General chatter - Tanning bed?




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maalisse
04-03-2007, 08:04 PM
Hi, Everyone,

My workplace gym has a tanning bed, and the tokens are in 4-minute increments. I'm new to the world of fake-and-bake! How does this work? How long is recommended to stay in a tanning bed at one time? Any pointers to keep in mind?

If it makes a difference, I'm naturally a bit dark for a Caucasian, and I'm just looking to get rid of that "I'm pale because I work an office job" look. (I don't need to be a bronze goddess or anything...)

Thanks!


shrinkingchica
04-03-2007, 08:12 PM
Hi, Everyone,
If it makes a difference, I'm naturally a bit dark for a Caucasian


Well, I don't know what that means....... but just a fyi warning: my friend goes tanning on tanning beds and once got ringworm from it.
I have used the cancer-in-a-box kinds which have low risk of getting anything (like a bug) because you aren't touching anything with your body.

I would have to not recommend it, though, as it is unhealthy for your body, and I really don't want to encourage someone to engage in an activity that increases your risk for cancer. :(

maalisse
04-03-2007, 08:42 PM
Well, I don't know what that means....... but just a fyi warning: my friend goes tanning on tanning beds and once got ringworm from it.
...ew. Not interested in getting a fungus...

I would have to not recommend it, though, as it is unhealthy for your body, and I really don't want to encourage someone to engage in an activity that increases your risk for cancer. :(
Totally understood, and I commend you on your responsible response. :) At any rate, this isn't something I'm planning to make a habit of...more, just something I'm curious about trying a couple of times. I may still change my mind and not do it, though, so thanks for the feedback. ;)

As for the skin tone, I put that in just in case that has an effect on how long a person should be in a tanning bed. I honestly have no clue if it's 30 seconds or 3 hours (yes, I'm exaggerating both ends a bit ;)).


HarPoe
04-03-2007, 09:29 PM
Hm...if you go to a tanning parlor where they clean the beds after every use you shouldn't have a problem. I wouldn't go to one that isn't manned by employees...it needs to be cleaned well between each person.

Everything gives you cancer. A few go's in the tanning bed are relaxing and it makes you glow. Too much (like months at a time) is overkill and can permanently damage your skin. Plus you get to where you look like the negative of a raccoon, lol...cause you put the goggles on and it leaves white rings around your eyes.

As for time, the people manning a parlor should be able to tell you. It's been so long since I tanned, I can't remember.

That being said, fake baking should be more of a refresher than a substitute for natural sunlight. And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wear bed approved lotion. :)

christabell3
04-03-2007, 09:40 PM
I would never say tanning beds are good for you, but you can abuse them just like everything else in life, like food! If you are just starting tanning I'd start slow. You didn't say how many min. bed so I will assume 20 min. I'd start at 8 min. and work you're way up. It defeats the purpose to burn and peel. Maybe everyother day, or two or three times a week to get a base tan. After you get a base tan once a week is enough to maintane it. good Luck.

christabell3
04-03-2007, 09:45 PM
I hope this bed is run by professional that know their beds. And clean and sanitize them after every use. You must wear goggles, very important!!!There should be some forms you fill out and they will show you how to run the bed.

momtu2
04-03-2007, 10:03 PM
i only tanned for a few months before my wedding, but here's what i know.

the couple different places i tanned at made it a point of telling me (on my first visit) that they clean the beds after every use. if they don't say anything to you, i would definately ask.

as far as how long...i am fair-skinned, so the first week or so that i went, i went for 10min. sessions. i was slightly burned the first time. i gradually increased the time each week until i was going for 1/2 hr. not having seen you, i would guess you could go 15-20mins the first few times.

i wanted to be tanned for my wedding, but my skin just won't have it! i tanned for 3mos straight (i think they tell you to come every other day or so) and was dark for me, but to look at my wedding pictures, you wouldn't be able to tell!!

gl! i LOVE how it feels laying in that warm tanning bed, especially in the winter. but for me, the very little result i get just isn't worth the risk!

Glory87
04-03-2007, 10:27 PM
Forget cancer, what about wrinkled skin with sun spots?

I've heard good things about those spray tan places.

<-- never tanned, no one ever guesses my true age of 37

Homemommie
04-03-2007, 10:31 PM
It also depends on the type of bed you lay in. If it's a mega bed then you might only lay in it for as little as 3 mins. But on average 8mins for your first visit working your way up to 10 mins, 15 mins, 20 mins.

I actually prefer the standing beds so you dont mind up with white sides.

I dont usually "do" tanning beds since I tan so easily on my own. However since we are going to the beach next month I figured I should probably get a jump start on my tan so that 1. I dont stand out to bad LOL and 2. so that I wont burn when I get out in the sun on the beach.

I agree with the others tan fat looks better than white fat :) however as with anything there are risks associated with it. Don't over use the bed and also I would ask for the cleaner and a rag so I could wipe the bed down myself before I climb in... I know mine has a lable laid across it saying it's been sanitized however I still like to wipe it down again just for good measure.

maalisse
04-03-2007, 11:24 PM
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'll use it as I make my decision. :)

As for the tanning bed, the gym is in my building at work, but it's maintained by professionals 24/7...fitness centre, gymnasium, pilates room, massage room, tanning room...they're sort of contracted by my company, so they know they have to be good. ;) So, I'm pretty confident doing it there...much more so than a random tanning parlour I don't know anything about. Everything is very clean and maintained very closely.

Still not sure if I'm going to do it -- I used to come down pretty hard on family members who fake tanned, so it would make me a big hypocrite. ;) I'll think about it some more.

Thanks to everyone for your advice. :)

MariaMaria
04-04-2007, 12:44 AM
But a tanning salon isn't a fake tan. It's a real tan, with real risks and real sun damage.

KylieH
04-04-2007, 01:23 AM
I was never big on the tanning salons because confined spaces just aren't my thing, but I was considering a spray tan this summer because I'm generally so pale. Does anyone have any experience/advice with this type of thing?

sockmonkey70
04-04-2007, 03:25 AM
I am a naturally darker toned girl myself..and honestly..I would stay in 30 minutes at a time about 3 times a week when I started and never burned. But if you are just looking to get rid of the pasties, I would say just try 15-20 minutes 3 times a week, for a couple of weeks and you should have a golden glow.

It depends on the wattage of the lamps in the bed really though. The best bed at the place I used to tan, I could stay in 15 minutes at a time and get the same effect as one I stayed in 30 minutes.

Try to use a sticker of some kind so track your progress, so you can see the difference in your skin color. When you get to your desired tone, just don't do it anymore LOL.

Personally, I don't have a problem with tanning beds. As long as you aren't staying in till you burn and giong like everyday, you should be fine. I usualyy go the first couple of weeks of Spring and I AM DONE.

almostheaven
04-04-2007, 09:16 AM
I never tanned before because I couldn't see how to get a round body into a pancake machine. But once I'd dropped some weight, I started going tanning. I tanned regularly for a couple years and yet I'll be 42 next month and have had comments that I don't look that old. Even had one lady thought I was closer to 25! ;) I did stop going though because of all the scare of cancer and wrinkled skin. I've seen my cousin, who DOES look way beyond her age in the face. She's tanned about 3 times a week all of her adult life and now lives in the sun in Hawaii. She's younger than I am yet looks older than me. :( I'd say a bit of tanning doesn't hurt. It's the overuse of it that's so hard on the skin.

So I did the spray tans, but they're just so cost prohibitive for me. So I'll remain a pasty white. ;)

With tanning beds, you want to start on a normal bed. Sounds like that's what this one just may be as you usually only find the more intense beds at tanning salons that have a lot of beds. And yes, salons clean between each use. Catching something from someone who'd been in one is going to be a very unlikely and rare occurrence.

On a standard bed, you want to start around 8 to 10 minutes. Being darker, 10 is probably ok. After each session where you have no redness, it is safe to increase your time in about 2 minute increments. If you get red, you want to stay with the same time next time. You want to tan no more than every other day. It's kinda like working a muscle group. ;)

If you do the spray ons, they can last anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. Mine went about 2 weeks. Those are generally used to get you through until you build your natural tan, unless you simply want to spring for them regularly and be safer than in the sun. Don't let Ross Geller scare you away from spray tans. They really are much more simple than he made them appear and you really can't mess up. They also don't make you that danged dark. LOL

aphil
04-04-2007, 09:23 AM
I worked in a tanning salon, and then managed a hair and tanning salon as a licensed cosmotologist from the time I was 16 until I was in my mid-twenties. My parents also own their own bed...so here is my experience on it all:

***How long you stay in depends on the BED. There are 10 minute beds/booths, there are 20 minute beds/booths, and there are 30 minute beds booths. See what kind the bed that they have is. If you don't normally tan-I recommend starting with HALF of the maximum time limit. If you show no signs of burn/pink/itching at all...the next time go up an increment-by 2-4 minutes. If you burn, go down an increment, and stay at that one until you can go in the bed at that time with no pink/burn/itch at all.

***There are also many differences in the beds themselves-what strength of bulbs that they use, how new they are, how many bulbs are in the beds (more expensive beds have more bulbs, etc.) For instance, if you get a tanning bed catalog to buy one for your house-you can buy a 16 bulb bed, or you can buy a 24 or 32 bulb bed. It makes a big difference-so if you ever "change" where you are going to tan from one salon to another-always go back to the "half" time when you switch. 20 minutes in one bed doesn't always equate to 20 minutes in the salon across town.

***Wear your goggles!!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough. If you are worried about the racoon eyes, they don't show if you wear any makeup at all on your eyes!!! If you are worried about the little elastic strap, you can find stick on eye protectors online and in some salons. WEAR them!!! Also, take out your contact lenses!!!!!!!!

***Don't go all the time. There is absolutely no reason to tan every, or every other day for long periods of time-unless you are in a bodybuilding competition. :lol: I remember the Seinfeld episode where George was talking about the woman he was dating, and how she looked "like a carrot". :lol: When you go to get your "base" tan, it is fine to go every other day for the first two weeks to achieve the color...after that-once a week, maybe twice-is PLENTY.

***Don't use outdoor tanning lotion/oils. They sometimes contain sunscreens, which you don't want-and they often contain properties in them that RUIN the bed acrylics. Only use lotions meant for tanning beds. Please-acrylics are expensive!!!!!!!!

***Be aware, that while your tan may look great now-in 10 or 20 years you might be sorry that you did it. I have seen many a patron who are 40 and look 55...or who are 50 and look 70. Don't overdo it, lest you end up looking like a dried fig later on in life. At my 10 year class reunion a few years ago, all the former tanned cheerleaders all looked older than I did...

***If you are using a lay down style bed, the best way to prevent the white marks on your sides and armpits is to lie with your arms down next to your sides (not touching though) for half of the time, and put them above your head for half of the time. Then your armpits and sides get more exposure.

sockmonkey70
04-04-2007, 12:49 PM
Oh I also wanted to mention an alternative for those who aren't into the tanning beds..

I actually haven't tanned at all this Spring yet because my mom bought me this Jergen's lotion. It's about $10 for the body and face moisturizers. It gives you a golden glow after a few days of using it that I REALLY like. It doesn't turn you orange like a lot of "tan in a bottle products". It is just a subtle little tint to your skin. So this may be an option for some looking to get rid of the pasty look. It worked great for me. Now I am not super dark or anything but I also don't look like Casper.

I know that sounded kinda like a commercial but it wasn't LOL. Just wanted to recommend it.

maalisse
04-04-2007, 01:29 PM
Thanks again, everyone, for your detailed input. :)

I actually haven't tanned at all this Spring yet because my mom bought me this Jergen's lotion. It's about $10 for the body and face moisturizers. It gives you a golden glow after a few days of using it that I REALLY like. It doesn't turn you orange like a lot of "tan in a bottle products". It is just a subtle little tint to your skin. So this may be an option for some looking to get rid of the pasty look. It worked great for me. Now I am not super dark or anything but I also don't look like Casper.
Thanks for the recommendation. I may give that a go first, as I'm antsy about skin damage.

freiamaya
04-04-2007, 04:55 PM
Personally, sagging skin can be fixed. This would be the least of my tanning bed concerns. And while "everything gives you cancer" according to one poster, I would rather avoid doing those obvious things that are risk factors for skin cancer. While most skin cancers are curable, melanomas frighten the @#%$ out of me. Please read the following articles while making your decision:

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_healthblog/2007/03/tanning_beds_li.html

http://www.thesmartfoundation.ca/default.aspx?PageID=1003
Survival Rates by Stage

As found at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_3x_how_is_melanoma_staged_50.asp:

Survival Rates by Stage
The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Many of these patients live much longer than 5 years after diagnosis. Five-year rates are used to produce a standard way of discussing prognosis.
As found at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_3x_how_is_melanoma_staged_50.asp:

The following survival rates are based on the initial clinical stage of the disease.

Stage 0: The 5-year relative survival rate is 97%.

Stage I: The 5-year survival rate is between 90 and 95%. The 10-year survival is around 80%.

Stage IIA: The 5-year survival rate is around 78%. The 10-year survival is around 64%.

Stage IIB: The 5-year survival rate is around 63 to 67%. The 10-year survival rate is between 51 and 54%

Stage IIC: The 5-year survival rate is around 45%. The 10-year survival is 32%

Stage IIIA: The 5-year survival rate is around 63%-70%. The 10-year survival is 57%-63%

Stage IIIB: The 5-year survival rate is around 46%-53%. The 10-year survival is around 38%

Stage IIIC: The 5-year survival rate is around 28%. The 10-year survival is 15%-25%

(Note: A recent study of survival rates in patients diagnosed more recently found that they were higher by around 5% to 10% in the stage II and III patients than the numbers given here. But the study did not break the stages into A, B and C, so there are no specific figures for each of these substages.)

Stage IV: The 5-year survival rate for stage IV melanoma is about 18%. The 10-year survival is 14%. It is higher if the spread is to skin or distant lymph nodes. Other risk factors for survival: Another factor that affects survival is age. Stage for stage, older people have shorter survivals. The biggest drop begins at age 70. Recent reports also show that when melanoma occurs in African Americans, although uncommon, survival is shorter than when it occurs in whites. Finally, there have been some studies that show melanoma is more serious if it occurs on a foot, palm, or nail bed. People with HIV infection and melanoma also are a greater risk of dying of their melanoma.

A beautiful friend of mine who went regularly to tanning beds for a "nice glow" was diagnosed with melanoma, had to have a hugely disfiguring surgery, and died 3 years later. She was 28 years old. I often wonder how the use of tanning beds affected her.

Best of luck with your decision.

ksk571
04-04-2007, 05:25 PM
Oh I also wanted to mention an alternative for those who aren't into the tanning beds..

I actually haven't tanned at all this Spring yet because my mom bought me this Jergen's lotion. It's about $10 for the body and face moisturizers. It gives you a golden glow after a few days of using it that I REALLY like. It doesn't turn you orange like a lot of "tan in a bottle products". It is just a subtle little tint to your skin. So this may be an option for some looking to get rid of the pasty look. It worked great for me. Now I am not super dark or anything but I also don't look like Casper.

I know that sounded kinda like a commercial but it wasn't LOL. Just wanted to recommend it.

I have used the Jergens gradual tanning lotion also. I recently bought the same thing from Aveeno because there was something about the smell of the Jergens that I didn't like. There are gradual tanners by many different companies now. I do recommend using it sparingly especially around the knees, elbows, wrists etc and make sure you rub it in well and evenly. Since it is gradual, if you have a spot that looks funny you can go lighter on that spot on the next day to help even it out. It says to wash your hands after you apply the lotion. I'm always nervous that my hands will be white with an obvious cut off line, so I wash the palms of my hands with a baby wipe. It seem to work. The Jergens (and probably others) have different lotions for different colorings. I use the light complexion one. I used to go to tanning beds years ago, but have developed quite a few moles and have been afraid to continue.

sockmonkey70
04-04-2007, 08:46 PM
Yeah I forgot to read the part about washing your hands after using the lotions..And now the cracks between my fingers are orange LOL. SO I HIGHLY recommend reading the bottle.

I use the darkest level skin tone lotion. It's nice.

Tara D
04-04-2007, 09:11 PM
Is anyone else ever shocked that so many "health" clubs offer tanning services? The idea just drives me crazy! My health club used to have a warning sign on the door that said that the surgeon general said that lack of physical activity was detrimental to your health. Then, they also had signs up promoting special offers for tanning! I thought they were about improving health! I've seen too many teenagers who tan with skin cancers, even melanoma...it sucks....grrrr....

kella
04-04-2007, 10:39 PM
I come from a family of extremely fair-skinned people. Unlike some of my relatives who have slightly less pale skin, I can't get anything resembling a tan from any sort of sun exposure- just a painful burn and more freckles (and I can certainly live without getting any more of those). At my last job, I worked with a girl who was my age (23) and looked like she was in her mid thirties because her skin was so damaged from going to tanning beds. She went every three days or so, which doesn't sound like a lot, but her skin looked like old leather. Nobody wants that.

I realize fake tan is sort of ridiculous- it's messy and can be orange-tinted (especially on pale folks like me) but I've found that the Jergens lotion mentioned earlier is a great alternative. It gives you a really gradual change in skin tone and it looks healthy and relatively natural. The Jergens does stink a little- I agree with ksk571- but maybe other brands don't. Just remember to exfoliate all your rough bits like knees and elbows and ankles before applying and you'll be fine. The end result for me was not having freakishly white calves to draw attention away from my awesome new year's eve ensemble. That's always a good thing.

And FYI, everybody: skin cancer is serious stuff. My dad and grandfather have both had run-ins with it and I wouldn't risk it for anything. It scared me so badly that for the past five years I've made sure to at the very least use moisturizer with SPF 30 every day on my face, chest, and any other exposed bits. Sure, it's a hassle- but I can't tell ya'll how many times I've been complimented on my skin. Even if it is pale.

Tara D, I'm with you on the "health clubs" offering tanning. It's insane and hypocritical for a health center to advertise something that is definitely bad for people.

almostheaven
04-05-2007, 10:29 AM
I come from a family of extremely fair-skinned people. Unlike some of my relatives who have slightly less pale skin, I can't get anything resembling a tan from any sort of sun exposure- just a painful burn and more freckles (and I can certainly live without getting any more of those). At my last job, I worked with a girl who was my age (23) and looked like she was in her mid thirties because her skin was so damaged from going to tanning beds. She went every three days or so, which doesn't sound like a lot, but her skin looked like old leather. Nobody wants that.
Yeah, that's about the description of my cousin who also tanned about 3 times a week through her entire adult life. She still does and lives in HI! I guess she doesn't see what it's done to her face.

As for the fair skin though, that WAS me. But as I did try tanning for a couple of years, I found that it's not a condition you can't get past. I burned at 8 minutes when i began tanning and it took awhile to build a tan. But I finally got past the pasty white freckle stage and began to tan well. I haven't tanned in nearly two years now, but I haven't gone back to the pasty white I was. I get out in the sun more often these days but I use an spf 50 sunblock.