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  • Ask Ultimate Sun — Lotion cont.

    So, What Else Should I Know About Tanning Lotion?

    Welcome back, friends! We’ve gone over why we should all be using tanning lotion… It’s time to talk options! In the tanning industry, there are five different, generalized categories of lotion to get to know. They are intensifier lotions, bronzer lotions, tingle lotions, extender lotions, and facial lotions.

    Intensifiers, Accelerators, & Maximizers

    These types of lotions are the best option for beginning indoor tanners. They are formulated to aid you in achieving a base tan quickly, without the added bronzers. These lotions will take your skin to its fullest potential without adding any color. Intensifiers, accelerators, and maximizers usually contain a large amount of moisturizers that allow the skin to tan more quickly and retain color for a longer time.


    Once a base tan has been built, you might want to jump up to a more moderate level of lotion. Bronzing lotions contain the same chemical found in sunless tanning products and services, dihydroxyacetone (DHA)—which is old news to you. 😉 One of the reasons bronzers are so popular, is because they allow you to achieve that instant sun-kissed look, and then continue to darken for hours after your session (this is why it is advised to wait to shower after using a bronzing lotion for about 4-6 hours). Bronzing lotions have their own spectrum of intensity based on the amount of bronzer within the lotion; experimenting within this spectrum will allow you to achieve the color you’ve been dreaming of!

    Tingle & Hot Action

    We like to think of these lotions as advanced lotions. They can certainly be fun to try for the more experimental tanner, but aren’t recommended for first-time tanners. Tingle lotions contain active ingredients like benzyl or methyl nicotinate, which promote microcirculation. Basically, it increases blood flow and brings oxygen to the cells in your skin. This process of oxygenation will improve your tanning results. When using these products, you will experience a mild tingling, reddening, and warming sensation on the skin’s surface. Your blood cells will rise to the surface of your skin, causing your skin to feel bumpy or “fuzzy”. (We advise those with delicate or highly sensitive skin to test a lotion like this on a small area to check for a reaction).


    Tan extenders are specialized moisturizing lotions designed to lengthen the life of your tan, and can (and should) be used by any and all tanners, no matter where you’re at in the tanning process. These lotions are formulated to replenish your tanned skin with some of the moisture, nutrients, and vitamins that can be lost while tanning. Because healthy, moisturized skin holds a tan longer, it is best to apply these types of lotions post tanning session and following your daily shower to ensure the glowing condition of your skin!


    There’s a reason the face has its very own type of tanning lotion. Your face is the main feature that sets you apart from everyone else and attracts the most attention. If that weren’t reason enough, your facial skin is, unfortunately, one of the most sensitive and vulnerable areas on your body. Facial lotions have the same basic functions as a body tanning lotion, but are the best tanning lotions to apply from the neck up because they are specially formulated to be much gentler on your face. They also often incorporate a bronzer or tint that is more suitable for your face, as well as concentrate the formula on firming the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    What else is in my tanning lotion?

    Always be sure to carefully read product labels to find the lotion best suited for your skin type and level of tanning. Other common, beneficial ingredients found in tanning lotions include:

    • Hemp Seed Oil: nourishing/moisturizing properties make this a popular ingredient
    • Body Blush: made for those who want a tingling effect but have sensitive skin
    • Anti-Aging: contain added vitamins that help fight and prevent premature signs of aging
    • Shimmer: glimmering additives have reflective properties, giving your skin an added glow
    • Caffeine: often added to reduce puffiness and energize skin; absorbs into the body—avoid if sensitive to caffeine
    • Silicon: a mineral with moisturizing benefits; helps condition skin
    • Beta Carotene: Vitamin A; enhances pigment coloration in your skin
    • Vitamin E: makes skin softer and reduces appearance of lines and wrinkles

    Here at Ultimate Sun, we carry top of the line lotions either branded by California Tan or Designer Skin; we can also order you a specific lotion if we do not currently have it in stock. Try one of our sample packets before buying a bottle. The first thing you should look for after one use of lotion is moisture. Ask yourself: How good does my skin feel? What is the main moisturizing ingredient? Does my skin look dried out or does it have a healthy glow? If you have sensitive skin, it might be smartest to stick to lotions with a more neutral or subtle aroma. There are also tanning lotions specifically scented for men, as they resemble cologne or fresh soap. If you are unsure, PLEASE ask our opinion! We have all experimented with many different types of lotion and can attest to our favorites. Thank you again for reading our blog, Ask Ultimate Sun.

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

    Ask Ultimate Sun – Tanning Lotion

    Should I Use Tanning Lotion?

    Welcome back tanners! You’ve got the basics of UV and Sunless Tanning down, now onto a common misconception in the tanning industry: the importance of lotion. Here you’ll get the low down on all of the wonderful benefits your skin will reap when you apply tanning lotion!

    Should you use tanning lotion? The answer is always YES! And here’s why…

    • Moisturized skin tans faster and more efficiently because it will readily absorb UV light, resulting in a better tan in fewer visits
    • Dry skin reflects UV light, causing you to waste up to 50% of your tanning session
    • Tanning lotions allow for better magnification, allowing you to achieve maximum results
    • Active ingredients in tanning lotions, such as vitamins, natural oils, minerals, anti-oxidants, natural botanical extracts, and aloe vera, supplement your skin’s cells with the same proteins that naturally enhance the tanning process
    • A specially formulated tanning lotion will give you a lasting tan by helping retain UV induced melanin longer
    • UV exposure can dehydrate your skin, while tanning lotions help to replenish moisture lost during your tanning session
    • Bacteria on your skin can cause an odor when heated from the tanning bed; indoor tanning lotions contain an anti-bacterial ingredient that will eliminate that odor
    • Though most indoor tanning lotions do not contain SPF, they help prevent sunburns as it keeps your skin moisturized

    If these facts don’t give you the motivation to buy a bottle of lotion the next time you tan let science speak for itself. According to a 14-day study done by the American Tanning Institute, 100% of those using indoor tanning lotions showed an overall improvement in tan-ability. I’d say that’s quite a statement!

    Thanks again for reading our blog, Ask Ultimate Sun! Check back next Wednesday for a fresh topic and more great info!

    XOXO, MJ

    Ask Ultimate Sun – Sunless Tanning

    What is Sunless Tanning?

    Happy February readers! So, you’ve read and educated yourself in the art of tanning, now onto lesson 2: sunless tanning. This recently flourishing nature of tanning has become so successful thanks to the active ingredient in all sunless tanning products, DHA. As you read on, you’ll receive a briefing on what DHA is and how it correlates with tanning, along with a briefing on the two different types of sunless tanning products we carry, as well as what the proper preparation and maintenance is for a sunless tan.

    What is DHA?

    DHA, short for Dihydroxyacetone, is a carbohydrate (monosaccharide sugar) compound approved by the FDA for use in all sunless tanners, including tinted moisturizers, self-tanners, and spray tan solution, as the most active ingredient. Uncommonly known, DHA is often derived from a vegetable source, such as beets or sugar cane. The FDA added DHA to the list of approved colors for cosmetic products for external application to the skin in the 1970s.

    When any of your sunless tanning products is applied to the skin, the DHA reacts with the proteins in your skin’s superficial layer to form a golden brown color… NOT orange (every member of the Ultimate Sun family can attest to that, having first-hand experience with the product. So certainly feel free to ask for advice!) Your skin will begin to darken two to three hours after application and reaches its peak color within 24 hours. The color will then gradually fade through natural exfoliation, just like a tan from the sun.

    What Sunless Products does Ultimate Sun Carry?

    Here at Ultimate Sun you have the opportunity to try our state of the art Mystic Tan Booth and/or the advanced formula and technology of Infinity Sun.

    Mystic Tan

    They claim to provide ‘The Color of Confidence’, and we couldn’t agree more! Mystic Tan has created an ingenious way for every spray to be customizable with different levels of darkness, along with aroma and instant cosmetic bronzing additives. We carry two of their 3 levels of darkness (due to the fact that we feel the ‘Light’ solution is a tad bit too light), Medium and Dark. When you stop in for a quick spray, please tell the sales associate at the front desk what you would like for a spray starting with the color and adding anything extra when you purchase your session. For example, if you have an event a couple hours after you get sprayed, you might want to ask for an aroma additive (as to avoid smelling like the solution) and the bronzer (which will show up immediately). Seeing as the bronzer will wash off with water in the shower, if you do not have an event the day of, we wouldn’t suggest adding that, but you could certainly add an aroma as you deem necessary!

    We do not accept appointments to use the Mystic Tan Booth, so walk-ins are, of course, welcome!

    Infinity Sun

    According to their website, Infinity Sun has become known as the ‘Rolls Royce’ or ‘Apple’ of the Sunless Tanning industry. It has been mentioned in E! Magazine, Radar Online, Glamour, Vogue, and O. We offer one service and one product from their exceptional line of sunless tanning products.

    The first being a personalized spray tan, called an Air Brush. Currently, we have three Air Brush techs that will work with you to determine the bronze of your dreams, as well as apply the mist on you. Being that an Air Brush spray tan is personalized, we offer the chance to simply get your legs sprayed, your face/neck/arms sprayed, just your face/neck sprayed, or your entire body sprayed! (Each service is priced accordingly and don’t forget to tip your tech!) This is the only service we provide that requires an appointment.

    We also offer their Glow on the Go sunless tanning spray for touch ups. (Many clients have expressed that this product is wonderful for a quick bronze when there’s no time to apply all that face makeup as well!)

    How do I Prepare for/Maintain My Spray Tan?


    We suggest exfoliating, shaving, and moisturizing at least the day of the sunless spray tanning session, but the day before is preferred so your skin has time to absorb the moisturizer. According to Mystic Tan, you should refrain from using anything that may create a barrier between the skin and the solution. We supply blending cream, a hair net, a disposable thong, and foot booties for the booth. When you enter the room, remove all clothing and jewelry. The blending cream should be applied to all areas with even the potential of being dry to obtain a smooth result, especially hands and feet. Your tech/sales associate will brief you on how the process, being either the Mystic Tan Booth or the personalized Air Brush process, will work as well as where it is crucial to apply blending cream. Don’t worry, we will hold your hand as much or as little as you would like, but you will never have an experience even remotely similar to Ross Gellar’s on ‘Friends’.


    Once you have been sprayed, we suggest that you wait to shower for a minimum of 4 hours, but waiting at least 8 hours will provide you with optimal results. Showering sooner can diminish the intensity of the tan; and as I mentioned prior, the instant cosmetic bronzer will wash off in the shower, but the color produced by the DHA (which is in the solution, not the bronzer) will remain. To maximize your tan, keep your body moisturized every day. We have also found, through experience, that UV tanning following your session helps to elongate the time in which your color lasts. Ask us about our Double Dip specials/lotions!

    Thanks again for reading our blog, Ask Ultimate Sun! Check back next Wednesday for a fresh topic and more great info!

    XOXO, MJ

    3124 N Downer Ave | Milwaukee, WI 53211 | 414.964.7464
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