What is the difference between UVB and UVA light?
So as not to make this too lengthy, in a nut shell, UVB is responsible for triggering melanin production in the skin, and UVA is responsible for oxidizing the melanin and turning the melanin brown.

What does VHR stand for?
What is it? VHR stands for Very High Output Reflective. Although some people will mistakenly refer to a simple 100 watt reflective bulb as VHR, a bulb is not actually a "high output" bulb unless it is 160 watts or above. Regular base beds typically use a standard 100 watt bulb and VHR uses a 160 watt high output reflective bulb. A reflective bulb is coated on the back and sides with a reflective material that forces all of the output light to the front of the bulb, onto the tanner. VHR bulbs are typically lower in UVB than a standard bulb and higher in UVA, so they oxidize melanin more effectively and specifically. What that means to the consumer is you get a deeper, bronzer result that actually lasts longer with less UVB exposure. VHR exposure is limited to every other day because most results appear from using VHR up to 48 hours after initial exposure.

What is the difference in a VHR bed and a "VIP" bed?
A “VIP” bed is simply a regular 100 watt bed with high wattage facial bulbs. At Tan Shadows our base beds are 120 watts with facial bulbs! Tan Shadows offers you VHR as our upgrade units of choice; which is high wattage completely.

Why do I need to use a tanning accelerator?
Tanning accelerators prompt your skin to produce more melanin (more pigment). By using the right indoor tanning accelerator for your skin type (ask a Tan Shadows customer service associate for help) from day one, you will get a base tan 64% quicker, get beyond your tanning plateau and feed your skin the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

What are the different features of some of your tanning lotions and after-tan products?
What is the difference in an upper-end product and a lower-end product besides the price? (ALSO SEE SKIN CARE BELOW!) Using a lower-end product is certainly better than trying to tan with nothing on your skin at all, but there are many differences in an upper and lower-end lotion. An upper-end will have more tyrosine acids, which is the amino acid your skin/body has to have to actually produce melanin (pigment that make your brown). Many upper-ends will contain DNA restoratives which will prevent elastin break down from occurring in the skin. Many upper-ends contain a complex that will also eliminate the after-tan odor.

What's a tanning plateau?
A tanning plateau is a phase you go through when it just doesn't seem like you are getting any darker. When you first start tanning it's easy to see daily results but as you gradually acquire a dark tan, it's sometimes hard to see the different stages of tan. There is only so much melanin your skin will produce using indoor tanning equipment because tanning salons are regulated as to how much "sun" we can give you in a session. This is where accelerators come in; they prompt your skin to produce more pigment. If you think you've reached a plateau, talk to us and we'll help you get over the hump.

Why are you guys always telling me to take better care of my skin?
Tan Shadows customer service associates are always telling you to take better care of your skin for lots of reasons. We can't stress the importance of good skin care enough! You can't expect your skin to reward you with a healthy-looking radiant glow if you don't take good care of it. Moist skin tans faster, gets darker and stays that way longer. If you have dry , scaley skin, your skin will actually reflect the UV light right off of it and you won't get a very good tan like that (and that is why you come to us in the first place)! Another reason we harp on you about skin care is healthy skin is important to overall good health, and we care about you.

So, what is good skin care and what isn't?
A good skin care plan is to use a properly ph balanced shower gel (NOT BAR SOAP EVER) and a properly ph balanced after shower moisturizer (WITHOUT MINERAL OIL, WITHOUT ALCOHOL). Bar soaps and fragrant body lotions contain alcohol that is not ph balanced to the skin's natural ph level, so it strips the acid mantel off the skin, leaving it vulnerable to harmful environmental factors. (The same is true with your hair too by the way, so listen to your hairdresser about salon hair care products next time). Mineral oil, which is in ALL over the counter type body lotions, is just a cheap filler that does absolutely NOTHING to replace vitamins and nutrients your skin loses from day to day. Mineral oil also seals the skin, which is why it works great on a baby's butt when a baby gets diaper rash, and doesn't work great on adult skin! Sealing the skin will inhibit the effectiveness of your tanning lotion too.

Why do I always have that "after tan" smell after my tanning session?
That after tan smell is actually a naturally occurring bacteria on your skin that reacts to intense UV light exposure. Many accelerators that we carry have a chemical that will eliminate the after tan odor. Ask us for help on which ones are best for this.

What is skin damage?
Skin damage is cause by prolonged OVERexposure to UV light. It causes the skin's elastin to break down and the appearance of the skin will sag and wrinkle when the elastin breakdown is extensive. Many of our accelerators have DNA restoratives which will prevent elastin damage.

What is the difference in a sunburn and a suntan?
A sunburn is caused by OVER exposure. Ideally you move up in your exposure times in a tanning bed because your skin is acquiring a cosmetically appealing tan along the way. Overexposure and sunburn are BAD. Tanning and burning are two distinctly different actions and a sunburn should by no means ever be considered part of the tanning process. Your skin is designed to tan to protect itself from sunburn. Your skin cannot begin the tanning process until a sunburn has completely healed.

If you didn't see your question here, please email us or ask us in the store. If your questions aren't answered somewhere on our web site, we want to know!