for tanning include beauty, health
the fact that the risks of indoor tanning, such as skin
cancer and leathery skin, are well advertised, an ABC
News report found that more than a million people use
indoor tanning beds every day.
People have varying motivations for setting foot in a
tanning salon. Sarah Johnson, who worked at tanning salons
in the Metroplex for two years, said the primary reason
An advantage of indoor tanning over outdoor tanning is
the ability to establish a good base tan. Indoor tanning
takes place in a controlled environment, therefore burning
is easier to prevent, said Johnson, a senior fashion merchandising
Based on interactions with clients, Johnson said cosmetic
benefits of indoor tanning include a healthier, thinner
and flawless look.
Tan fat looks better than white fat, Johnson
Polly Manuel, owner of Salon Classique, said people also
tan to improve their image and to energize themselves.
You want to look good and feel good at any age,
Classiques clientele age ranges from a 16 year old
to a 77 year old, who tans every other day. Manuel said
about 80 percent attend TCU.
The indoor tanning craze not only covers the gamut of
ages, but also has captured both sexes.
Manuel said 11 percent of her clientele are male, a figure
that has remained the same since she opened Classique
During her busy season, from January to May, Classique
averages 225 clients a day. The slow months, which for
Manuel are July and December, she averages 10.
A survey conducted through responses from the top 250
salons nationwide listed the in-season average tans per
day in 2003 as 346 and off-season as 132.
But not everyone tans for cosmetic reasons. Indoor tanning
also has medical benefits.
The National Mental Health Association defines Seasonal
Affective Disorder (SAD) as a mood disorder associated
with depression episodes related to seasonal variations
Melatonin, a hormone released from the pineal gland that
is thought to produce depression, is manufactured at increased
rates in the dark, according to the NMHA Web site. January
and February are the most difficult months for SAD suffers.
Exposure to ultraviolet light is a common treatment for
SAD. Several college-age women tan at Classique to combat
the effects of SAD, Manuel said.
People also tan indoors to treat psoriasis, Manuel said.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects more than 4.5
million adults in the United States, according to the
National Psoriasis Foundation.
While there is no treatment, standard treatment for moderate
to severe sufferers includes exposing the infected skin
to wavelengths of UV light, according to the site.
Exposure to UV rays, natural or artificial, also provides
the body with vitamin D.
According to the Indoor Tanning Association, Vitamin D
controls abnormal cell growth.
Sun or UV light is the fuel that permits the body
to manufacture the vitamin D it needs, the association
The UV lamps in tanning beds produce artificial sunlight
in order to provide its users with vitamin D.
Most lamps used in the United States are low-pressure
sunlamps, which use a combination of UVA and UVB rays,
said Joe Schuster of Light Sources, Inc., in an article
for the Island Sun Times. The UVB rays stimulate the production
of melanin, a brown pigment in the skin that gives it
color, while the UVA rays darken the pigment.
In areas where ozone depletion occurs, UVC rays, which
are destructive to life, reach the Earth, he said.
UVC is not emitted to the tanner during an indoor
tanning session, Schuster said.
Manuel said the tanning industry has come a long way in
matters of safety and cleanliness since she first began
tanning in the early 80s.
I remember thinking God, I dont even want
to take my shoes off, much less my clothes, Manuel
Now, the federal government requires tanning salons to
test their sanitizer daily and disinfect their beds between
uses. Salons must provide clean, protective eyewear near
each bed, Manuel said.
Regardless of the motive, Schuster, Manuel and Johnson
all agree: The key to indoor tanning is moderation. .
Chacko/ Photo Editor
Planet Beach Tanning Salon in the Trinity Commons
shopping center is just one of many tanning salons
near campus. Reports show that more than a million
people use indoor-tanning beds every day.