Oh, the dreaded lotion question.

Indoor tanning lotions and tanning extenders have a crucial place in building and maintaining your tan but most importantly your skin’s health. CabanaBay Tanning works with our trusted VIP suppliers to find the best quality moderately priced lotions available for our customers.  We carry both bottles and packets for your use. We are VIP suppliers of Ed Hardy, Tanovations and Devoted Creations but carry products from the major carriers such as Designer Skin, Supre Tan, California Tan, Hempz, Emerald Bay, and Australian Gold among the many out there.  If you have a favorite, we can usually get it for you within 48 hours.


While it’s tempting to shop on Amazon for cheaper lotions, we’d just like you to be aware that their authenticity cannot be verified and too many of our customers have found that they have bought knock offs that are old, loaded with fillers and simply do not deliver the results promised.  We just insist that you do not use a lotion in our beds that contain mineral oil so all of the lotions sold at Walmart, Target, Ulta etc cannot be used here at the salon.  It helps keep our costs down for you!


So how do you choose the lotion right for you?  First you need to know the basics….


Types of Indoor Tanning Lotions

Bronzer Lotions: Some people are confused by indoor tanning lotions and self-tanning products. What’s the difference? Self-tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a chemical that changes the cells of the skin. This chemical is also found in bronzing lotions. The nice thing about a bronzer is it gives you an instant tan, so you achieve that sun-kissed look immediately, and you continue to darken for hours after your session. With bronzers you typically wait a few hours after tanning before taking a shower, but it is recommended to wash your hands right away to avoid discoloration. The skin on your hands reacts differently to bronzers than the rest of your body and can sometimes get splotchy if they are not washed as soon as you’re done.


Accelerator & Maximizer Lotions: Accelerators and maximizers are great for beginning indoor tanners. They are formulated to help you quickly achieve a base tan, but normally don’t contain any added bronzers. They usually contain a large number of moisturizers that allow the skin to tan more quickly and retain your color for a longer time. Once you build up a good base tan you can try a more intense bronzer or tingle lotion to give you that extra boost.


Tingle and Hot Action Lotions: These products can be fun to try in your search for the ultimate tan, but are not recommended for first-time tanners. Hot action lotions contain an active ingredient like benzyl or methyl nicotinate, which promotes micro-circulation. More plainly, it increases blood flow and brings oxygen to the cells in your skin. This process of oxygenation will improve your tanning results. When you use these products, you will experience a mild to moderate tingling, reddening and warming sensation on the skin’s surface. You might want to test these tanning lotions on a small area at first, because they can cause reactions for people with delicate or highly sensitive skin.  These lotions should NEVER be put on your face.


What exactly is in a UV Tanning Lotion?

With so many options available, carefully read product labels to find the lotion that’s right for your skin type and your level of tanning. Knowing the following terms will give you an advantage:

• Hemp Seed Oil: Its nourishing and moisturizing properties make it a popular ingredient.

• Body Blush: A type of product made for those who want a tingling effect but have sensitive skin.

• Anti-Aging: These lotions contain added vitamins that help protect against premature signs of aging.

• Shimmer: Glimmering additives in these projects have reflective properties that give your skin an added glow.

• Caffeine: Caffeine is often added to reduce puffiness and energize your skin. Caffeine will absorb into the body, so if you are sensitive to caffeine or have eliminated it from your diet, steer clear of these lotions.

• Silicon: Silicon is a mineral with moisturizing benefits. It’s used to help condition your skin.

• Beta Carotene: Also called vitamin A. It enhances pigment coloration in your skin.

• Vitamin E: Makes skin softer and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles


Why should I use lotion?

Magnification: Indoor tanning lotions offer a refractive prism of natural oils including sunflower oil and hemp seed oil as well as aromatherapy essential oils and aloe-vera gel. The refractive prism causes a magnification of the ultraviolet light that reaches your skin, helping intensify your tan. Given the same amount of time, people who avoid using tanning products are likely to achieve a lower level of tanning as compared to people who used the product. Moisturization: Indoor tanning products are specially formulated to provide the skin with vital moisture that is necessary before tanning and also after tanning. Healthier skin has the capacity to hold on to a tan for a longer period of time than unhealthy skin. This gives you the added benefit of being able to achieve a darker, deeper tan by building upon the existing foundation. Dry skin on the other hand tends to flake, peeling away layers of tan with it. Indoor tanning lotions keep your skin constantly moisturized, which is essential during the tanning process. These lotions contain a host of vital ingredients including vitamins, natural oils, minerals, anti-oxidants, natural botanical extracts and aloe vera; all of which help boost your tanning efforts. People who do not use tanning lotions and other sunless tanning products do not get the valuable benefits that these nutrients offer. Tanning without this extra support causes the skin to get dry faster, which causes the tan to fade away in a shorter period of time. Skin Conditioning Indoor tanning lotions are specially designed to provide the skin with supplementary tanning ingredients that are vital during the tanning process: Some of the key skin conditioning ingredients include:

• Vitamins

• Essential Oils

• Natural Butters

• Hemp Seed Oil

• Natural Botanical Extracts

• Liposomial Tyrosine Complexes

• Riboflavin

• Copper

• L-Tyrosine

• Assorted Minerals

These ingredients help to maximize your tanning efforts. Indoor tanning lotions also contain several essential skin conditioning components that boost your tanning endeavors by providing vital moisturization and by enhancing the tanning intensity. Adding Heat to Acquire a Deeper Tan Indoor tanning lotions that are formulated with “Tingle” are very beneficial in the tanning process. Tanning sprays and lotions that contain tingle also contain enhanced levels of botanical oils and natural vitamins that help stimulate the microcirculation of the skin by drawing the blood towards the skin’s surface. The melatonin that is present in the blood gives the tanning process a much-needed boost by helping you achieve your tanning plateau. When using tingle, it is best to begin with lower levels and then gradually increase the level in incremental doses so that your body may be able to adapt to the stimulation comfortably.


Why should I use facial tanning lotion?

A lot of people when they go indoor tanning either use the same tanning lotion that they use on their body on their face or they don’t put any tanning lotion on their face. However, most people don’t understand that neglecting tanning lotion on their face or using their body tanning lotion is a big mistake. The reason for this is the face is one of the most delicate parts of the body and when going tanning it needs to be treated differently. Some people’s faces are highly sensitive to certain brands of tanning lotions and can have allergic reactions when these tanning lotions are applied to the facial area. This is because most body tanning lotions have ingredients added to supplement the smell of the tanning lotions. This added fragrance in tanning lotions can be the cause for allergic reactions on the face. In fact, most cosmetics that cause facial area allergic reactions are because of their added fragrances. Another problem with using body tanning lotions on your face is that they are not designed with your face in mind. Some of them may leave your face feeling extra oil after (causing acne breakouts for some) and some may excessively dry the skin on your face. Also, a lot of body tanning lotions contain bronzers, and when applied to the face it may leave your face looking unnaturally dark. The problem with not using any tanning lotion on your face is that all indoor tanning lotions have essential vitamins, nutrients, and moisturizers. If you don’t use any tanning lotion on your face your skin may dry out fast. UV lights are known to damage your skin and as your face is extremely sensitive, tanning without a facial tanning lotion can exaggerate wrinkles or fine lines. Because of this it is very important to apply a facial tanning lotion that has the proper vitamins, nutrients, and moisturizers, so your skin remains hydrated and healthy. It is recommended that, if you are tanning indoors then you should purchase a special facial tanning lotion that is designed to be used only on the face. When shopping for a facial tanning lotion make sure you buy one that is hypoallergenic, that is, one that will not cause any allergic reactions. Most facial tanning lotions are hypoallergenic but to be on the safe side check the bottle to make sure. Depending on the brand and type of facial tanning lotion you are shopping for, there are also many other benefits. Some of these are anti-aging, firming formulas, or non-comedogenic (it will not block your pores, this is good if you have acne-prone skin). Also, most tanning lotion manufactures have facial tanning lotions with tanning accelerators or bronzers.



Secrets to Tanning Lotions: What's Real and What's Hype?

Deciding which tanning lotion, you should get, or even whether or not to use one at all, comes down to why you are even considering it in the first place. Are you more concerned with Tanning Results? Skin Care? Not smelling like burned skin? In any event, here are the tips to look for when picking out your creme de la bronzing creme.


1. Does cost matter? The short answer is…usually. The real cost in lotion is either in the tanning technology or the skin care technology. The higher the price, the more of either (or both) that are in the lotion. An example where a cheaper one could be better would be if you are not interested in skin care and only wanted a ton of bronzers…there are cheaper lotions that are packed with bronzers and very little skin care. This is where cost could be lowered depending on your need. The best approach would be to find a price level that you feel comfortable with and tell the tanning consultant what that number is. They can help you find the best product for that price range. Talking to an expert who has used every product, seen every product, and knows what’s really good and what isn’t, will be easier and more efficient than reading reviews online. We love our online reviews, but anonymous strangers, posing as experts with their own preferences and expectations, may not match your specific needs. Yes, you usually get what you pay for, but you may be surprised at what a seasoned associate can help you find within your budget, get you a good deal on, etc. It’s worth asking! You could save a ton by just asking “What deals are you running?” or “What’s the best lotion I can get for $x?” or even “Can you help me get the best hookup on lotion?”.


2. Bronzers? No Bronzers? 3 Bronzers? 50 Bronzers? I’m confused. The average customer is not a tanning salon or tanning lotion industry guru, so if you’re confused about the whole bronzer situation…have no fear (or shame) …it can be confusing. Back in the day it was simply “Bronzer” or “No Bronzer”. This just meant that your lotion either had a little bit of sunless solution (spray tan ingredient) in it to give you a quick boost in color…or it didn’t. Now there are Delayed, Immediate, DermaDark, Natural, Extended, and SuperAwesomeRidculousBrown Bronzers (ok, we made that last one up!). It can be tough to decipher which one is best. Generally, though, the number before the bronzer are your best indicator. The higher the number of bronzers, the quicker you’re going to get color. A lotion that has an “X” after the number (i.e. JWOWW 50X Bronzer) means “extended” or “extra” and can give you quite the boost. The newest types of Bronzers are called “Optimizers”. Optimizer Bronzers are new streak-free bronzers, and are where technology takes a leap forward giving you deeper color faster, longer lasting color, and the most natural looking tan possible. There’s only a few of these types out there, but they are the bees’ knees if you find one.


3. Are all tanning lotions the same? Is it just a gimmick??The cynicism of the over-marketed consumer aside, try looking deeper into each product before making this assumption. Most would not say that a $0.99 hair conditioner would be the same as a $30 one (anyone who lives in thick humidity like we do knows the difference all too well). However, with lotions it’s easier to draw that conclusion (especially when you want it to be true) as you don’t see immediate differences with just one use like you would with a conditioner. It takes 3-4 uses before you see how dramatic the results really are. Your skin and your hair are made of the same material (keratin). Using the absolute cheapest on either will start to show in a weathered sort of way. You will also not be getting the effect you are going for. Cheap lotions (a la Walmart) would be like switching the cheapest shampoo and conditioners…you will be getting what you paid for, which will not be what you were wanting. Don’t get me wrong, there are moderately prices conditioners, shampoos, and tanning lotions out there that are absolutely amazing! You just have to find the right one for you and your budget, without letting cost be the only and singularly deciding factor. Every lotion is different, just like every skin type. Find one for your needs and you’ll be much happier with your results and your skin will thank you.