Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years, our customers have had many questions concerning the tanning process. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions below. If your questions are not addressed here, feel free to contact our knowledgeable staff.

Is indoor UV tanning safe?

Artificial UV tanning comes with the same benefits and risks as outdoor tanning. Both are enjoyable and can improve how you feel about your appearance, but proper care must be taken. Our tanning beds meet FDA requirements and are rated for maximum exposure time. In addition, our technicians are trained to identify the most effective way to achieve your desired result.

How does it work?

The sun emits two types of ultraviolet (UV) light rays, which are called UVA and UVB. Indoor tanning equipment uses powerful lamps to reproduce this UV light with a mix of UVA and UVB rays.

UVA are mainly browning rays that turn your skin's melanin from pink to brown. This is your body's natural protection from the sun. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB, are less harmful and take a few hours to produce their full results.

UVB rays stimulate your skin's melanocyte cells, which in turn bring more melanin to the surface. These rays penetrate the skin less deeply, add a natural sheen to your skin and take slightly less time to show their full effect.

Tanning Q & A

Does Skin Type Matter

The short answer is: yes, skin type matters a great deal!


Skin types I and II burn easily and tan minimally if at all. Skin type III burns moderately and tans gradually. Skin type IV tans well and skin types V and VI rarely or never burn and tan very easily.

For first-time customers, our tanning technicians will help identify your skin type and determine the best course of action for your desired tan.

Why do I feel better when I tan?
It's no big secret, when you look good, you feel great! Experts have known for years that there are many psychological benefits to tanning. Looking better is just one of the benefits. Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a condition that affects 35 million Americans during the winter. It's symptoms are mood swings, increased appetite and excessive sleeping. For years doctors have treated this condition with full-spectrum light therapy. New research, using ultraviolet light on the skin, has shown positive results as well.

What is the connection between vitamin D production and UV light?
Sunlight exposure (exposure to UV light) is your body's main source for 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 and depression.

How do I know which unit is best for me?
Several variables will determine which type of equipment is best for you. Some of these variables are your budget, your time restraints and your overall tanning goals. Our Tanning Consultants are specially trained to help you determine your best course of action.

Do I need to make an appointment?
No.....However if you do, you will be guarenteed to get the unit you want. Or feel free to drop in anytime it's convenient for you to use any of the other equipment.

Can I tan if I'm pregnant?
 Please consult your physician. Although we know that there is no danger from UV rays since they cannot penetrate deeper than the dermis (skin layer), pregnant women are advised to be cautious with saunas, hot tubs and other things that can cause excessive heat to build up in the uterus. If your physician okays your tanning, speak to a Tanning Consultant about which units and times of day are the coolest.

How deep can tanning rays really go?
 There is an Urban Legend about a "Roasted Tanner" who supposedly roasted her internal organs by tanning too much. Don't give it a second thought. A UVA ray (the rays in tanning beds) can only travel as deep as the dermis which is the middle skin layer. UVB can't even travel that deep! There is absolutely no danger of Ultraviolet light damaging any internal organs.

If I don't tan well outside, can I get a tan in a tanning bed?
Usually, you will tan about as well indoors as you do outdoors. If you have never been able to produce a tan outdoors, you will not be able to produce a tan indoors either. Some who do not tan well outdoors are able to tan indoors in a controlled environment with the right amount of exposure in carefully controlled intervals.

 Is tanning lotion really necessary?
Yes, while tanning lotion is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended and will make a big difference in the quality of your tan and your skin. Your body makes use of many ingredients in addition to UV-light to produce a tan. Indoor tanning accelerators are designed to provide you with a balanced amount of these essential ingredients to achieve a better tan. Dry skin reflects tanning rays so for best results, drench your skin with an indoor tanning lotion just prior to tanning.

 Why do some tanning lotions make my skin feel warm and tingly?
A variety of ingredients will bring the blood to the surface of the skin for increased tanning potential. When the skin is "stimulated", oxygen rushes to the surface which helps increase the skin's ability to tan. There are varying degrees of "heat" or "tingle" and it is recommended that you start out with a low tingle and work your way up as your tan increases. The "tingle" effect should begin to fade in approximately one hour. Our Tanning Consultants are trained to help you decide whether a "tingling" tanning lotion would be right for you and if so, will also help you decide which one would be best.

How much time should I let pass between tanning sessions? 
The FDA requires 24 hours between tanning sessions. We recommend allowing at least 1 day in between sessions whenever time allows.
Is it alright to shower right after tanning? 
Absolutely! Tanning is a process that can take up to 24 hours to develop. You can not "wash" away your tan, unless you are using a self tanner, shaving right away, or exfoliating. However if you are using lotion, we recommend you wait at least 1 to 2 hours before showering.  

Do I raelly have to wear eye protection? 
Yes! It is of utmost importance! Your skin can tan - your eyes can't! Federal law requires all tanning salons to supply customers with proper eye protection for purchase. This eyewear must meet federal government standards by blocking 99% of UVA and UVB rays. Closing the eyelids or using sunglasses or cotton balls is not adequate protection as the UV rays will easily penetrate these things and continue into the eyes.
How old do I have to be to tan without my parents consent? 
It is Ultimate Image's policy not to let anyone under the age of 13 tan in our salon. Anyone under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present with them to sign the Release Form before tanning the first time in our salon. After signing the Release, parents do not need to be present on subsequent visits. We will not accept notes from home, phone calls or parents of friends or other relatives to sign for them as we cannot verify their authenticity.

The Benefits of Indoor Tanning!

Vitamin D Production 
One of the most significant benefits of regular, modest exposure to UV radiation is the production of vitamin D, in fact, exposure to UVB is the only method your body has for making vitamin D. New evidence supports a crucial role for vitamin D in reducing the risk of prostate, breast, colon and skin cancer as well as osteoporosis.


Immune Suppression 
Some scientist believe the UV induced suppression of the skins immune system maybe a contributing factor in the development of skin cancer. Most scientist note however, that this immune suppression reduces the severity of psoriasis, eczema, atopic dermatitis and skin allergy, such as poison ivy.
 Natural Protection From Excessive UV Exposure
Another significant benefit is the development of a natural defense against over exposure. The skin darkens and thickens in response to UV radiation, generating an approximate natural SPF of 3. It is important to note, however, that this protection isn't proof against over exposure - clients can still burn themselves if they didn't use additional protection when out in the sun for long periods.
 Controlled Exposure 
Tanning units deliver a dependable, consistent dose of UV radiation. A dose that can be reduced and modified each time a client tans. In contrast, the level of radiation in sun exposure vary as much as 100 percent from day to day, and change almost hourly during each day.
 Feeling Good 
Many clients report feeling relaxed after an indoor tanning session. A definite benefit in today's hectic world. Although there's no definite research to support such claims, many individuals suggest indoor tanning can be effective in easing mild depression.


Management Of Eczema and Psoriasis

Now, doctors often recommend UV therapy (basically tanning bed lights) to reduce the symptoms of Eczema and Psoriasis. Exposure to UV rays is one of the best natural treatments for many of these skin conditions.