vitamin C and Aloe Vera.

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WHAT CAN I DO TO EXTEND MY TAN?
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  Using a high quality moisturizer will help replenish the vitamins and nutrients that are lost during the tanning session, keeping your skin smooth and younger looking while helping you maintain the color that you love.

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HOW DOES THE MATRIX PROVIDE THE BEST TANNING RESULTS?
The Matrix uses the science of high pressure tanning. The Matrix emits less than 11% UVB, just enough to activate the release of melanin and almost 100% UVA for maximum oxidation to achieve a deep natural tan at a lower risk of over exposure.

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HOW DOES THE SUNLESS AIRBRUSH TANNING SYSTEM WORK?
The sunless airbrush tanning system uses DHA, a sugar cane derivative that colors the skin when applied topically, to give you a “just off the beach” look. A technician sprays the solution from the airbrush onto you. The sunless tan lasts about 5 to 7 days. Sunless Airbrushing gives you color in two ways. First with a COSMETIC BRONZER (instant) that is visible the moment you apply the product. Next with a DHA BRONZER (dihydroxyacetone)

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HOW LONG IS A SUNLESS AIRBRUSH TANNING SESSION?

A sunless airbrush tan can be applied in 20 minutes, which includes drying time. We schedule sunless airbrush appointments every half hour. It is the only service that requires an appointment because we must schedule the session with an airbrush technician. We recommend scheduling your appointment 2-3 days prior, but we can usually accommodate appointment requests for the same day.

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WHAT SHOULD I WEAR DURING MY SUNLESS AIRBRUSH TANNING SESSION?

You may wear a bathing suit, shorts, undergarments or nothing. Since the room is completely private, going for an all-over treatment is completely up to you. However, if you do wear a bathing suit or underwear, please note that it may become stained. The instant color cosmetic bronzer is water-soluble and should wash out, but the dha may permanently stain what you wear during the sunless tanning session. It is recommended that you wear loose fitting clothing after your session.

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WHAT ARE THE RECOMMENDATIONS AFTER A SUNLESS AIRBRUSH TANNING SESSION?

Please stay out of water for the first four hours after your application. Try not to shower until the next day. This gives the DHA time to react. Please wait at least one hour before applying perfume or lotions that may contain alcohol.

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HOW OFTEN SHOULD I RE-APPLY?

Reapplying once every 7 days is sufficient. Using Pro Long Tan Extending Lotion will extend your tan 1-2 additional days. Pro Long has DHA properties which will add days to a spray tan. Pro Long also contains unipertan which supplies the skin with essential nutrients that will maintain a tan.

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