The tanning process is the skins natural reaction to ultraviolet exposure that occurs in both long and short term events. Short term tanning, called immediate tanning, is a little known and understood process. Long term tanning, called delayed tanning, is commonly known as melanogenisis. This long term tanning process is what will be discussed here. Human skin can be classified into six types, determined by pigmentation response. Skin Type I cannot achieve a tan, even with repeated exposures. Skin Types II & III can tan, but will only generate a light brown color. Skin Types IV & V tan easily and profusely with normal exposure. Skin Type VI is extremely pigmented, even without ultraviolet exposure. The delayed tanning process is believed to take up to 48 hours to complete, and begins when ultraviolet light reaches the skin.

Delayed tanning, or melanogenisis, is the process that includes the production and distribution of the pigment melanin. Pigment development begins in the melanocyte, a specialized cell in the innermost surface of the epidermis. In response to ultraviolet radiation, the melanocytes produce melanin in little “packets” called melanosomes, which travel to the skin (keratinocytes) cells. Inside the skin cells, the melanosomes disintegrates and eventually exfoliates with the skin cell as it reaches the outer layer of the skin. The term melanin is actually a descriptive term that describes a group of similar compounds. People with Skin Type I actually create a substance called “pheomelanin”, a pigment that has little color and is ineffective in protecting the skin. Skin Type II & III, which can produce a light brown tan, create “eumelanin”, the pigment known to be effective against damage from further ultraviolet exposure.

Normally, a person will tan indoors only as well as he/she is able to tan outdoors. Yet fair-skinned people who generally cannot tolerate the uncontrollable rays of the sun can often achieve some color when tanning indoors. This can be attributed to the different spectral output generated by tanning equipment as well as the carefully timed sessions an indoor tanner receives in a controlled tanning environment. Skin type, heredity and individual photo-sensitivity determine the level of success a person will have tanning indoors.

Tanning is your body’s natural protection against sunburn.

” The sunburn probably means that skin cells have been injured or are in some way insulted by the exposure to ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation,” says Boston University research dermatologist DR. Michael Holick. “The tanning process, however, is a natural process by which the skin cells recognize the potential damaging effects of exposure to UVA and UVB radiation, and they respond by increasing the production of melanin.”

The avergae salon believes that tanning indoors – for people who can develop a tan – coupled the intelligent use of sunscreen lotion outdoors is the best way to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of sun exposure. Melanoma skin cancer is more common in people who work indoors than in those who work outdoors.

Indoor tanning lotions work differently than outdoor lotions. Indoor lotions are scientifically bioengineered and designed to maximize your tanning performance while moisturizing your skin. Today’s tanning lotions deliver nutrients to your skin that skin cells need to induce the tanning process. It’s literally like feeding your tan. Also, these special ingredients, only found in indoor lotions, can help you attain a darker tan in fewer tanning visits – saving you money while taking care of your skin. You maximize your tan, your time and your money when you use indoor tanning lotions. Going without doesn’t make sense.

Sunglasses, towels, cotton balls, contact lens, simply closing your eyes – none of these is adequate protection for your eyes while tanning. Burns to the eye are the most common type of injury sustained among indoor tanners. Every one of these injuries can be avoided by wearing federally approved protective eyewear federally approved protective eyewear designed for indoor tanning

Eyelids are not made of UV blocking material. The result is that UV may pass through, damaging the cornea, retina and lens. The cumulative effects can cause cataracts, night blindness and color blindness. U.S. federal law requires that protective eyewear meeting specific standards be supplied to each tanner.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifies that protective eyewear must block 99.9 % of UVB light and 99 % of UVA light while allowing visible light rays to pass through lenses so the customer can see while they tan.

Research shows that overexposure to both UVA and UVB can cause eye damage. Some brands of contact lenses that claim to block UV light have created confusion in North American tanning salons by giving customers the impression that they no longer need to use proper eye protection if they wear their contacts. The lenses only block 95 percent of UVB light, which is well short of federal standards for protective eyewear. Contact lens wearers need to remember that the body loses moisture during tanning. This can cause contact lens to “stick” to the eye. It is recommended that wearers remove their contacts before tanning. If this isn’t possible, moisturizing drops should be used before and after the tanning session. While not adequate protection for indoor tanning, sunglasses are recommended for outdoor usage any time of year when conditions warrant. “Snow blindness” caused by sunlight reflecting off of snow is an example of immediate injury. Whatever the mandated regulations are in your area, it is in a tanner’s own personal interest to wear federally approved eyewear either provided by the salon or available for purchase.


Indoor tanning allows you to control exactly what kind of ultraviolet light your skin receives, thereby reducing your risk of ever contracting a sunburn. It also allows you to eliminate many other environmental variables that can't possibly be controlled outdoors.




You always know exactly what kind of ultraviolet light you are getting and exactly how long you’ll be getting it.


You never have to worry about inclement weather. It’s always sunny and warm in your favorite tanning salon.


It doesn’t take all day at the beach to get an indoor tan. Depending on your skin, a few quick sessions a week is all it takes to maintain a golden brown tan.


Professional indoor tanning salons monitor your progress and advise you on how to properly maintain your tan, reducing your risk of ever contracting a dangerous sunburn.


Depending on the time of year, the sunlight you receive is more or less intense. Gauging how much exposure is too much, depending on the time of year, is always difficult.


Are you tanning at the beach, where the surrounding sand acts as a reflector for ultraviolet light? Are you snow skiing, where the snow has the same effect? Are you in the water, where the UV light penetrates beneath the surface more than you might think? Your surroundings affect the intensity of ultraviolet light when you tan outdoors


Are you in Columbus, Ohio, or Charlotte, North Carolina? The intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet light varies, getting more intense the closer you are to the Earth’s equator. Again, this influences how long you can tan without getting burned outdoors.


Is it partly cloudy or sunny? Is it overcast ompletely or raining? A significant amount of ultraviolet light penetrates through clouds, even on an overcast day. But the intensity varies, depending on the cloudiness.


Are you at sea level or in the mountains? Even if you are in the foothills, ultraviolet intensity is greater at higher altitudes – another factor the average person can’t gauge accurately outdoors.


Regular changes in the Earth’s outer atmosphere affect the amount of ultraviolet light from the sun reaches the planet surface. It is impossible to know from day to day how these conditions will change.


Have you ever spent a day outside, only to be surprised at the end of the day by a sunburn? Or maybe you didn’t get a sunburn when you expected you should. All the variables listed above make tanning outdoors a guessing game.


The Auto Revolution is a state-of-the-art spray booth utilizing Norvell’s patented iNTELLiSPRAY Technology and Smart Booth designed to simulate the personalized touch of a handheld airbrush session while offering the privacy of an automatic spray booth

Available In AGAWAM


Darker Image is the only tanning salon in the area that is certified by Norvell University. NU offers Advanced Sunless Training & Certification.

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RedLight-ST is a complete system synergistically formulated to enhance the benefits of Light Rejuvenation Therapy.

A unique Three Step system designed to provide advanced therapeutic benefits for vibrant, healthy skin. We like to call it Dynamic Rejuvenation.

By following our Three step Skin Care System in conjunction with regular light rejuvenation therapy your overall benefits to your actual skin tissue is greatly enhanced, thus any problems close to the surface of the skin, such as wrinkles, age spots, scars and cellulite are greatly diminished.

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