Monday, February 6, 2012

Bed Tanning 101 + A Little Super Bowl Talk

Good Monday to you all! Did you all enjoy the super bowl? Woo Hoo Giants! My team wasn't there so I normally go for the underdog. It was a rather boring Super Bowl except for the last 10 minutes. To be honest that's all I got to watch anyway since I was chasing around my boys and letting the hubby enjoy his time with the guys. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Madonna's Performance. I'm not much of a fan of NEW MAdonna but she got me by taking me back to to good ol' days with a greatest hits sort of performance. Plus, LMFAO and Nikki Minaj make everything better!

Did you guys get a chance to watch all the commercials? Here is by far my favorite one :)
I hope that song never gets old!

Moving on...
Ha Ha Ha. Is that an awesome picture or what? I don't know about you guys but that is EXACTLY how I look when I tan.
I thought I'd share my knowledge on tanning with ya'll. First let me tell you that most of the stuff I'm going to say is MY OPINION and please do not go tan yourself to the point of cancer and blame me. I'm just stating what I have learned and discovered over the years. I am FULLY aware that too much sun causes Cancer. But then again...doesn't too much of anything cause Cancer these days? So here is your official "warning".
The FDA warns that there is no such thing as a "safe tan." Extensive studies suggest that tanning increases your risk of skin cancer greatly. 

Steps to a Good Healthy Tan Sesh:

1. Educate yourself

Anyway, When I was 19 I managed a tanning salon. When I first applied there to even get the job the owner made us study and take a 5 page test and write an essay on tanning. Extreme right? It was, but at the same time it made us employees very knowledgeable and able to answer any question our customers might have. So after you read this feel free to dispute or correct anything I say. Honestly!
It is my opinion that by tanning in moderation you are not going to get cancer. In actuality, it is somewhat safer to use a bed where the amount of UV rays you are getting is controlled. As to when you are in the sun, you have no control over how much you get. I DO however feel like anything over once a week and the occasional twice a week right before you go on a vacation is the most anyone should do. It actually takes 4-5 days for your tan to show up after you tan in a bed. (That is why I use the tingle lotion because I am an instant gratification type of girl) So once a week is good for maintenance. When you are getting ready to go on a vacation somewhere sunny it is good to prepare your skin for the amount of sun it is about to get with a base tan.
Now lets talk about the difference between UVA Rays and UVB Rays. Most beds contain both. UVA rays have longer wavelengths and penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB rays. Because UVB only affects the top layer of skin, it tends to create a reddish tan or even a burn. UVA rays reach deeper, oxidizing and browning the melanin in your skin. So for optimal tanning results it is best to tan in the salons "base" beds and every so often tan in their bronzing beds. (also most commonly know as a "RUVA" bed)

 *Please note that some salons are NOT correct on what they call their beds. So sometimes it is good to do a little research on the bed before you tan in it. *

Don't be afraid to ask questions when you go. A good business will have their employees educated (There ARE classes they can attend) and ready to help you with whatever your concerns are. So what might seem like a mindless job, really shouldn't be.

2. Prepare Your Skin

The best tans are on new skin. To ensure this make sure you exfoliate before you go. Tanning on top of dead skin cells isn't going to do much and is really a waste of money if you ask me. I like to shower right before I go and exfoliate making sure I am tanning a fresh layer of skin. I don't mind the tanning smell but for those of you that do there are lotions you can tan with that help eliminate that smell or you can shower after. Just make sure that if you are using a bronzing lotion you wait 4 hours after to shower. Otherwise you will just wash the bronze right off.

3. Find Yourself a Good Lotion

You should never tan without a lotion. Indoor tanning lotions, sunless tanning products and other assorted self-tanning products help you to get better results from every tanning session. Tanning lotions help the pores to open up and offer you enhanced light absorption by amplifying your UV exposure.They also help in acquiring a deeper, more enduring tan while at the same time protecting the skin’s existing moisture levels. High quality lotions can help dark-skinned people break through their existing tanning plateau and achieve unprecedented results. Indoor tanning lotions are usually designed to only use ingredients that will not cause damage or build up on acrylic surfaces. This is because all tanning beds use 100% acrylic in their protective shields. People should not use outdoor tanning lotion in a tanning bed, as some common ingredients such as mineral oil (common ingredient in cosmetics, including some baby oil brands) will damage the surface of the acrylics.

I also like to use the little stickers they have to help with that instant gratification and also monitor my progress. (P.S. in case you were wondering that is an appendix removal scar. I don't know why I put the sticker there, I just always have.)

 Here is some info in my favorite types of lotions:

Some lotions have a bronzing affect to them. There are two different types of bronzers; cosmetic and natural. Cosmetic bronzers are usually DHA (dihydroxyacetone) based.These bronzers work with the skin to provide a darker cosmetic color. They take approximately 4-6 hours to develop full color. It's recommended that you have a base tan before using a bronzer for a more natural looking color. Natural bronzers use natural ingredients, such as, caramel, riboflavin, etc. These ingredients provide a slight instant boost of color, but will wash off in the shower. Higher quality natural bronzer lotions will have certain organic ingredients/natural or exotic extracts that help aid in the process of tanning (melanin production/oxidization).

The reddening and tingling sensation is part of the “tingle factor.” It’s the result of chemicals that manipulate the blood to rush to the upper layer of the skin. It essentially increases blood circulation which generates more oxygen thus increasing melanin oxidation levels. The increase of melanin causes your skin to tan darker more quickly but not before first reddening. This is all a natural process and the sensation a person feels is directly attributed to increased blood flow and melanin generation. The higher concentration of Benzyl Nicotinate the more intense the tingle factor will be.

3. Protect Yourself

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use your protective eye goggles or the ones they give you. 
DO NOT tan your face the entire time. You face only needs a few minutes of sun and then cover it up! You can use the towel that they SHOULD provide you with. We don't need the wrinkles that come along with sun exposure and you can change your face makeup to match the color of the rest of your body. 
Know your limits. Know how much your skin type ( well, first you better learn what it is if you don't know) can handle. It is completely OK to tan for 7 minutes if thats all it takes! 

4. Enjoy the results!

If you are wondering why I am even doing this post it is because of what tanning does for me. It helps me WAAAAY more than just giving me tanned skin year round. It is my once a week therapy. It helps relax me an calms me down even if it is only for 15-20 minutes. I need that.
It is also in MY opinion that tan fat looks better than white fate. For some reason it just hides the cellulite better. I think anyways...
And then there are THESE...

Seriously these are the worst. They have forever cursed me with ugly arms. They are all over the backs of my arms. Now next time you see me don't even think about taking a sly walk behind me. I will know EXACTLY what you are trying to do ;). I've been to doctors, they've  given me creams and lotions. NOTHING! Exfoliations, NOTHING! They never completely go away but tanning is the ONLY thing I have found that reduces the appearance of them. That alone is a good enough reason for me to tan. They are normally a lot worse than this picture. Gross. Call it low self esteem, I don't care. I hate them and if there is something I can do to make me feel better about it then by golly I'm going to do it. I am SUUUPER self conscience about my arms. I know I know, love yourself and all that crap...but reducing their appearance just helps me love me more ;). It also doesn't help when your SIL says they are the ugliest things ever! ( You know who you are ;) )

LOOOONG informative post but I hope this helps you. For those of you that are totally anti-sun I will do a post soon on the dreaded SPRAY TANS. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will do my best to answer them. Otherwise just do the research yourself! It's always better to be informed. <3


  1. Thanks for all the info.

    1. lol that comment came from me Maria lol

  2. Correction white fate; should be white fat. :) You know my opinion on tanning so I wont even type it all up. I do agree however, that anything in moderation should be okay. I do agree though that people should only be tanning their faces for a few minutes and then cover it up. I am one who covers up and applies, reapplies and then applies sun block when outside swimming or playing near water. Thankfully I have olive skin so my white is an okay color if you ask me. So it works for me and just for the record I have never ever told you that your arms are the ugliest thing ever. Not once. I have however made comments about my husbands skin on his arms. I am sorry that I did not want my children to have his skin. :) He hates it and my boys have enough skin problems. :) I will have to ask Brittany what helped her arms. She said she had to do it diligently, but it helped drastically, but she was bad at the diligent part. Needless to say, she stopped doing whatever was helping. The Powell family all has the tiny, red, bumps on their arms. You know I love you!

  3. I get those sooo bad!! I pick and pop mine all the time, they are horrible and nothing has helped me either :/ if you ever find a cream or treatment that works, let me know!!