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Tanning bed?

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Old 04-03-2007, 08:04 PM   #1
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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!
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maalisse View Post
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.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
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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...

Quote:
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 ).
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:29 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:40 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:45 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:03 PM   #7
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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!
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:27 PM   #8
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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
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:31 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:24 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:44 AM   #11
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But a tanning salon isn't a fake tan. It's a real tan, with real risks and real sun damage.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:23 AM   #12
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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?
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:25 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:16 AM   #14
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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
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:23 AM   #15
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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. I remember the Seinfeld episode where George was talking about the woman he was dating, and how she looked "like a carrot". 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.
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