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Frequently Asked Questions

Tanning

Q: When can a person shower in relation to a tan, before or after, and how much time should a person wait between showering and tanning?

Q: Does tanning indoors have the same effect as tanning outdoors?

Q: What are the do’s and don’ts of tanning with tattoos?

Q: Can I wear my contact lenses while tanning?

Lotions

Q: What’s the difference between a bronzer and a self-tanner?

Q: Should I shower after using a bronzer?

 

 

Tanning:

Q: When can a person shower in relation to a tan, before or after, and how much time should a person wait between showering and tanning?

A: There’s no problem with showering just prior to tanning because it clears the skin of any potential barriers that might hinder the tan. Applying a tanning lotion right after a shower will help the lotion absorb more readily into the skin and prepare it for the tan. The exception is with lotions that make your skin heat up and “tingle”—proximity to the tanning session time is a little more critical with those lotions.

Ideally, a person should probably wait a few hours after tanning to take a shower. The reason: Skin takes a while to process the light that it has received into a tan. Taking a shower right after a tan won’t eliminate the tan altogether, but it will minimize the total impact of that individual session.

 

Q: Does tanning indoors have the same effect as tanning outdoors?

A: The answer to this question really lies in two parts. First, the vehicle of tanning, whether indoors or outdoors, is ultraviolet light. So while the source that produces ultraviolet rays may be different, the means of tanning is identical. Second, the intended goal, or effect, is the same, but with indoor tanning you have a better chance of getting the exact effect you want. Outdoor tanning uses an uncontrolled environment to achieve the desired effect.

You might think of it this way. Tanning can be loosely compared to drinking water. You can quench your thirst with a glass of water. (This would be the equivalent of indoor-controlled tanning.) In some respects, outdoor tanning might be like trying to quench your thirst with a fire hose. You’ll get at least what you want, but the lack of control will probably result in getting far more than you need.

 

Q: What are the do’s and don’ts of tanning with tattoos?

A: Tanners with new tattoos absolutely need to cover them up until they are completely healed. Tattoos will lose their brillancy with exposure to sunlight, whether indoors or out so always preserve them with sunscreen.

 

Q: Can I wear my contact lenses while tanning?

A: Yes, unless your eyes are irritated from overuse or some other reason. If they are irritated, the pressure from wearing protective eyewear may further irritate the eye. In that case it would be suggested that tanning be delayed until the eyes have recuperated.

The primary concern with this question is usually moisture. Eyes lose moisture during the tanning process, just like skin does. To prevent any temporary discomfort resulting from dryness use rewetting drops for your eyes either before or after you tan.

 

Lotions:

Q: What’s the difference between a bronzer and a self-tanner?

A: Think of a bronzer as make-up and self-tanner as something that produces a chemical reaction in the skin. The full result of a self-tanner takes a little time to develop, whereas a bronzer’s effect is immediately noticeable. Keep in mind that neither one protects the skin from UV exposure like naturally tanned skin does.

 

Q: Should I shower after using a bronzer?

A: It is best to shower before tanning, and then used the bronzer. The easiest way to make a distinction is to think of bronzers as a form of make-up. Self-tanners can last up to a few days, even with showering, because they produce a chemical reaction in the skin. If you’re after a longer-lasting effect, exfoliate your skin prior to using a self-tanner. If you don’t exfoliate first, it’s like using car polish on a paint job that is oxidized. For a longer lasting effect you would first use a compound to get rid of the oxidized paint, and then use a polish.