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Tanning - Things to Know

Age Requirement

Wisconsin state laws says you must be at least 16 years of age to tan with or without parental consent. Spray tanning has no age restrictions. Both UVA and UVB rays can be harmful to your eyes. Eyelids are too thin to provide adequate protection against injury, which is most often cumulative over time. The FDA requires that you wear approved, protective eyewear while tanning indoors. Goggles or one-time disposable eye protection is available for purchase.


You are required to wait 24 hours between UV tanning sessions and our software will not allow us to tan you any sooner. Allowing 48 hours between sessions usually guarantees your skin has had adequate time to rest and recover from previous UV exposure and that the melanin in your skin has optimized, so you can see the tan you have achieved.

Coming Clean

The best way to tan is with clean skin, devoid of makeup, body oils, lotions or creams and prepared with an indoor product to optimize sunlight absorption. You tan much better when you’re clean.

Keep Your Glow

No matter how often you visit, your tan is only 30 days old. Naturally, your body “resurfaces” it’s outer most layer monthly. Then there is sun, water, heat, and cold – all drying your skin, causing it to flake off, and your tan along with it. Moisturizing is essential to the life and look of your tan. Additionally, dry skin can reflect UV-light, thus decreasing your tanning ability. For best results,always use an indoor tanning lotion just before tanning and a tan extender right after your session. Your body makes use of many ingredients in addition to UV-light to produce a tan and products formulated for indoor tanning will help you tan faster, get darker and nourish your skin in the process. Without replenishing the moisture level before and after tanning, you will damage your skin. Many of today’s advanced skin care products also contain components that help improve the condition of your skin, have anti-aging effects or built in bronzers to boost color. Since these products are chock full of essential vitamins, temperature fluctuation can cause them to lose their effectiveness. Always store tanning accelerators at room temperature.


Tattoos can fade with repeated exposure to sunlight. So to keep your ink vibrant, apply a SPF 30 and cover it completely for the first two-three months if it has been newly applied. Continue to use a SPF 30 or higher thereafter to prevent fading. Outdoor oils and lotions are manufactured for outdoor use are formulated to address uncontrolled conditions and to stand up to water, wind and perspiration. Many contain binders or fillers to extend the sustainability of the product, and these components can leave a film on or cloud tanning bed acrylics and prevent you from tanning. Only indoor tanning products allowed in our salons.

Protect Your Lips

Your lips do not produce melanin, and are incapable of tanning. Protect your lips with lip balm containing sunblock.

Tanning Nude

If you have areas of your body that have not been recently exposed to UV light and you intend to tan in the nude, cover these sensitive areas for at least half of your first few sessions. No tan lines are a primary advantage of indoor tanning, but you must allow areas that rarely see the sun to adjust gradually.


Some medicines can cause a reaction to UV-light. Check containers for stickers regarding photo-sensitivity or sensitivity to light and with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your particular prescription.

Tanning While Pregnant

The only way sunlight can enter your body is through your eyelids. The skin on a woman’s abdomen protects everything internal from outside elements, so while there is no medical reason that a woman can’t lie in sunlight, individuals should make their own decision about tanning, together with their doctors. Physicians do warn women to avoid hot tubs, saunas or other activities that may lead to a build up of internal heat.

Skin Therapy

Using UV light as a treatment for conditions like acne and eczema should be done in conjunction with a doctor’s instructions, especially if you take medication. Sometimes prescriptions used to treat these conditions can make skin hypersensitive to sunlight, so be cautious if medicated when you tan.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition many people suffer when they are exposed to too little light, most often during the long winter months in our northern climate. Symptoms can include depression, fatigue, weight gain and a compromised immune system. Studies suggest that additional exposure to light helps us release the hormone melatonin, which acts as a depressant in the body if produced during the day. Light therapy is the most common treatment for SAD.

Achieving Even Color

A variety of equipment is going to give the most even looking tan. If you prefer lying down while tanning, switch your position occasionally and lie with your arms above overhead to even out underarms. Stand up units can be very helpful to tan the top of your head, the top of your shoulders and the top of your feet too, as well as allowing pressure points to tan evenly. Many of our units are also equipped with specialized shoulder and facial lamps to gently target these areas with surface rays that bring color up without penetrating very deep.

Tanning Plateau

If you’ve been tanning a while and you aren’t getting any darker you may have reached a “tanning plateau.” One of our Smart Tan trained staff members can help you break through it with skincare options and tanning equipment recommendations regarding varying outputs and features. Let us tailor your tanning solution so you can achieve the color you want.

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