You just typed “tanning salon near me” to find a good place to get a tan. Maybe you’re comparing prices and reviews. It’s so easy to do a little background research these days. For example, you might look for “tanning beds near me” or “tanning places near me” too.
Then, with a few clicks, you see what services a salon offers, what hours they’re open, and if they have any discounts right now.
It’s also possible to visit a salon today and walk out bronzed right away. How? By searching for “spray tan near me”.
Services at a typical tanning salon
Your local salon may offer some or all of the following services:
- Lay down tanning beds
- Stand-up tanning booths
- Spray tans, also known as sunless tanning
- Manicure and pedicure
- Teeth whitening
- Associated products like tanning lotions or swimsuits
Plus, the chances are that you can find a tanning salon with hours that suit your schedule, even as late as 11 pm.
How much does tanning cost?
The cost of tanning varies depending on several factors. For instance, how long of a session you want, if you purchase individual sessions, or if you buy a package or membership for multiple visits. Of course, additional services like a massage or mani/pedi will impact the price as well.
A single visit might cost $8.00. But a ten-visit pass might be $40.00. Whereas one spray tan session could be $29.00, or up to $55.00 for repeated visits during a month.
To further complicate matters, the prices will likely differ depending on the types of beds and booths the salon has. Some beds might focus on UVA rays to help fair skinned people tan without burning. Others might feature special bulbs for tanning the face.
The adage “you get what you pay for” applies to going tanning. Just like a gym, tanning salons will attempt to sell you up to buy higher-priced packages. But this could save you money if you enjoy tanning.
Moreover, persons with light skin tone will find that they will inevitably end up paying more at first. This isn’t a scam; it’s reality. It takes longer to bronze pale skin safely. And most likely you’ll need to use an advanced level UVA bed, which may have a higher price per visit.
How to choose the best tanning salon
Researching salons online is helpful, but visiting a salon in person is also important in making a decision. There are four things to look for to make sure you choose the best tanning salon.
First, do they offer the services and associated products you want? If the answer is yes, that’s great, but don’t get carried away until you check a few more things listed below.
Second, sanitary practices are paramount. Does the salon create a good first impression? Does it look clean? Are the employees able to tell you about how they maintain the equipment?
Third, are the employees knowledgeable about safe tanning practices? Are they able to help you select the best tanning equipment and sessions for your needs?
Finally, is there a positive atmosphere with polite and helpful customer service? After checking into the questions above you should have a good feel for how professional the employees are.
What you’ll want to bring for your first session
If you’re an experienced tanner, you probably already know to wear comfortable old clothes to tan. This is true whether you spray tan or wear a tanning lotion with bronzer. But there are more things to consider.
Speaking of tanning lotions, a tan accelerator will kick-start your bronze. Although you’re likely to find ones for sale at the salon, you can save money by purchasing one ahead of time online. Case in point, here’s one now:
Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion
Ed Hardy’s Coconut Kisses is one of the most popular indoor tanning lotions recommended by salons. It has a delicious tropical cocoa butter fragrance and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. Plus, it protects tattoos from fading.
Furthermore, while it isn’t a tingle lotion, it does intensify the tanning effect to deepen your skin color as fast as possible. To this end, it contains melanin and tyrosine to increase pigmentation. And the BodyFit technology in the formula reduces the appearance of cellulite.
Besides tanning lotion, you’ll also want goggles to protect your eyes. Salons may offer stickers for free, but goggles provide better protection without giving you reverse raccoon eyes.
Super Sunnies Flexible Tanning Bed Goggles Eye Protection UV Glasses
The Super Sunnies tanning bed goggles are one of the few brands made stateside. They meet FDA standards for UV protection in sunbeds by blocking 99% of UVA and UVB rays. Since they are flexible, with an elastic band and a high bridge, they stay put without leaving tan lines.
Two things not to do before going tanning
There are two things you will not want to do before you spray tan or suntan. Don’t exfoliate or wax the day you plan to tan. These actions will make your skin too sensitive. Do them a day or two before you go to a salon.
In fact, exfoliating all that dead, dry skin is a great way to prepare for tanning. Just do it a day or two before. Then don’t exfoliate or remove hair right after tanning, either. Don’t even shower for the first few hours after you’ve tanned. Showering will rinse away the work that the tanning accelerator is doing.
Finally, be sure to moisturize after your shower, and each day following the day you tanned. This keeps the skin healthy and helps it retain that sun-kissed color for longer.
How to spray tan at home
Instead of paying for a session in a spray tan booth, you can apply sunless tanner in the privacy of your own home. Not only is it less expensive, but sunless tanners for home application have improved formulas now. It used to be likely that you’d end up orange and streaky. But that’s not the case these days.
For less than the cost of one spray tan visit, you can purchase a bottle that lasts for three applications or more. Or you can try out sunless tanning with the kit below.
St. Tropez Self Tan Starter Kit
According to some, St. Tropez is the gold standard for sunless tanning at home. Their starter kit makes it easy if you’re new to self- tanning. That’s because it includes Body Polish to exfoliate the day before. Then it comes with an applicator mitt to ensure even coverage without darkening the palms of your hands. Finally, it has a tan-enhancing moisturizer to prep any dry areas just before you tan.
The St. Tropez Classic Mousse lets you control how dark you want to go. Simply apply it, then wait just one hour for a light bronze or up to three hours for deeper color. Meanwhile, the DHA works painlessly on your skin to increase your pigmentation.
Skinerals Self Tanner Sunless Bronzer Californium Natural and Organic Ingredients
Skinerals also makes a self-tanner that provides up to four full-body applications per bottle. It’s a lightweight foam that goes on smooth to bronze your skin. It doesn’t go orange, and it won’t streak or smell bad. Plus, the mineral formula contains natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals.
Besides sunless tanning, you can also suntan at home. Some tanning enthusiasts have their own tanning bed. Others use devices like the one below.
How to suntan at home
If you can’t find an affordable tanning salon near you, you can still tan at home. Even those who live in climates with harsh winters can catch rays with a tabletop lamp.
Sperti Fiji SUN Table Top Tanning Lamp
Sperti’s Fiji SUN tabletop tanning lamp is an economical way to suntan at home. It’s more powerful than a facial tanner, so it allows you to tan sections of your body to maintain a healthy glow. It also helps you maintain enough Vitamin D in the heart of a cold, dark winter.
The Fiji SUN has a built-in timer with automatic shutoff between one to fifteen minutes. It emits 70% UVA and 30% UVA rays to bronze your skin. And it’s covered by a 12-month warranty on the lamp and six months on the bulbs.
On the other hand, you can also enjoy tanning outdoors. Try one of the best outdoor tanning lotions to protect your skin while you soak up the sunlight. Some of them include a lightweight sunscreen to help you tan without burning. Here’s one below.
Sun Bum Moisturizing Tanning Oil, SPF 15
Sun Bum’s Tanning Oil is a top seller because it provides broad-spectrum protection while you suntan. The SPF 15 sunscreen is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Moreover, it’s free of parabens, PABA, phthalates, and oxybenzone.
But not only does it keep your skin from burning, but it also defends it against environmental damage that leads to aging. That’s because it has green tea and Kona coffee extract that neutralize free radicals. Furthermore, it guards the skin against dryness with Argan, Kukui, marula, avocado, and coconut oils.
Which is better: tanning at a salon, spray tanning, or tanning outdoors?
You’re like to hear arguments from all sides if you ask this question. Which kind of tanning is safer? In summary, there are advantages (and risks) to all three.
Self-tanning, or spray tanning, has grown in popularity because the technology has improved. You’re unlikely to end up streaked and orange-colored if you take the time to follow the directions. Additionally, if you have a light base tan, it enhances your natural color.
Spray tanning is arguably safer than tanning outdoors or in a bed simply because you’re not exposing your skin cells to UV radiation. Besides, the cost is comparable to tanning in a bed.
Next, tanning in a bed or booth is easier than tanning outdoors. That’s because a bed supplies controlled amounts of “sunlight” with less UVB that causes sunburns. You can build up a tan with brief, repeated sessions.
The main benefit of tanning outdoors is that it’s free. But please don’t forget the sunscreen!
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