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Indoor tanning option open for those who want to avoid outdoor temps


Pro Tan employee Josh James cleans one of the tanning beds after a customer completed a 20 minute session. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


The summertime bronze look is showing up on everyone’s skin as the heat of summer beams down across the county.

The tanning bed business might seem bleak during these months of sun, but owner of Pro Tan in Russellville Sherry Young said her business is doing just fine.

“Our peak season  usually starts in February when students are trying to get ready for their proms,” she said.

“Even though the sun is out during the summertime, I believe lots of people have elected to use our beds instead of fighting the blistering heat outside.”

Young purchased the tanning salon located in the old Food World Shopping Center five years ago from it’s previous owner who was based in Birmingham.

“I ran the video store next door called Movie Biz before purchasing this salon,” she said.

“I thought it was a good business opportunity and I really hated to see her close up shop because so many people enjoy coming and tanning here.”

Young said she has four employees and ten beds helping those who don’t want to stay out in the sun searching for the copper-tone image.

Young said she has thought of investing in some new tanning ideas in the future.

“I have looked into getting one of those mystic spray tanning booths installed here,” she said. “There just isn’t any room though. I thought about taking out one of the beds to get that type of tanning system in here but I haven’t decided yet.”

Pro Tan employee Josh James said coming in and lying down in a bed to get a sunless tan just seems more convenient to some people.

“I know of some people who come here and get a quick tan everyday,” he said.

“I think to some people it serves more as a relaxer and plus they receive a nice tan at the same time, so it is kind of a win, win sort of thing.”

Young said there are so many myth’s out there about tanning beds and claims tanning is actually a good source of Vitamin D.

“One thing that is not true about tanning beds is that they cook your insides,” she said. “Tanning beds are safe if used properly and there is no evidence that suggests tanning beds burn your insides.”

Young said there are time limits when using the tanning bed and it all depends on the type of skin to how much time is suggested.

“Our beds have only a 20 minute limit,” she said. “If you have fare skin you should start out at five minutes then work your way up.”

Young believe there are people who want to keep there tan year round and she is happy that she is able to provide them with that option.

Top five tanning bed myths

1. Showering After Tanning Washes It Away

One common tanning bed myth is that if you shower after you have tanned, your tan will simply wash away. This is untrue. It can take up to 2 days to develop a base tan and the skin’s melanocyte cells produce pigment melanin, due to the UV lights, which result in tanned skin.

2. You Can Contract an STD from a Tanning Bed

STD’s and other serious viral diseases live inside our bodies, not outside. There is no physical way, even with excessive sweating in a tanning bad, that they could be passed on to another.

Salons are to disinfect the tanning beds after each use, as required by law.

3. Darker Skin Doesn’t Burn

Over-exposure to UV-light is also possible with darker skin. All skin types should wear proper lotion and only be exposed to the UV-light the proper amount of time to prevent burning in a tanning bed.

4. Burning First Will Produce a Tan

This myth could not be any more false. Tanning bed burns do not turn into tans.

Burns cause skin damage, which can also lead to skin cancer. This is why it’s important to go a very short time in the tanning bed during your first few sessions. Such a time would be 6 or 7 minutes.

5. Your Internal Organs Get Baked

Apparently this is a complete myth as tanning beds would probably have been banned by now if this were actually true. The UV-light affects the skin only and nothing beyond the skin, so your internal organs are completely safe..