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…
LOTION IS IMPORTANT. WHAT TYPE OF LOTION YOU USE IS IMPORTANT.
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