January 2007

Faux Glows - Keep Your Summer Tan Year Round

Author: Della Bowling

Summer sun has come and gone but that doesn’t mean your sexy island tan has to fade away with the season. Sun worshippers and skin activists can unite and “Celebrate!” at Club Tan, located in Orleans Plaza.

This intimate and colorful two-story “sun spa” features state-of-the-art tanning facilities, as well as soothing and stylish sitting areas, complete with stocked vanities for guests to freshen up after tanning. Club Tan offers Level 1 beds, Sunless Express spray tanning, Level 2 bronzing beds, Level 3 beds and facials.

While speaking with a guest at Club Tan, I learned that 20 minutes in a Level 1 bed is comparable to about an hour in the sun. She was in for a quick tan to enhance her complexion before going on vacation.

I decided to try Club Tan’s Level 2 Bronze Bed in hopes of reclaiming the radiant glow my skin has been missing in this cool air. The bronzing bed, reminiscent of a small, solar-powered time machine, is contoured to the body, which provides a more even tan without rolling over and changing positions. It also offers separate, more sensitive lights for the face and is fully equipped with a built-in CD player and AC that can be adjusted inside the bed. Now that’s hot…and cool!

For the UV-conscious and others looking for more immediate results, the Sunless Express spray tanning showers are perfect. For lasting results, Club Tan owner, German Batista, and his “tanfastic” team of skincare professionals recommend that guests shower, shave, exfoliate and moisturize before sunless tanning. Barrier lotion is used on the hands and feet to prevent these areas from looking discolored.

Upon entering the Sunless Express, guests are greeted by the voice of whom I imagine to be a tanning god. As he begins talking and giving directions, the shower sprays the front and then back of the body, both for 14 seconds. After letting the spray dry for 30 seconds…Voilà!—timely tanning at its best.

The Level 3 beds are the highest available; and when I say highest, I mean longest. These beds are designed using UVA lights, which are longer waves that penetrate more deeply through three layers of skin. It was interesting to see how this technique works and get a better understanding of the skin’s anatomy and the carefully researched combinations of ultraviolet light.

Two types of light waves are used: UVB and UVA. The UVB are short, intense waves of energy, penetrating the surface of the skin and stimulating melanocytes, which in turn produce the pigment, melanin. UVA waves penetrate deeper and are absorbed by the melanin, which turns skin even darker. As the pigment cells and tissues are heated by these waves, blood rises, sometimes causing skin to turn pink. As the body’s defense against the heat, burning occurs to hold in the UVA waves and prevent them from reaching deeper, more sensitive areas.

Lotions accelerate tanning by heating the skin, causing the blood to rise to the surface faster. Lotions are also used to moisturize the skin, because if the skin is dry, the UVB waves are not absorbed, but rather reflected off the skin.

For the most fabulous tan in town, Club Tan advises slowly working up to augment color by visiting once a week for three weeks then continuing occasional visits to maintain a beautiful bronze complexion. Contact Club Tan for information on their package rates, ideal for this gradual approach.

Club Tan
38 C New Orleans Rd.
(843) 686-4826

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