Frequently Asked Questions
 
 

Is the legend of the "roasted tanner" true?
 
What are those "white spots" I sometimes get on my skin?
 
Do I still need to use an SPF outdoors even if I have a good base tan?
 
Can I tan if I'm taking medications?
 
What is the link between Vitamin D and sunlight exposure?
 
What is a Smart Tan Certified salon?
 
Why is tanning indoors smarter than tanning outdoors?
 
What is the difference between a Facial Bed and a Super Bed? Do the Facial Beds tan your face only?
 
Can I tan if I'm pregnant?
 
How many times will I have to visit The Copper Zone to get a good base tan?
 
Will a salon tan protect my skin from sunburn?
 
Do suntan lotions really help the skin tan faster and better?
 
Will my skin wrinkle if I tan?
 
Is it OK to burn and let it "fade" into tan?
 
What about skin cancer?
 
Why do some doctors say tanning salons are dangerous?
 
Do I really have to wear those goggles?
 
Do I have to take my contact lenses out when I use a sun-bed or booth?
 
Can I catch a disease from a suntanning booth or bed?
 
How can I maintain my tan?
 
Why is blood circulation so important?
 
Why are my legs harder to tan than the rest of my body?
 
Is it better to use bath gels or bar soap in the shower? Will it make a difference in my tan?
 
 

 
 
Is the legend of the "roasted tanner" true?  
 
No! When people don't understand indoor tanning or the tanning process, stories built on half-truths begin circulating. One such story is that of the "roasted tanner," involving a young woman who supposedly went on a tanning rampage, visiting multiple salons in one day. The legend ends with her demise - the result of charred internal organs. It is a scientific fact that ultraviolet light waves from tanning equipment do not penetrate to internal organs. Ultraviolet light also does not behave the same as X-rays, heat waves or microwaves. While staying under the tanning lamp too long might result in a sunburn, it will never result in cooked internal organs.
 
*Information courtesy of
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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What are those "white spots" I sometimes get on my skin after tanning?  
 
"White spots" stem from one of the following three conditions: 1) Pressure Points. Your position on the tanning bed may create pressure on an area of the body - mainly shoulder blades, tail bone area, and backs of calves - restricting blood flow, which can prevent tanning. 2) Tinea Versicolor. A fungus originating on the scalp that falls on the upper body and results in small white spots that won't tan. These white spots are often noticeable on the upper arm area. 3) Vitiligo. Areas that do not produce melanin, usually an irregularly shaped patch of pale skin surrounded by normally-pigmented skin. See your physician for proper diagnosis.
 
*Information courtesy of
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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Do I still need to use an SPF outdoors even if I have a good base tan?  
 
You should. Outdoor exposure to sunlight, especially in the summer, calls for protection. Sunscreens are an important part of anyone's summer skincare regimen, non-tanners and tanners alike. The fact is that those of us with an established base tan can still get a sunburn, and the resulting skin damage. At our Smart Tan Certified salon we advise the appropriate usage of sunscreens during your time outdoors. The bottom line is, sunscreen or not - Don't Ever Sunburn!
 
*Information courtesy of
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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Can I tan if I'm taking medications?  
 
Certain prescription drugs can cause photosensitivity - meaning that your skin will be more sensitive to ultraviolet light exposure. If you are taking these drugs, you are more likely to develop sunburn, itching or rashes when tanning. Let your doctor or pharmacist know that you are tanning when filling a prescription. If you believe your body is affected by a photosensitive substance, avoid the sunshine and do not tan. For a list of photosensitizing drugs,
click here.
 
*Information courtesy of International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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What is the link between Vitamin D and sunlight exposure?  
 
Sunlight exposure is your body's main source of Vitamin D - an essential vitamin for bone formation and repair, absorption of calcium and phosphorus and general good health. In many climates, the small amount of sunlight available from November to March makes it impossible to process Vitamin D naturally through outdoor sun exposure. That is why as much as 40% of the population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency, and more than one-third with adequate Vitamin D in their diets are still short of this important vitamin. Lack of sunlight and the resulting Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to higher risk of many health disorders, including osteoporosis, several forms of cancer and even depression.
 
*Information courtesy of
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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What is a Smart Tan Certified Salon?  
 
A Smart Tan Certified salon recommends the following simple guidelines to help maximize your tanning benefits, indoors or out: Avoid Sunburn - Sunburn is the enemy associated with permanent skin damage. Learn Your Skin Type - Each of the six skin types reacts differently to sun exposure, and knowing where you are on the scale helps prevent overexposure. Protect Yourself Outdoors - Wear full-spectrum sunscreens appropriately, even if you have a tan. Protect Your Eyes - Indoor tanners should always wear tanning goggles that meet federal protection standards. Outdoors, wear sunglasses that block Ultraviolet A and B rays. Check Your Medications - Some sensitize skin to UV light, increasing your chance of burning or developing a rash.
 
*Information courtesy of
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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Why is tanning indoors smarter than tanning outdoors?  
 
When tanning indoors, you expose yourself to a scientifically controlled dosage of ultraviolet light carefully formulated to tan you with a minimal risk of sunburn. That kind of control is virtually impossible outdoors.
 
*Information courtesy of
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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What is the difference between your Facial Beds and your Super Bed? Do the Facial Beds tan your face only?  
 
Our Facial Beds (Royal Sun 30/2) are similar to the traditionally designed tanning beds - except that they have 30 lamps to tan your body, and 2 facial tanners to help your face tan better. Since your face is exposed all year long, it can be harder to tan than the rest of your body. The built-in facial tanners on all of our beds help your face tan faster. The Facial Beds are 20 minutes maximum.  
The Super Bed (Royal Sun 52/8) has 52 VHR tanning bulbs, and 8 facial tanners. It is a 12 minute maximum bed.  
For detailed specs on our beds, visit our
BEDS & BENEFITS page.  
 
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Can I tan if I'm pregnant?  
 
Studies show that the frequent tanner does not have to stop tanning because of pregnancy; ultraviolet radiation does not pose any threat to the developing baby itself.* However, if you are pregnant and wish to tan at The Copper Zone, we do require a written "note of permission" from your doctor.
 
*Information courtesy of
Looking Fit Magazine.  
 
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How many times will I have to visit The Copper Zone to get a good base tan?  
 
Depending on your skin type, and whether or not you begin tanning in our 30/2 Facial Beds or our 52/8 Super Bed, it will take from 1 to 5 sessions for you to begin showing good color. Traditional sunbeds of the most common design will require about 5 sessions spread over about 2 weeks to produce good color. Newer quartz lamp "high pressure" designs use different kinds of tanning rays and much higher intensities to produce color in only 2 or 3 sessions for most skin types. Many modern sunbeds fall in between these extremes and can produce a lot of color in 3 to 4 sessions. You will generally get what you pay for. A fast tan is generally more cosmetic than functional. A tan needs to be maintained for a longer period of time in order for it to be functional in protecting from sunburn.  
 
 
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Will a salon tan help protect my skin from sunburn?  
 
In most cases, yes. A tan is your body's natural protection against sunburn. The amount of protection received depends on the type of equipment used. Some of the newest quartz lamp sunbeds and booths with "pure UVA" output offer faster color but less sunburn protection than more common sunbed designs. The traditional sunbeds - including the beds at The Copper Zone - use both UVA and UVB rays to offer an increased resistance to sunburn. A tan is your body's natural defense against the sun, and may reduce your chances of burning when you are outdoors. Of course, we always recommend that our customers wear a sunscreen of some sort (preferably an SPF15) if they are going to be outdoors. Remember: the number one rule of a smart tanner is Never Burn!  
 
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Do tan accelerating lotions really help the skin tan faster and better ?  
 
Yes, for the following reasons: The tanning lotions sold at our salon have been specifically developed to maximize the benefits of your indoor tanning experience. Moist skin tans more quickly and efficiently than "dry" skin, saving you time and money. Active ingredients supplement the skin's cells with the same proteins that enhance the tanning process naturally. Specially-formulated indoor tanning lotions help your tan last by retaining ultraviolet-induced melanin longer. The latest lotion technology includes antioxidants that help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. The Copper Zone offers the widest variety of skincare products, including accelerators, reddening (or "tingle") lotions, and after-tan moisturizers to help you maintain a beautiful tan. Our Salon Professionals will gladly assist you in finding the best tanning lotion to fit your needs.  
 
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Will my skin wrinkle if I tan?  
 
It may. And it will probably wrinkle if you do not tan. Diet, genetics, and certain behaviors - such as smoking cigarettes - will wrinkle your skin more than moderate suntanning. Overexposure is the problem, not moderate exposure.  
 
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Is it OK to burn and let it "fade" into a tan?  
 
Absolutely not! The first rule of a smart tanner is to Never Sunburn. At The Copper Zone, we'll teach you how to tan smart and avoid sunburn at all costs.  
 
Many people grow up thinking that if they don't experience a slight red or pinkish tinge after they tan that they didn't "get anything." The truth is that the red or pinkish tinge you see is actually sunburn (or erythema)--your skin's worst enemy. The fact is that the sunburns we experience due to the lack of information when we are growing up are the very things that lead to skin damage later in life.  
 
Smart tanners know that the key to avoiding sunburn is moderation in terms of UV exposure. The best way to ensure a "smart tan" is to take advantage of the years of research that have gone into tanning equipment to provide you with a controlled, predictable dosage of UV light. Also, use lotions to moisturize your skin before tanning and, if you do tan outdoors, remember that the sun emits whatever types of UV rays it wants. Several other environmental factors come into play with outdoor UV light, making exposure unpredictable.  
 
Don't rely on the color of your skin to tell you when you get out of the sun. Overexposure isn't evident sometimes until hours after the sun's gone down. It's better to use a sunscreen and to wear protective clothing than to risk overexposure which can lead to skin damage.  
 
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What about skin cancer?  
 
Some people get it, however, diet and genetics have much more to do with skin cancer than adult suntanning behavior. There is strong evidence that childhood sunburns may increase the risk of developing skin cancer in later life.  
 
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Why do some doctors say tanning salons are dangerous ?  
 
The most obvious reason is that some doctors truly think tanning salons are dangerous. Many doctors are part of the "SUNSCARE" industry, including sunscreen makers and chemical companies who make a lot of money if you fear the sun. Since fewer and less powerful people make money when you enjoy the sun, our voice is not as easily heard.  
 
It is important to know that avoiding the sun altogether may be cause for Vitamin D deficiency. We believe in the moderate use of UV Rays for health and psychological reasons as well as for cosmetic reasons.  
 
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Do I really have to wear those goggles?  
 
Yes! Federal law requires all tanning facilities to supply you with proper eye protection - it is your responsibility to wear it. Sunglasses, towels and cotton balls are not adequate forms of protection in a tanning unit. Indoor tanning eyewear stops 99% of UVB light and 99.9% of UVA light, allowing only visible light through so you can see while you tan. Closing your eyelids is not adequate protection without proper eyewear. Your eyelids are too thin to stop ultraviolet light from penetrating your cornea, lens and retina. Your skin tan. Your eyes can't. Wear your eye protection when you tan.  
 
You risk serious injury to your eyes if you fail to wear your protective eyewear. Left unprotected, ultraviolet light penetrates deep into your eyes when you tan. Specifically, the short waves of UVB penetrate the cornea, possibly causing painful corneal eye burns. But some UVB and the longer waves of UVA can penetrate the lens or retina, causing retinal burns or even cataracts and other long-term internal eye damage. Night blindness and color blindness are attributed to long-term ultraviolet exposure to your eyes.  
 
Because some of these conditions take years to develop, you might not realize you are damaging your eyes when you fail to wear eyewear. Merely closing your eyelids while you tan is not enough! Your thin eyelids do not stop the invisible rays of ultraviolet light from penetrating through to your eyes.  
 
*Information courtesy of the
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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Do I have to take my contact lenses out when I use a sunbed or booth?  
 
No, although you may want to. Although eyewear will protect your eyes and lenses from UV damage, the heat emitted from the tanning equipment may dry out the lenses and irritate your eyes.  
 
*Information courtesy of the
International Smart Tan Network.  
 
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Can I catch a disease from a suntanning booth or bed?  
 
Not if the salon follows good hygiene practices. Ask what they use on the bed or booth between customers. Ask them to show you the bottle. The label should say "DISINFECTANT" or at least "SANITIZER". The best disinfectant products are also "FUNGICIDES" and "VIRUCIDES" to control ringworm, foot fungus, and viral diseases. If your salon will not show you what they use, then we suggest you find a new salon.  
 
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How can I maintain my tan?  
 
Moisturize! Because your skin is constantly renewing itself, the dryer your skin is, the faster it wants to shed it's top layers and bring new skin to the surface. However, losing the top layers of your skin can mean losing your tan. Dry layers on the surface of your skin will block the UV rays from getting to the other layers to tan them. The healthier your skin is, the better it tans, so remember to moisturize immediately after tanning and bathing, and drink lots of water. In addition, you'll need to maintain a tanning schedule of every 4 to 5 days, or at least once a week, to keep your tan, because your skin is reproducing new cells all the time.  
 
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Why is blood circulation so important?  
 
Blood is essential to the oxidation of the melanin, and it is very important to the whole tanning process. This is why areas like your stomach, areas with lots of fatty tissue, organs & strong blood flow, show so much more color faster. Using a lotion with a "tingle" or with "hot action" can help your blood circulate better when tanning.  
 
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Why are my legs harder to tan than the rest of my body?  
 
Often it is because of a lack of blood circulation. Using a lotion with a "tingle" or a reddening agent can help the blood in your legs circulate better when tanning.  
 
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Is it better to use bath gels or bar soap in the shower? Will it make a difference in my tan?  
 
Using bath gels is better for your tan. Bar soaps can tend to be very harsh on your skin, drying it out. Bath gels can help add moisture to your skin. When your skin is better moisturized, your tan will last longer.  
 
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1999 The Copper Zone 2627 Capital Mall Drive, Suite 3B Olympia, WA 98502 (360) 352-3025
tan@thecopperzone.com