Safe Tanning – The Facts

In recent years there have been many media driven myths about salon tanning. The truth is everything we do in life carries a risk! Follow a few simple rules and you will tan safely whilst enjoying the benefits. There is no CONCLUSIVE SCIENTIFIC research to suggest that the use of salon sunbeds poses a higher risk of skin cancer. In fact exposure to UV light can be controlled far better as minutes can be monitored. Some people are more at risk than others and if first degree relatives (mother, father, siblings) have had a melanoma, then you are part of a melanoma prone family. In other words, heredity plays a major role in your chances of developing the disease. Research has shown that in countries with the most annual sunshine, there are the fewest cases of Colon, Prostate and Breast cancer – thus refuting the link between UV light and Cancer conveyed by the media. Scientific studies suggest that drinking red wine or other alcoholic beverages carries a greater cancer risk than tanning.

Benefits of salon tanning sunbeds

Sunbeds can improve psychological wellbeing giving increased confidence and self esteem, whilst also offering a source of relaxation. They can help alleviate symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter blues. Many people experience depressive symptoms during winter months due to the lack of sunlight. The pleasant warming effect of sunbed treatments can soothe muscular aches and pains and help alleviate the discomfort associated with Rheumatism and Arthritis. Sunbed UV light can help improve various skin conditions like Psoriasis, Eczema and Acne. Tanned skin protects you against sunburn, (thought to be the main cause of melanoma). By using a sunbed, where the level of UV can be controlled, the risk of sunburn can be minimised.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of salon tanning is its link to Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Sunbeds and sunlight are the main source of your body's ability to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for good health. It lowers the risk of everyday infections like cold and flu as well as more fatal diseases, high blood pressure, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and depression. For women during and after menopause it is vital that levels of Vitamin D are maintained to prevent osteoporosis. Sunlight is the most effective way for the body to manufacture Vitamin D – indoors and outdoors. 6 out of 10 adults in the UK are Vitamin D deficient – studies suggest that regular, moderate use of sunbeds will raise the levels of Vitamin D in healthy adults by an average of 40%. Tanning in a sensible manner creates a whole host of health benefits. It is OVEREXPOSURE that causes the health risks. In moderation sunbed use is good for you.

Responsible Tanning Advice

What should you do?

Remove all jewellery and make up prior to tanning as these act as a barrier and will decrease the tanning process. Before entering the sunbed cubicle, apply your pre-tanning cream (available at reception). These enhancing creams contain the finest quality ingredients available to promote the deepest, darkest tan and are fortified with essential nutrients, vitamins and moisturisers. Dry un-moisturised skin actually reflects the UV rays and you will not receive full tanning benefits. Dry skin is also a cause of a dull, ageing appearance.

How often do I need to use the sunbed in order to maintain a tan?

This varies depending on your skin type but, generally in order to maintain your tan, you will need to use the sunbed two or three times a week.

Protecting the Eyes

Ultraviolet light damages the naked eye, so we strongly recommend that you use protective eye wear and do not look at the tubes with the naked eye. You will be given eye shields as part of your sunbed sessions.

Is the tan produced by a sunbed any different from the tan produced by natural light?

There is absolutely NO difference between the colour of tan achieved from a sunbed compared to natural sunlight, the pigmentation process occurs in exactly the same way. Both UVA (the TANNING ray) and UVB (the reddening ray) are essential to achieve a tan. The advantage of sunbed to tanning is that the tanning tubes emit only a very tiny amount of UVB (less than 1%) and over 99% UVA so you will tan without burning. Following sunbed instructions is however, essential.

Do not exceed 4 minutes if you have a fair skin or just starting a tan. Staff will advise you on tanning length.

Most people are able to use a sunbed but there are exceptions. If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you must seek medical advice, or don't use a sunbed.

  • Are you aged under 18?
  • Do you always burn in natural sunlight?
  • Do you have a medical condition that becomes worse in sunlight?
  • Do you have an excessive amount of moles and / or freckles?
  • Do you have a history of sunburn, particularly from childhood?
  • Do you have very white fair skin with ginger hair?
  • Do you have skin cancer or does any member of your immediate family have/had skin cancer?
  • Are you on any drugs or medication that could make your skin more sensitive to light?
  • If you are pregnant, consult your GP before use.

The Hair & Beauty Lounge, Unit 7, The Craven Centre, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 9PX Tel: 01588 673081 Email: