Time for a Story

As someone who is mostly Norwegian, I have very pale skin. In the winter, I nearly look translucent. Bathing suit season is the only time I can say I am not especially thrilled with my heritage. I hate bathing suit season. It is the one time of the year that I have ever considered visiting a tanning salon.
One day while I was complaining about this to one of my friends, she suggested that I should go ahead and get a spray tan.

Spray Tan Time

As if getting a spray tan is not embarrassing enough, when your body, which is no longer young and perky and trim, is being sprayed by the tanning salons version of a Barbie doll, it is even more difficult. You have to stand in awkward positions and even lean forward to avoid having streaks under your buttocks.

The Rain

The first thing you need to know about a spray tan is that you must allow the spray to be absorbed into your skin for at least four hours before you shower. This is required. Unfortunately for me, the day I got my spray tan it was pouring rain! Instead of looking like the bronzed beauty I had envisioned, I looked like a spotted cheetah after being caught in a downpour.

If We Had Only Known

When I was about 13 or 14, my girlfriend and I went all out getting ourselves ready for swimsuit season. These days were way before the invention of the tanning salon. We each bought a bottle of self-tanning lotion and a bottle of peroxide.

The Plan

The plan as we saw it was to use the self-tanning lotion on our skin, including our faces and spritz our hair with the peroxide to lighten it. We just knew we were going to look hot for the summer days at the pool. We were looking to impress all of the boys of course!

Three Days Later

About three days into our plan, I noticed that my mother kept looking at me from across the table. It got to the point where she told me to go wash my face. So I did. The next night she once again told me to go wash my face and said it was dirty again. Come to find out the self-tanner, which should have never been put on my face in the first place, was turning my skin a rust red color. At least my skin matched my hair, which was also turning red from the peroxide. I never tried it again. Now, I go to the tanning salon to get my look!

The Spray Tan Horror Story

I am afraid of the sun. Yes, you read that right. I am afraid of being burned or getting skin cancer from going into the sun too much so I try to avoid it as much as possible. Instead, I make trips to the tanning salon so I can fake my tan. Since I am afraid of skin cancer, I also do not really care for tanning beds either. Instead, Ialways opt for a spray tan.

The 15-Year Old Teenager

This week when I went for my spray tan, a teenager that did not even look like she was old enough to drive a car yet helped me. To say it was uncomfortable to strip down to my skivvies in front of this perfect, fresh teenager would be an understatement.

She began by explaining to me that she was going to put threecoats of spray tan on me. She assured me that it smelled good, like pineapples. She then explained to me that I would have to stand in what she called the scarecrow position with legs spread wide apart and the arms outstretched but hanging limp at the elbows, like a scarecrow.

The Spray Process

So I assumed the position and she sprayed, I turned, she sprayed again and I turned, then she sprayed a final time. Personally, I felt like a chicken on a rotisserie. Once she was done, she used a little brush like you might use for powder to smooth out the spots that sprayed on unevenly.

Once she was done with the spraying, I looked in the mirror. Frankly, it was shocking. I looked dirty and when I looked at my face, I could not believe how awful it looked! Unfortunately, it takes a spray tan four hours to develop. After four hours, I was able to shower and, thankfully, I looked normal. I did it! I had a golden, natural tan from this “kid” at the tanning salon.

Do Not Get a Pedicure First

The first experience I ever had with a spray tan at a local tanning salon was a complete fail! I learned a hard lesson that day, do not, I repeat do not go for a pedicure before going to get a spray tan. There will be ramifications if you do.

The Spray Tan Experience

The idea was that I was going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding and so I wanted to look good, healthy, and tanned. There was not a lot of time so I opted for the spray tan idea. It seemed innocent and easy enough.

The Bad News

I chose an extra dark tanning solution. I wanted a nice dark tan to offset with my gown. The lady who was spraying me got a very puzzled look on her face while she was spraying me and noted that for some reason the solution was not sticking to my legs. Well, as luck would have it, I had just come from a wonderful pedicure appointment – after all a girls feet have to look nice too! The lotion that the woman used when she did my pedicure provided intense moisture and would not allow the spray tan to stick. So much for that sexy tan on my legs!

Today I went to the Tanning Salon…

When I went to the tanning salon today, I used my favorite bed. This particular bed is a level six with insanely loud fans that make a perfect noise for sleeping. These fans also happen to create a lot of suction in the room. I was exhausted, as I had not slept well the night before.

Nap Time

Almost as soon as I lay down, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I only had three minutes left on my time, which I found to be annoying. I like to do quarter turns so that I do not end up with what look like racing stripes down my sides. Once my tanning session ends, I get up, get dressed and unlock the door to leave. The only problem is, the door will not open.

How Embarrassing

While I am trying to get the door open, I hear a scuffling noise outside. I spot a woman with a broom moving away from the door. Well, never mind the fact that the young woman at the counter had reminded me to lock the double doors; I was too exhausted to remember the bolt lock at the top of the door. This lock is important because it prevents the door from opening up due to the suction. Well, I only locked the handle.
The embarrassing part? The doors to that particular room happen to face the front counter. Sadly, for them I do not like tan lines so, you guessed it – I was completely naked in the tanning bed! As I left, the girl at the counter told me that the doors had popped open while I was in there tanning.

Since I was still groggy, it did not occur to me right away that I had exposed myself to everyone who could see me. I simply replied with an “Oh, that sucks!” and went on my merry way out to my car. As I was starting my car, I was suddenly mortified when I realized that I had flashed everyone in the tanning salon. Oops! I guess the lesson that should be gotten from my story is that you should make sure you do not go tanning when you are completely exhausted. If you do, make sure to pay close attention to what you are doing!

Melanotan and Tanning

Before using tanning beds, I tried using melanotan. Because of a bad experience as a child, I have always hated the sun and really stay out of the sun as much as possible. The problem is, I do not want to look pasty and unhealthy. I had a few side effects from the melanotan.

Mainly the only side effects I experienced were that I would feel sick for about 20 minutes after the injection and I developed slight dark spots on my lips. I did not mind that so much as I could hide them with my makeup. I do not use these injections anymore, not since I discovered how easy and relaxing tanning beds are. I personally prefer to go to the tanning salon.

Whether you choose to use a tanning bed, melanotan or sit in the sun, the choice is very personal and it is really up to you to decide. You should know that each one of these options does come with its own risks and rewards so you should always make an informed decision. With the warm weather quickly approaching, now is the time to start thinking about how you will go about getting that healthy glow that you wait all winter to achieve.