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Old 08-03-2006, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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My first tanning experience- help needed!

Hi all
This coming Saturday, I will be taking a much-needed vacation to Jamaica. I am a fair skinned person, and multiple people have suggested that I go to a tanning salon to get a base so I don't fry. I have gone Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and have felt uncomfortable with the whole thing. I'm wondering what your opinions are on the following.

Basically, I'm 29 (tomorrow), male, blond, blue-grey eyes, and fair skinned. I have a lot of freckles on my body, and used to have a lot on my face as well (though they've basically faded). If you saw my face, i don't think you'd describe me as being freckled necessarily, but if you looked really close you'd see them.

I don't tan easily, and when I do it's not that much. I do obviously burn if I don't wear protection in the sun. I have never been in a tanning salon before this week.

So I went to a Beach Bum salon by my house, and this young guy was working the front desk. Seemed to me to be like all the Brooklyn punks I grew up with, not a dermatologist or Doctor of Tanning or anything. He saw what I looked like and my complexion, I explained to him that I was going away, etc and he recommended that I come tan every day until the trip (which would be 5 sessions back to back). He suggested we start with 8 minutes (which sounded like a lot to me) and gradually work up over the week.

The first 2 days, I was put into a UWE P90...the third day I was in something else, not sure of brand/model, etc. I did not use any creams or lotions on any of the days. When I'd get home, I'd put on Aloe Vera cream to moisterize though.

Basically, on the first day, this guy told me we'd do 8 minutes. However, he set the machine accidentally for 12 minutes. I noticed this though, and got out after 7 or 8 minutes on my own. When I told him, he was like "oh really? how do you feel though?" All nonchalant about it. Also, when I asked if I'd need those eye protections, he said not to worry about it and just close my eyes. I found them and took them on my own for the second and third session though.

After the first 8 minute session, I got red, as if I were sunburnt. I did not feel any pain from this however, which is definitely different than if i'd gotten this level of redness from the sun. However, I decided that I shouldn't listen to this guy, and the next day I specifically requested to only do 4 minutes. On the third day, I asked for 5 minutes.

I'm still red, but I don't think any more than the 1st day. I still don't feel any pain.

I did notice that there were instructions on the machines I used. Both stated that I should have started with 2 minute sessions for the first week. They both also stated that I should be going every 48 hours.

Should I not go tonight and tomorrow? Should i use creams? I'm not sure I trust this guy...sorry to be such a newbie at all this. Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

change salons..
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

HAha I just read another story about a Beach Bum experience that was not good. I would definately look for another salon, with people that can actually help you....
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

Thanks for the responses, but I'm afraid it's too late for me to find another salon. Basically, I've already paid for 5 sessions (and they gave me a 6th for free) and I've used 3 already. I (being pale) am not intending on making tanning a regular occurrence. It's just that this vacation is coming up. So really my questions are
1) should I not go for the next 2 days, and if yes
2) how long do you think i should go for, and also
3) should I use lotions?
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

The bed you started out with is reffered to as a high-pressure tanning bed which may not have been your best choice. A "low power" or whats reffered to as an entry level bed may have been a better choice as long as you were doing VERY SMALL amt.'s of time. You should ALWAYS use an indoor tanning lotion. It really does make a difference and is good for your skin. Moisturized skin tans better as drier skin reflects the browning rays that you desire. Moderation is the key and with not much time to get tan you may want to get a cosmetic tan (a spray tan ) to not appear so white. You will have to be extremely careful outside as this is not a protective tan !!!! Use a good quality Outdoor tanning lotion with a 30 SPF as this will allow you to stay out a little longer(on vacation people sometimes lose track of time and stay out way too long)You will still gradually tan. Don't worry if you don't appear to get much of a result at first. Wear the sunscreen. Re apply often. Have fun and visit a professional tanning Salon after your R&R to keep that golden color.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

Wow! Amazing level of incompetance!! "Just close your eyes" !!!?!?!?!?!!!

Most salons will NEVER be like this. Don't judge us all by this one miserable slob. Others have given good advice, take IT, and not what Beach Bum said....
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

double post sorry

Last edited by glotan; 08-03-2006 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

Thanks again...yeah, you know I'm honestly not concerned about HAVING a tan, to tell you the truth. I really don't mind being all deathly-white lol. I DO mind, however, burning and being in pain. That would ruin my vacation. The SOLE reason I decided to go to a tanning salon is that i figured that if I can get a slight base, that would offer me more protection. Therefore, I have no desire to do the whole spray tan thing, since, as you stated, it won't protect me. I do plan on using SPF45 in Jamaica, and reapplying as often as I can. However, as you know, after a bunch of drinks and stuff, I might lose track. Plus, you can't exactly apply lotion when you're snorkling, or jet skiing, or whatever.

For protection purposes, does anyone have any advice on what to do tonight and tomorrow? Should I skip these sessions, or should I do 8 minutes like the guy at the front desk is suggesting? Or should I go, but only do 2-4 minutes? I will take your advice and get some lotion to put on for the tanning session (that is, if you guys even recommend that I go). Let me remind you, I'm still red all over as if I have a sunburn, but I'm not in any sort of pain.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

Yeah Glotan, he is a moron. I lost complete faith in him when he said the whole close your eyes thing, but i felt so out of place that I didn't insist on getting those glasses until day 2.

I should have ran when at the very beginning, I told him that I was going to Jamaica and he got into a whole conversation with me about how they have great weed there for cheap, and there's a lot of a$$ to be had there lol. Not that I'm against weed and a$$ mind you, and in fact I'll probably be seeking out both on this trip :-), but I was hoping for a little bit more professionalism. I didn't run because I figured all places are the same (stupid I know) and this is really convenient as far as location is concerned.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Re: My first tanning experience- help needed!

Did this guy do a skin typing for you?

Have you ever tanned? Some people just don't tan, and if you don't tan in regular sun you won't in a bed either.

If you are red & uncomfortable, DON'T go tan!!

Use a very good moisturizer (did they have any at that salon?) (I'd skip the Aloe also BTW, it usually dries me up, look for something without Mineral oil as well)

If you are concerned enough to bother, I'd go to a corporate website & complain, or to the owner/ manager of that salon and ask if you can swap the last 2 tans for a moisturizer or anything with an SPF in it. Let them know you were dissatisfied with your service and see what they say.
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