Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about tanning. We've created this section for Frequently Asked Questions about the tanning process. It is important that you understand the tanning process so that you can look and feel your best. This isn't an exhaustive list by any means and you may have other questions, please feel free to call or visit to speak to one of our Smart Tan certified consultants.


How does tanning work?

Tanning beds use UV or Ultraviolet light to tan your body. Since there are three types of UV light -UVA, UVB, and UVC - tanning beds are designed to use more levels of UVA with lower levels of UVB on your skin to promote the production of melanin, the pigment that makes you look tan even if you don't spend time under actual sunlight. The most harmful form of UV light is the UVC which tanning beds filter out so that you only get the best forms of UV light.

Is tanning in a salon safe?

Yes! Tanning in a salon is safe, especially compared to being out in actual sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Since tanning beds filter out the UVC light, you'll get the healthiest forms of UV light. Before tanning regularly you should get a base tan first so as not to get sunburned.

How often can I tan?

You should wait at least 24 hours after a session before tanning again. It is recommended that you do not go more than 3 times a week to make sure you do not get sunburned. Your salon may have more specific requirements.

How long should I tan when I first start?

If you easily get sunburned, it is advisable to start with a smaller exposure time. You can then increase it gradually as you start your base tan. Once you get considerably tan from being outside and just want to maintain that color, then you can tan for a longer period of time. But If you absolutely never get any sort of tan from the sun, keep in mind that you will not get a tan from tanning beds or booths as well, since they emit the same type of UV light.

What should I wear when I tan?

Tanning booths and beds are private areas in which you can wear whatever you like. If you feel more comfortable in your bikini or swimsuit then by all means wear it. You can also choose to go more natural and wear only your birthday suit since no one will see you. Many women, however, do choose to wear underwear so that they do not burn the more private parts of their anatomy. You will also be required to wear eye protection since your eyes, even when closed, can allow the light into them and cause permanent damage.

When shouldn't I tan?

You should not tan if you have just done so in the past 24 hours or if you are taking photo-sensitizing medication. This will enhance the tan and often cause you to burn. Ask your doctor to be certain you can tan if you are taking any kind of medication.

Why should I use lotion ?

All our lotions are specifically designed for the indoor tanning industry; they contain ingredients to assist in achieving maximum tanning results. They are designed not only to maximize and accelerate great tanning results, but most importantly replace essential nutrients, minerals and lost moisture to your skin. Lotions also contain antioxidants to shield free radical damage

Do I need to wear an SPF lotion when I tan?

No, because SPF tanning lotions allow you to stay in the sun longer than what is considered safe for you. It is then advisable not to wear an SPF tanning lotion so that you won't be emboldened to stay long under the scorching sun to the point of overexposing yourself.

Why do I need to wear eye protection?

Closing your eyelids is not adequate protection, your eyelids are too thin to stop ultraviolet light. For this reason you must wear eye protection when tanning at our salons.

Is there such a thing as a safe tan?

The word 'safe' usually implies that an activity can be engaged in recklessly, without any fear of injury. Overexposure can result in sunburn and skin damage, which is why we teach both tanners and non-tanners alike to be intelligent about their sun exposure. Moderate sun exposure for individuals who can develop a tan is the 'smartest' way to maximize the potential benefits and minimize the potential risks associated with either too much or too little sunlight.

Why do some people itch after tanning indoors?

Rashes or itching occurring on the body after ultraviolet light exposure are not an indication of skin disease, but of dry skin or a photosensitive reaction. They often are caused by a combination of heat from the tanning lamps, a lack of sufficient melanin in the skin being tanned and ultraviolet light. This is why it's extremely important to properly moisturize before, during, and after your tanning session. Both irritations usually subside within several days after tanning has stopped.

How does indoor tanning exposure compare to the natural sun?

Your skin produces a tan the same way it does when you tan indoors or outdoors. It is difficult to make a simple comparison of the sun with that of modern indoor tanning equipment. The sun's strength is dependent on several factors as well. When you are outdoors in the sun you cannot control the amount of ultraviolet light you are exposed to. Indoor tanning is a very controlled environment in which you can regulate the amount of ultraviolet light you are exposed to. You can gradually increase your exposure time to achieve the tan you desire without burning.

How does sunless tanning work?

The main ingredient in most self-tanners is DHA (an ingredient derived from sugarcane), which reacts with proteins and amino acids in the skin to create a tan.

How Do You Define Moderate Tanning?

The term "moderate tanning" means something different for every different individual, and that is an important point. The bottom line is what we call "The Golden Rule of Smart Tanning- Don't EVER sunburn. A fair-skinned, red-headed, green-eyed person may not have the ability to develop a tan without sun burning. This person should not attempt to tan then. On the other hand, most of us have the ability to develop a tan, and the majority of us tan very easily. Moderation, in our view, means avoiding sunburn at all costs. Going about that agenda will mean something different to every different person.

Are All Dermatologists Against Indoor Tanning?

While most of the dermatology profession has an inexplicably myopic view about tanning, some enlightened dermatologists have broken ranks with their peers in recent years, urging their profession to re-think its one-sided dogma about sun exposure. Two of the most recent:
-Research dermatologist Dr. Sam Shuster, professor emeritus to the Department of Dermatology at Newcastle University in northern England, challenged his peers to quantify the alleged increase in skin cancer incidence, which is not based on actual numbers but only estimates. In the book, "Panic Nation: Unpicking the Myths We're Told About Food and Health-Shuster calls his peers to acknowledge that a tan is the body" natural protection against sunburn -a reality that has been all but stampeded under the establishment's rhetoric. "Unfortunately our attitude to sun and ultra-violet (UV) light is subject to much perverse and dubious technical 'advice', which society has passively accepted without questioning its provenance,- Shuster writes.
-Boston University Professor Dr. Michael Holick 'the scientist who was involved in the discovery of the active form of vitamin D in the early 1970s - wrote the book "The UV Advantage" in 2004, urging people to embrace moderate exposure to ultraviolet light as the body's natural way to produce Vitamin D. Holick is one of the world's leading authorities on vitamin D production. Since some exposure to sunlight is beneficial to your health, it is reasonable that if you wish to be exposed to sunlight, that you can do so with relative safety if you make sure that you do not receive a sunburn,-Holick says.
-Many rank-and-file dermatologists have more moderate views about sensible sun exposure, but have been intimidated by their peers not to discuss these views publicly. Indeed, upon publishing "The UV Advantage"in 2004, Holick was forced to resign his post at Boston University as a professor of dermatology, with the chair of that department calling his work "schlock science". In spite of such rhetoric, in the two years since publishing his book, most of Holick's positions have become mainstream thinking.

Can anybody tan?

Certain skin types cannot tan, but anybody can get a beautiful golden-tan look with our UV-Free tanning system process. Our tanning professionals can help you determine the type of tanning best suited to your skin type. The six basic skin types are shown below:
Skin type 1: Always burns, never tans
Skin type 2: Burns easily, tans slightly
Skin type 3: Sometimes burns, tans gradually
Skin type 4: Burns minimally, always tans well
Skin type 5: Burns rarely, tans deeply
Skin type 6: Almost never burns, deeply pigmented

Why is moisturized skin important for a tan?

Healthy, moist skin will tan quicker, get darker and keep its tanned appearance longer because the melanin is produced rapidly and the skin also will not exfoliate as quickly when it is properly moisturized.

I don't tan outdoors. Will I be able to tan in a bed?

If you can't get color from the sun, you can't get color in an UV bed. However, UV-Free tanning system can give you a natural looking tan without any UV exposure at all.

How do I know the beds are clean?

We use FDA-approved cleaning solutions after every customer's tanning session. The store manager will be happy to show you our cleaning logs. The solution is tested daily to ensure proper sanitizing properties exist.

How often do you change the bulbs in each bed?

We follow the manufacturer's guidelines for bulb replacement so that you will achieve the best results from your sessions. We typically change our bulbs when they have reached 70% of their capacity so your tan doesn't suffer from weaker UV rays.


I've never used the VersaSpa before, is there a video I can watch?

How do I prepare for my VersaSpa appointment?

Arrive at least 5 minutes before your appointment to check-in. Arrive showered, shaven, free of make-up, perfume, oil, body sprays, deodorant and moisturizer for optimal results. Bring loose, dark fitting clothing for after your session. Bring a bathing suit or undergarments to wear. However, some customers opt to tan nude. The VersaSpa session lasts about 58 seconds plus dry time for the application and a total of 10 to 15 minutes with prep and post preparation.

Should I moisturize before I VersaSpa?

You should use a moisturizer regularly to keep your skin hydrated and healthy, which will contribute to a more even, natural looking sunless tan. However, it is recommended NOT to apply moisturizers 2 hours prior to self tanning and 4 to 6 hours after. A moisturizer applied immediately prior to your VersaSpa session could interfere with the reaction of the DHA (the active self tanning ingredient) with your skin, unless you use AMPLIFIER PREP GEL by VersaSpa. A moisturizer applied immediately after your session could cause streaking and also interfere with the reaction of DHA. Only salon approved moisturizer should be used, such as Daily performance lotion by VersaSpa.

Why is keeping skin moisturized essential to maintain great sunless results?

It is important to keep skin moisturized after your VersaSpa session as dry, flaky skin will slough off faster and color will fade sooner. Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like Daily performance lotion by VersaSpa, helps hydrate skin and maintain even, natural looking color longer by providing subtle bronzers.

How long should I wait after I VersaSpa before I shower?

It is best to wait at least 6 hours after the sunless tan application before you shower to give the DHA time to fully react with skin proteins.

Can I work out after I VersaSpa?

It is best to wait about 6 hours after your VersaSpa session before partaking in any strenuous activites that may cause perspiration. This will give the DHA time to fully react with skin proteins as well as prevent streaking that could result from excessive perspiration.

How many days will a VersaSpa tan last?

The longevity of a VersaSpa Sunless tan depends on the skin's natural exfoliation process, and on the skin regimen followed before and after application. On average, a sunless tan will last 4-7 days. The "life span" of a VersaSpa sunless tan also depends on your skin's natural exfoliation. The faster your skin regenerates, the faster the sunless tan will fade. The tan created by the DHA and Erythrulose affects only the top layer of the skin and will begin to fade after 4 to 5 days as the skin naturally begins to exfoliate.

How frequently do you recommend I VersaSpa? Can I do it several days in a row?

The frequency of VersaSpa sunless tanning application depends on your skin cell turn over and preference of color intensity. People with quickcell turn-overs may want to VersaSpa every 3-4 days to keep color fresh, while others may need to apply only once every 7-10 days.

Can I VersaSpa in addition to a tanning bed?

Absolutely! In fact, the VersaSpa Sunless tanning results are phenomenal over a nice base tan. If you want to combine both applications in a single visit, we recommend our Combo Tanning Specials. You can use the VersaSpa AMPLIFIER PREP GEL which is Scientifically formulated to enhance UV and Sunless tanning Treatments by balancing your bodys PH levels, hydrating skin and increasing absorption levels before your session.

Will the solution from the VersaSpa come off on my clothes?

Some of the bronze "cosmetic tint" color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets. This is most likely to happen when you get dressed immediately after tanning. To minimize the chance of the tint transferring to clothing, we recommend that you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your VersaSpa session. The Cosmetic tint is water-soluble. Therefore, in most cases, the color will come out of clothing in the wash.

How do I apply Barrier Cream correctly?

Barrier Cream is applied as a protective barrier to prevent unwanted color on the porous areas such as hands, feet, nails and cuticles. Dispense a generous amount of Barrier Cream onto your hands and apply an even coating to the palms of the hands, in-between the fingers, tips of fingers, covering nails and around the cuticles. Also apply a generous layer of Barrier Cream to the bottom of feet, in-between the toes, covering toenails and cuticles.

Why do I need to wear sunscreen even if I have a sunless tan?

Although you may feel and look like you have a real tan , a sunless tan is only the temporary appearance of a tan and therefore provides your skin with no real sunburn protection. It is absolutely necessary you wear a sunscreen when outdoors to protect your skin from burning.

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