A sunbed ‘session’ is the correct length of time for your skin type to be exposed under a specific sunbed on a specific date. This is to get a tan with the minimum UV dose. Thus, it is impossible for any two tanning sessions to ever be exactly the same. Four factors must be taken into account:
1. Skin type.
The correct length of time will need to be adjusted by a professional tanning salon to suit your skin type (i.e. considerably shorter for a lighter skin-type and untanned skin, otherwise sun burn may result, which is dangerous).
2. Tan condition.
Your skin type never changes, but your tan condition does change. Tan condition includes many factors, but mainly: protection; look or colour; and moisture content or feel. How long is it since you last tanned? If it is 6 or 7 weeks since your last tanning session, in the sun or on a sunbed, you will need to start again from the beginning.
Even if you still have some colour, your tan’s protection factor has fallen back almost to zero. After 6 weeks from your last session, you should start up again with a half session, whether on a sunbed or on the beach. The longer it is since you last tanned, the more half sessions you should have before going onto a full session.
Sunbeds differ markedly in the power and composition of their UV output, so no two sunbeds tan the same. A session on one may be very different from a session on another. Correct manufacturers’ recommended session times, for instance, vary from 2 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on what type of equipment you are using and for what purpose.
Equipment falls into five basic categories, depending on what type of lamps they are designed to use. Only a professional salon will be able to advise on the correct use of different sunbeds for different purposes. If you know what you want from a tan, they will advise which sunbed to use at each stage.
The date affects indoor tanning because sunbeds are fitted with lamps that drop in output significantly over their lifetime. Some lamps do not tan well after 500 hours. Some salons do no replace their lamps until after 700 hours. Tanz always replace their lamp bulbs before 500 hours.