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  • Ask Ultimate Sun-Outdoor Lotion

    Can’t I Just Use Regular Suntan Lotion?

    Welcome back tanners and tanneritas! We gotta get serious this week… For all the newbies thinking that buying a separate lotion to use for indoor tanning beds is absurd, we ask that you Do. Not. EVER use outdoor tanning lotion in an indoor tanning bed. Ever. Here’s why…

    It’s best to start by stating that indoor tanning lotions are most definitely different from the typical suntan lotions that are formulated to be used outdoors. You should use regular lotion in a tanning bed just about as often as you should post pics of you in your undies… So never. Ever.

    You already know that there are major differences between indoor and outdoor tanning. So by transitive property, there are major differences between indoor and outdoor tanning lotions. UVA rays in a controlled environment differ greatly compared to outdoor tanning that consists of both UVA and UVB natural rays in a widely varying environment. For this reason, we have the most important difference between the two types of lotions, being that while most regular suntan lotions contain a sunscreen (SPF), indoor tanning lotions do not. The reasoning behind this is that with indoor tanning, you don’t need SPF protection due to many other helpful ingredients found in indoor tanning lotions. In other words,

    …with indoor tanning, your tan time is set to limit your exposure to UV rays, whereas with outdoor tanning, you limit your skin’s exposure to UV rays by selecting the appropriate SPF level.

    Indoor tanning lotions are particularly formulated to enhance the effect of UV rays (typically 95% of UVA and 5% of UVB). The SPF found in outdoor lotions block out both UVA & UVB rays, thus greatly counteracting the benefits of indoor tanning. Products designed specifically for indoor tanning enhance and stimulate the skin’s natural defense to sun exposure, aka the tanning process. Indoor lotions manage and maintain the moisture levels in your skin. They aid in allowing your pores to open, and magnify your UV exposure. As I have mentioned in other posts, skin conditioning may be the most important (and far too often overlooked) part of the tanning process. Tanning is a biological process requiring a specific sequence of reactions in your skin and having the appropriate nutrients available is crucial to this process, thus presenting the true benefit to indoor tanning lotions: a quicker, darker, healthier tan!

    Outdoor suntan lotions are developed in order to protect your skin during long periods of exposure, while indoor lotions are designed for short, intense tanning sessions.

    Bottom line is…

    Many high-quality indoor tanning lotions contain natural oils that cause a magnification of the UV rays, intensifying your tan. Lotions that contain vitamins, natural oils, minerals, anti-oxidants, natural botanical extracts, and aloe vera give your skin the needed extra moisture to achieve a deeper tan that will surely last longer than dry, malnutritioned skin. Dry skin reflects UV light, as you know, so for those not using an indoor tanning lotion, 50% of your tanning session is wasted.

    Bottom, bottom line is…


    We like to put it this way, tanning without lotion is like washing your hair without shampoo or brushing your teeth without toothpaste.

    As always, thank you for reading our blog, Ask Ultimate Sun. Love you, check back next week for more tanning knowledge! XOXO, MJ

    Ask Ultimate Sun-Bed Info

    What are the Differences Between each Bed?

    Welcome back my friends! We’ve covered plenty of safety tips for now… This week’s blog is featuring all five different types of beds we provide for your use here at Ultimate Sun. We’ll go in order based on intensity, beginning with our level 1 bed.


    Santa Barbara

    • Level 1
    • 15 minute maximum
    • Twenty-four 100-watt body bulbs
    • One 400-watt high-pressure facial



    • Level 2
    • 12 minute maximum
    • Twelve 100-watt & Twelve 160-watt body bulbs
    • Three 400-watt high-pressure facials



    • Level 3
    • 9 minute maximum
    • 360o of 190-watt bulbs



    • Level 3
    • 12 minute maximum
    • Forty 160-watt high-pressure body bulbs
    • Three 500-watt high-pressure facial



    • Level 4
    • 12 minute maximum + 3 minute facial tanner extension
    • Fifty 160-watt high-pressure body bulbs
    • Five 500-watt & 1000-watt high-pressure facials
    • Two 500-watt high-pressure shoulder bulbs

    A great way to get to know each bed is to take advantage of our Sunday Special, when we slice the price of Single Sessions in half (session must be used the day of purchase)!

    Tune in next Wednesday for more great info! Thanks for reading our blog, Ask Ultimate Sun! XOXO, MJ

    Ask Ultimate Sun-Eye Protection

    Why Should I Wear Eye Protection when Exposed to UV Rays?

    Welcome back, smart tanners! Today’s blog is all about the windows to the soul, two things we can take for granted every single day, our eyes. Do our eyes tan? No… But, they are just as affected by the sun as our skin is.

    Most people don’t think twice when throwing on their favorite pair of sunglasses as they walk out the door, but many tanners resist wearing eye protection when using a tanning bed because of the raccoon-like tan marks they can potentially leave. Speaking from experience, having used goggles every time I have tanned, the only time I noticed any form of markings from the goggles was after using our highest-level bed (and the marks faded within the following hour). Smart tanners use eye protection every time they tan…

    Tanning can produce UV levels up to 100 times what you would normally get from the sun. These intense levels can cause serious damage to the internal and external structures of the eye and eyelids. Of course, our eyes, occupying a whopping 2% of the entire body surface, have evolved a number of mechanisms to protect these very sensitive organs from such damage. Such as:

    • Anatomical features, like the recession of the eye beneath the brow ridge, the eyebrows and the eyelashes help to shield from physical debris that may harm the eye, but are of little defense against UV exposure
    • Constriction of the pupil, closure of the eyelids, and the squinting reflex minimize the penetration of the sun’s rays into the eye—each of these actions is activated by bright visible light and not by UV radiation, therefore the effectiveness of these natural defenses is limited on a cloudy day, which may still have a high UV Index measurement

    Without proper protection there are a handful of dangerous effects that UV rays can have on your eyes. This next section, we’ll be diving into those specifics and yes… there will be (graphic) pictures.

    Photokeratitis and Photoconjunctivitis

    photokeratitisFigure 1 http://nationalsunglassesday.com/sunglasses/health-implications/

    Photokeratitis is inflammation of the cornea, while photojunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva—the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and eye socket. These inflammatory reactions usually appear within a few hours of exposure and can be compared to sunburn of the very sensitive skin-like tissues of the eyeball and eyelids. Though very painful, these reactions are reversible and do not seem to result in any long-term damage to the eye or vision.

    Snow blindness is an extreme form of photokeratitis, which can sometimes occur in skiers and climbers who experience extreme UV levels due to high altitude conditions and very strong ground reflection (fresh snow can reflect up to 80% of incident UV radiation). These extreme UV levels kill the outer cells of the eyeball leading to blindness; the shedding of said dead cells is very painful. In the majority of cases new cells grow quickly and vision is restored within a few days, though severe snow blindness may involve complications such as chronic irritations or tearing.


    pterygiumFigure 2 http://www.masonseyecare.com.au/commonvisionproblems/pterygium

    Pterygium is the growth of the conjunctiva on the surface of the eye, and is a common cosmetic blemish. This growth may extend over the center of the cornea causing reduced vision, as well as having a tendency to becaom inflamed. Thought pterygium can be removed by surgery, the outgrowth tends to reoccur.


    cataractFigure 3 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-30341213

    Cataracts are the #1 cause of blindness in the world. Proteins in the eye’s lens unravel, tangle, and accumulate pigments, which cloud the lens and eventually lead to blindness. Though the degree in which cataracts appear varies in most individuals as they age, they appear to be enhanced by exposure to UVB. Cataracts can be surgically removed and replaced by an artificial lens or other means of optical correction to restore vision.

    Cancer of the Eye

    melanomaFigure 4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uveal_melanoma

    eye cancerFigure 5 http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Skin-cancer-Pesky-eyelid-symptom-requires-surgery-2309143.php#photo-1815882

    According to current scientific evidence accumulated by the FDA, different forms of eye cancer may be associated with life-long exposure to the sun. Melanoma is the most frequent malignant cancer of the eyeball and sometimes requires surgical removal. Also, a common location for basal cell carcinoma is on the eyelids.

    What Protection Should I Use?

    At Ultimate Sun, we provide a pair of goggles per room, so our clients don’t have to face the hassle of purchasing a pair and remembering to bring them each and every time. If your tanning at a salon that doesn’t provide you with eyewear, your options include goggles or stickers. (Pictured below)


    Thanks again for reading our blog, Ask Ultimate Sun! We hope you start wearing your eye protection every time you tan!

    Check back in next Wednesday for your tanning knowledge upgrade! XOXO, MJ

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