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Save Your Skin - The Skinny on Tanning Bed Lotions

Aug 17, 2007
When you tan indoors, unlike outdoors under the sun, you won't need the same sort of lotions. Outdoor tanning, due to the relatively unregulated light of the sun, requires a lotion with a significant SPF. The SPF (which stands for Sun Protection Factor) allows you to stay out longer in the sun without risking a burn. For instance, if you use an SPF 16, you can stay in the sun without risking a burn sixteen times as long as you'd be able to stay out without the lotion.

Indoor tanning bed lotions, in contrast, are primarily designed to allow your skin to tan through them while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. And since you're controlling exposure time by using a tanning bed, you don't need to have an SPF factor at all. Instead, they protect your skin against drying damage while you're getting that great tan.

You should never use a lotion or oil when tanning indoors; unlike indoor lotions, the outdoor variety will clog your pores and inhibit natural tanning, as well as potentially damage the tanning bed and equipment to the extent that you can't get a tan from them any longer.

Tanning lotions also help you get a more natural tan under unnatural lighting. Because a tanning bed concentrates ultraviolet light while omitting other harmful light rays, you often get an orange cast to your skin by using them. The right application will encourage a golden color so that you can avoid that orange color.

Apply your chosen lotion in a smooth, even coat over every part of your body that will be exposed to ultraviolet light. Anything you don't protect, or don't protect adequately, will tan at a different rate from the rest of your skin, or worse, burn. Don't forget to add lotion to your face and the back of your neck. If you tan naked, pay special attention to the more delicate parts of your body. You don't want to burn anything vital! Because tanning does not end when you get out of the booth, you can also apply lotion after you finish to protect your skin and keep it moisturized.

Tanning lotions encourage the production of melanin, the chemical in the body that makes your skin darken when exposed to UVB rays. Most tanning bed lotions contain tyrosine, an amino acid and antioxidant, for this purpose. Adding tyrosine to your skin also slows the exfoliation process, making your tan stay longer. And it cleans your pores and removes dulling dead skin.

In many types, you'll also find vitamin E, which can encourage the complete healing of scars, and which is also an antioxidant. All antioxidants fight aging; instead of winding up with that alligator-skin appearance many women who tan outside have, your skin may stay fresh and young-looking.

All lotions also have a moisturizer, which is actually the most important ingredient. This prevents the harsh UVB rays of the tanning bed from drying your skin. And since moist skin tans better than dry skin, the effectiveness of your tanning sessions will be increased, and you'll need to tan less often.

A lotions also contain tan accelerators or maximizers, and a few are designed for maximum moisturizing of your skin following your session.

When you look for lotions to purchase, check with the manufacturer of the bed or with the store you bought it from first. For that matter, when you're considering purchasing a bed, ask if the salesperson will throw in some lotion as well. You may also find discounts online, at ebay (but avoid opened or partially used bottles!), and direct from the manufacturer as overstocks.

And don't let the higher price fool you; these lotions have higher-grade ingredients than standard sunscreen, and will help you get a darker, longer-lasting tan than you'd otherwise have.

A few brands to look at are Designer Skin, which is intended for customers concerned about aging and wrinkling. The Miracle Collection is their premium line for antiaging. John Abate products include a number of indoor tanning bed lotions that you can spray on your body and face, which is great for getting an even coat. And Fiji Blend tanning bed lotions have a unique blend of ingredients that help your skin continue darkening long after your tanning session is complete. The best rule of thumb is to remember that each salon will have its own favorite tanning bed lotion; ask about samples, and keep an open mind about switching brands.
About the Author
Get sun tanning advice, tips and information for sun seekers of all types at Cheap Tanning Bed Supplies.
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