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Why Does Indoor Tanning Lotion Tingle?

Nov 25, 2007
If you've used indoor tanning lotion before, you know that it can sometimes produce a tingling sensation on the skin. The tingling isn't painful and is rarely even uncomfortable. However, many people are afraid of that tingling sensation. They worry that the tingling means that something is going on with the skin that isn't healthy. As a result, a frequently asked question in tanning salons is "why do tanning lotions tingle?" Salons which are staffed with knowledgeable people will have the answer. But for those that don't already know, the tingling is related to the process that is happening when lotions are activated by the rays of the tanning booth.

Basically, the way that indoor tanning lotions work is that they stimulate the production of melanin in the body. The purpose of this is to increase the effects of the UV rays that you expose yourself to in a tanning booth (which is why you can get a tan more quickly indoors than outdoors). There are different ways that different indoor tanning lotions stimulate melanin production. One of these is to use chemicals which cause the blood to flow to the skin more quickly than normal, moving the melanin to the skin. You know that feeling when your foot falls asleep and then the blood rushes back into it and it tingles? It's more or less the same idea, except that you have increased blood flow instead of blood returning to the body after levels decreased.

Okay, so why do some indoor tanning lotions tingle more than others? You might have even used lotions that don't tingle at all, and that's probably because the method of increasing melanin is different in those products. Although many indoor tanning lotions use the stimulation of blood flow to achieve this effect, there are other ways of doing it. Some indoor tanning lotions simply have melanin as an ingredient; these may produce little or no tingling effect. Additionally, how much of a tingling sensation you'll feel depends on your own body chemistry. The amount of increased blood flow and your own ability to notice nerve sensation can affect how much tingling you may feel when applying indoor tanning lotions.

The other question that people have in relation to the tingling sensation produced by indoor tanning lotions is whether or not this sensation is an indication that something unsafe is going on with the body. There are no definitive answers to this question although the general consensus in the industry is that there is nothing unsafe about the tingling sensation. Just as there is nothing unsafe associated with the tingling that you feel when blood flow returns to a foot that has fallen asleep due to poor circulation, you are not doing anything to the body with indoor tanning lotions that the body is unequipped to handle.

However, some people disagree with the assessment that the tingling sensation is safe. Others don't care one way or another about whether or not it's safe; they just don't like the feeling of the tingling that comes from indoor tanning lotions. That's okay; there are enough products on the market that you should be able to find suitable indoor tanning lotions which do not cause your skin to tingle from use. Work with your salon professionals to find the right tanning lotions and other products for your tanning preferences.
About the Author
Baxter Owens is the developer of www.TanTans.com, an ultra premium Indoor Tanning Lotion website & vendor. TanTans.com offers premium tanning lotion at discount, wholesale prices, including Pro Tan Tanning Lotion. Visit www.TanTans.com today for all of your indoor tanning & skin care needs!
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