Tanning Lotion Protection

I had been an active sun worshipper and bather for many years. In my youth I had simply put on a suit and laid in the sun. Not very often did I use tanning lotions.
As research kept dictating the dangers of sun damage, I regularly used tanning lotion believing that the moisturizer would help.

I later moved on to a farm and began working in the sun for most of the season. If we weren’t mowing, or picking, we were sitting in the sun just chatting.
Because of spending so much time in the sun I continued using tanning lotions only this time with SPF. Being only 30, my skin was beginning to become weathered looking. I complimented my suntan lotion with another lotion.
After the harvest at a dinner party, someone commented on the fact that I developing dark pigmentation on my shoulder. It didn’t go away after a few months so I decided to see a dermatologist.
Without my having to say a word the dermatologist told me how much sun I had been in my entire life.

Such a good tanning agent

The Doctor had explained to me that the reason the pigmentation was so hard to recognize initially was because Suntan lotions contain Melanotan a peptide that increases tanning effects.
The Doctor explained that while I may have been getting beautiful tans, I had no real significant UV ray protection. That in itself was the crux of the problem.
Diagnosed with melanoma situ, I was advised that it would be a matter of an in office procedure and would require excision or cutting the offending melanoma out.
I was given a local anesthesia and the 2 melanomas was cut out and sent to a lab. It was stage 0 and no further treatment would be necessary. Smiling with great relief, he began to explain the precautions that I now needed to take. The sun bathing was now out of the question. I would have to trade in my suntan lotion for sunscreen blocker. I also would have to do a regular body check looking for any further abnormalities.

Change of lifestyle

The first planting season after the surgery, I was not as diligent as I should have been with applying the screen blocker. After several lectures from friends as time went on I began wearing big hats and applying sunscreen. Diligence did begin to kick in as did the reality of how lucky I was.
Now more aware of the dangers of ultra violet rays and how suntan lotions only tans and moisturizes. Those lotions containing sunscreen only possess a minimal amount, so that the lotion could do its job.

With this enlightenment, I now hand out sunscreen to my past field co-workers. I advise them regarding clothing to wear and to wear a large hat. I am now more grateful that given my sunning routine, I did not have more abnormalities than I did. I still love the sun though.

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Decisions on Tanning

A friend of mine begins her tanning using a tanning bed every spring. She then lies out in the sun every day in the summer.
I had decided to discuss with her this obsession about being so extremely tanned. She simply said she liked being tan and “besides, I use tanning lotion.” Not being too sure if the tanning lotion was a real help in anything. I turned to the internet for research.

The Research

The essential quality is that an outdoor tanning lotion does have SPF qualities as well as providing protection against dry skin and the aging process.
For indoor use, the SPF protection isn’t there and it does bring the blood flow to the surface allowing a quicker tan. While it is tanning you, it is also moisturizer and deterrent in the aging process.
I found that the entire idea of moisturizing to abate the UV aging process fascinating. With all the information on the cost of tanning lotions and where to buy it. It does appear that the lotion if for moisturizing purposes.
So I then decided that the next research would be on the best tanning lotions, after all risking your skin tanning aging shouldn’t be an issue as well.

Tanning lotions hold different properties. Zinc oxide being the primary property for reaching that golden brown hue. The most active ingredients in suntan lotions are UV absorbers. This is designed to soak up the UV rays as it is moisturizing you.


Suntan lotions do have their place in tanning you, however not much in the way of protecting you. If it is a deep dark tan you’re looking for than suntan lotions both for the inside and outdoors are the way to go. Supplement the moisturizing with other creams and lotions when done with tanning.

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Tanning Lotions

I decided to compare indoor and outdoor tanning lotions. To do this I would go once to a tanning bed, wait for the tan to fade and then tan outside using a lotion.

The Test

I went to the tanning salon, they sold me their “best” tanning lotion, and I was told they had. With extreme hesitance I went into the tanning room got down to my bathing suit, applied the lotion followed the directions on how to work the tanning bed and with my UV protector glasses closed the lid.

After 10 minutes and the lights went out I jumped out and headed for the mirror. I was orange as opposed to red. After a day, I was tanned but a tad streaky where I had missed placing the lotion.
The color was good, and lasted without fade for a good week and took it’s time to bring me back to tanning state.
After that I purchased a bottle of tanning lotion containing SPF and an additional tanning agent along the lines of zinc oxide.

I duplicated my outfit from the tanning salon. I put the towel on the deck and lay down. Initially I timed myself for 10 minutes as with the tanning bed. Ten minutes passed and I checked myself and found I could use more time. After 40 additional minutes, 20 minutes each side. I was at last reddish. Since this is the magic shade for me I was satisfied and waited for the results.

By the end of the night I was tanned and even burned in some spots. I was far less streaky and the tan did actually last longer and was deeper than with the tanning bed.
The Outcome
It was decided, indoor tanning lotion did alright. However, outdoor lotions with tanning enhancer are the best.

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The Tanning Secret

While shaving my legs one morning, I had cut myself. As the blood trickled down my leg, I noticed that my legs looked like a vampire had invaded me. They were so pale.
Once the bleeding stopped and while drying off in front of the mirror. I discovered another flaw. The rest of my body was considerably darker than my legs.

Never needing and therefore never using tanning lotion, I thought, Why not. So off I went to the drug store searching out tanning lotions. There were so many to choose from. I decided to just find a brand I had heard of. Took my package home, dressed appropriately and headed for the deck. I adjusted my umbrella, plopped myself in a chair and then slopped on the lotion. My theory was the more I put on the less time I would require in the sun. I burned easily so I didn’t want to tempt fate.
My desire was to get my legs as dark as the rest of my body. No more and certainly no less. With this thought in mind I grabbed my book and laid myself out in the 84 degree sun and began to read away. I periodically checked my progress and things seem to be coming along nicely.

A wonderful book

I decided to overcome my paranoia regarding my tanning and fully immersed myself in my book. When I had first applied the lotion, there was some tingling in my legs. This only lasted for a short period and did not concern me. The thought of no SPF did cross my mind. I just wanted to finish the paragraph I was reading. The paragraph was finally done and that is when I checked my roasted looking now burning legs. I grabbed for the bottle of suntan lotion and read “for indoor use.” This took me by surprise, since when can you tan indoors?

The Moral

There was no real damage to my legs, just intense darkening from the UV rays coupled with the amount of time spent in the sun. Indoor lotion, designed for tanning beds, only require approximately 10 minutes in a tanning bed, as the blood flows to the top of your skin with application. My legs turned dried and wrinkled and I kept the Nivea close. Essentially my already darkened pigmentation added some protection with burning. My suggestion, read all labels.

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