How many times a week can I sensibly use a sunbed?
People with skin type1: Children under 18 and people on certain medications that may cause photosensitivity: people with a history of skin cancer in their family should not use a sunbed at all.
You shouldnʼt use a sunbed if:
- You are under the age of 18
- Always burn in natural sunlight
- Have a medical condition which becomes worse in sunlight
- Have an excessive amount of moles/freckles
- History of sunburn
- Have very white/fair skin with ginger hair
- Have/had skin cancer or have a history of skin cancer among immediate family members.
Moderate tanning of 2-3 sessions a week is ok for everyone else but ensure you rest the skin for a minimum of 24 hours between each session and at least 48 hours for skin type 2.
The european standard advises not to exceed 60 sessions per annum.
What is a sunbed session?
A sunbed session is the length of time it takes to reach an individuals MED (minimal erythemal dose)
This is the point prior to over exposure and burning, which must always be avoided.
A session will therefore depend on the type of sun bed being used, the skin type of the person using it and the development point of their tan. Never sunbathe outdoors on the same day you take a sun bed session.
Why will some sunbed salons let me use their sunbeds for longer sessions?
This depends entirely upon the type of sun bed being offered.
The power and UV output can vary considerably from sunbed to sunbed.
A professional sunbed operator will advise on the correct session length dependent upon sunbed, skin type and stage of tan development.
A new regulation now requires all sunbeds to have a maximum irradiance level of 0.3w/ m2 and this will mean the length of session will need to be increased to achieve the same dosage.
some evidence points to sunburn and over exposure to UV being one of the possible risk factors in contracting skin cancer. The avoidance of melanomas can be helped by controlling exposure to UV- particularly in children.
Controlled exposure to UV, either in sunlight or on a sunbed, is important to avoid over exposure and sunburn.
What are benefits of using a sunbed?
sunbeds offer a controlled way to tan and can provide appropriate levels of UV to ensure sufficient levels of vitamin D are achieved and maintained.
Tanning in sunlight means the body can be subjected to different levels of UV rays,depending on the time of day, location in the world month of the year and so on.
A sunbed tanning programme can be developed to ensure skin type and the type of the sunbed being used, are taken into consideration to ensure that over exposure, including the possibility of burning is avoided.
Is it true there is no such thing as a safe tan?
NO. Tanned skin protects against sunburn, thought to be the main cause of melanoma. If you avoid getting sunburned, the benefits of moderate sun exposure (see vitamin D section) will far outweigh any risks.
Is unprotected sun exposure unhealthy?
Although precautions do need to be taken, regular, moderate amounts of unprotected UV exposure are absolutely necessary for good health. Independent scientific research has shown that whether you live in a sunny or not so sunny climate, but expose yourself to sun, then your subsequent increased production of vitamin D will help lower the risk of a host of debilitating and fatal diseases including colon, breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and depression.
Are sunbeds for tanning only?
If you don’t have the opportunity to go out in the sun or prefer a more private and controlled environment, indoor tanning facilities represent a viable alternative to natural sunshine for stimulating your production of vitamin D. However, it is important to remember that the radiation that you are exposed to in an indoor tanning facility is the same as what you get from the sun.
That means you need to take the same precautions that you would if you were in natural sunlight.
Is it necessary to wear eye protection?
YES. Ultraviolet light damages the naked eye, The skin which forms the eyelids are too thin to provide sufficient protection when closed. Therefore it is strongly recommended to use protective eyewear and do not directly look at the tubes with the naked eye during a session
Are there really benefits to using a lotion during a session?
YES. Sunbed lotions are specifically designed to optimise your tanning session to ensure that you receive your maximum tanning time and achieve the darkest tan possible. Moisturised skin tans faster and stays tanned longer in between sessions. Hydrated skin allows the absorption of the UV light. Dehydrated skin after a short period begins to reflect the light meaning that, from a 10 minute sunbed session those with dehydrated skin will achieve the equivalent of 6 minutes, A loss of 40% tanning time.
How do I know which lotion is suitable for my skin type?
This is better discussed with a fully trained member of staff, who will be only too happy to help.
Whilst there are many options available on the market the key is to find a lotion that meets your specific requirements.
All lotions are accelerators, however some contain active ingredients which are designed to speed up the tanning process further.
Be progressive in your lotions, build up through the levels and alternate occasionally to prevent reaching a plateau.
- Basic accelerators: can be used for fair/sensitive skins and those new to tanning.
- Hemp/grapeseed extracts: You may notice extracts added to provide extra hydration for dehydrated skin types and mature skin.
- Natural bronzers: This is a cosmetic colour which gives an instant bronzing to the skin, Natural bronzers wash off and do not develop or streak. suitable for those progressing from basic accelerators or darker skin types.
- Dual Bronzers: These lotions are often a combination of both Natural bronzers and DHA (the active self tan ingredient) and will continue to develop after your tanning session, Percentages put into lotions will differ depending upon the lotion, however are lower than that of self tan. It is essential to be mindful during application, apply in an even, circular motion. Wash or wipe hands after applying to skin.Suitable for advanced tanners (do not bath or shower directly afterwards)
- Tingles: These vary in strengths, starting from mild to hot. The active ingredient in Tingle lotions are heat activated and begin to work from the time of application. Designed to bring the blood to the surface of the skin, bringing melanin closer to the surface and enabling a faster tan.
These lotions aren’t for everyone as the sensation experienced (prickling and tingling)
some may find uncomfortable.Tingles provide a solution for those hard to tan areas. Suitable for experienced Tanners
BEFORE & DURING
- Remove all jewellery
- Remove all Make-up (most contain SPF and will decrease the tanning process) • Remove clothing
- Apply a suitable tanning lotion
- Apply protective eyewear