There are major differences between indoor and outdoor tanning. UVA rays in a controlled environment compared to outdoor tanning that consists of both UVA and UVB natural rays in a widely varying environment. Because of these different conditions in outdoor and indoor tanning, different solutions for protection and tanning enhancement should be used.
While most regular suntan lotions contain a sunscreen, indoor tanning lotions do not. The belief is, with indoor tanning, you don’t need SPF protection due to many other helpful ingredients found in indoor tanning lotions. Think of it this way: with indoor tanning, your tan time is set to limit your exposure to UV rays, whereas with outdoor tanning, you limit your skins exposure to UV rays by selecting the appropriate SPF.
Indoor tanning lotions are specifically formulated to enhance the effect of UV rays (typically 95% of UVA and 5% of UVB which largely counteracts the benefits of indoor tanning.
Regular suntan lotions are designed to protect you during long periods of exposure. Indoor tanning lotions are designed for shorter, more intense indoor tanning sessions- resulting in a deeper, quicker tan.
Regular suntan lotions will damage the acrylic material that tanning beds are made of. The acrylic hoods are porous and expand when the bulbs heat up. In addition, using regular tanning lotion in a tanning bed creates a film on the acrylic that ultimately restricts the tanning process and limit’s the tan you obtain.
Here’s how indoor tanning lotions work. Products formulated specifically for indoor tanning enhance and stimulate the body’s natural tanning process. Indoor lotions protect the moisture levels in your skin, allowing your pores to open up, and magnify your UV exposure. By controlling your tanning process thru magnification, moisterization, and skin conditioning, you will get a deeper and longer lasting tan. Skin conditioning may just be the most important and often overlooked part of the tanning process. This is what really makes one tanning lotion better than another. Tanning is a biological process requiring a specific sequence of reactions in your skin and having the right nutrients available is crucial to this process. That’s the real benefit to indoor tanning lotions.
Many of the high-quality indoor tanning lotions have a refractive prism of natural oils that cause a magnification of the UV light, this helps intensify your tan. Indoor tanning lotions that contain vitamins, natural oils, minerals, anti-oxidants, natural botanical extracts, and aloe vera give your skin the extra moisture needed to achieve a deeper tan that will last longer than dry, unhealthy skin. Dry skin reflects UV light, so if you are not using an indoor tanning lotion, you can be wasting up to 50% of your tanning session. According to a 14-day study done by the American tanning Institute, 100% of those using indoor tanning lotions showed and overall improvement in tan-ability.
Be an informed tanner