Skincare - Moisturizing
· Natural moisturizing factors NMFs
· Sunless tanners
Tanning salon operators need to understand the role good skincare plays
in the overall tanning process. Moisture is essential to good skin health
because it helps maintain the integrity of an exceptional skin barrier
while enhancing the tanning process.
Your client’s skin is gasping for moisture like a flower in the
desert. All winter, the elements have taken their toll. For at least three
months the dry winter wind has sucked moisture from the delicate skin
surface, while the cold temperatures blocked the production of natural
oils and emollients. Your client’s skin is dry to the touch and
tight in appearance. You must come to the rescue with a good moisturizer.
Moisture is critical to good skin health because it helps maintain a
good skin barrier and creates a flexible, pliable skin that is soft to
touch. Moist skin will tan better and more evenly than dry skin. Your
skin knows that moisture is important and uses a variety of methods to
retain moisture in its surface.
Moisturize With Oils
Your skin retains water within its natural oils to help them maintain
an ordered structure around each skin cell. Each skin cell is surrounded
by a variety of different natural oils. Together, the skin cells and the
natural oils help form the acid mantle or barrier in the stratum corneum.
Water helps increase the flexibility of the oils so the oils can surround
the cells to maintain an adequate skin barrier.
During cold winter months, the skin’s ability to make natural oils
for the stratum corneum is greatly reduced. We have known for many years
that cold weather causes skin to become dry and brittle. Recently, scientists
discovered that one of the reasons is a decrease in the production of
natural oils when skin is exposed to cold temperatures. If the skin is
not producing enough natural oils, then we can help by adding oils.
A good moisturizer not only will add moisture to the skin, but also add
some oils to the skin. A client with severe dry skin requires a moisturizer
with more oils than a client with slightly dry skin. For your clients
with severe dry skin, recommend a moisturizer with a greasy feel. Clients
with slightly dry skin can expect improvement with a less greasy moisturizer.
However, be careful to remember that the best moisturizer is one that
your clients will use. The moisturizer has to be enjoyed by your client;
it has to be used regularly. If your client will not use a greasy moisturizer,
then the moisturizer will sit in the bottle and you may lose future sales.
Moisturize with NMFs
Your skin retains water within its natural proteins to keep them flexible.
Each stratum corneum cell is a flexible sack of proteins. Without water,
the proteins lose their flexibility and become rigid. The skin becomes
rough to the touch, even cracking in severe cases. Water helps increase
the flexibility of the proteins so the cells can relax to a smooth surface
that begs to be touched.
Normally, skin creates natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) to hold moisture
in the stratum corneum and increase the water content of the skin. In
dry winter conditions, the skin cannot make NMFs because the water content
of the skin is too low. Also, NMFs are stripped away by the use of hotter
bathing water and stronger detergents.
A good moisturizer will add moisturizing factors back to the skin where
they can lock moisture into the skin. Sodium PCA, or sodium pyrollidone
carboxylic acid, is one of the most efficient NMFs because it binds lots
Moisturizing lotions also may contain moisturizing factors that are not
natural, but moisturize much the same way. Some examples are sodium isethionate,
glycerin and panthenol.
Moisturize With Vitamins
The reduced barrier function of the skin caused by the dry cold winter
allows a variety of environmental pollutants to enter the skin. These
pollutants can deplete the antioxidant system of the skin, making the
skin more susceptible to oxidative damage. Vitamins can reduce or eliminate
A good moisturizer will help replace the vitamins skin needs. Vitamin
E, or tocopheryl acetate, is a potent antioxidant that should be found
in a good moisturizer. Vitamin C, frequently included as ascorbyl palmitate,
acts in concert with vitamin E in a healthy antioxidant system. Scientists
have found several situations where these vitamins are more powerful together
Dry, cold winter prevents skin from maintaining a moist healthy condition
due to the loss of natural oils, natural moisturizing factors, and vitamins.
A good moisturizer will contain these three items with a low level of
AHAs. Your clients need to use a good moisturizer regularly and to apply
it generously. Moisturizing skin helps replenish and retain the normal
moisture content of the stratum corneum, keeping the skin soft and supple.
Moist skin is healthy skin and healthy skin will tan better and more evenly
than dry skin.
It’s only the middle of March, the winds are still blowing cold,
artic air from the north and salons nationwide are filled to capacity
with clients seeking solace from Old Man Winter. Yet, before long, those
winds will be shifting to the south, and many of your loyal customers
will be turning to Mother Nature for a dose of relaxation and nourishment.
While many salon owners believe that the summer doldrums brings a dramatic
decrease in their tanning business, this is not true for marketing savvy
operators. By marketing your facility as a one-stop shop for clients’
skincare needs such as outdoor lotions and oils, you will keep your cash
ringing throughout the summer months.
The sun is responsible for our very existence here on earth. Its light
is the fuel for photosynthesis, which is the process by which plants create
their energy, and we, in turn, depend on the plants for food and oxygen.
The sun’s infrared rays keep us warm and its visible rays give us
light to see by. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation also is useful;
however, at the same time, it is dangerous to us.
As you know, ultraviolet radiation is divided into three different bands
- UVA, UVB and UVC. Virtually all of the UVC is filtered out by our atmosphere
so that none actually reaches the earth’s surface. However, both
UVB and UVA reach the earth in significant amounts.
The summer months of June, July and August bring heat and discomfort
as well as dry, thirsty skin in need of nourishment and care. By offering
a complete array of moisturizers and SPFs, your clients will turn to your
salon as their complete skincare source instead of spending money at the
drug or department store down the street.
With the public becoming more aware of the dangers of overexposure to
sunlight, SPFs are a natural fit into your retailing sector. Not only
can you promoted sunscreens for outdoor use to your faithful tanners,
but also word-of-mouth advertising from these clients may attract additional
customers who don’t tan indoors. Just because you are a tanning
facility, doesn’t mean that non-tanners can’t turn to you
for skincare education.
In addition, it is important to promote responsible tanning whether it
occurs indoors or outdoors. By taking a proactive approach and acting
as an ambassador to this industry, you as a salon owner and educator can
squelch bad publicity about tanning as well as secure additional sales
Anyone who has had the experience of being burned by the sun knows the
value of sunscreens and sunblocks. However, most people do not understand
how they work to protect the skin.
Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays, mostly UVB. In
fact, sunburn almost is exclusively a UVB phenomenon; however, research
continues on the different effects of UVB and UVA rays. This is important
because the SPF system measures UVB protection and not UVA. During a sunburn
the skin turns red, swells and, in some severe cases, blisters. A sunburn
continues to develop for 12 to 24 hours after the exposure.
Sunscreens are chemicals that, when applied topically, keep ultraviolet
rays from penetrating the skin. They work either by absorbing or reflecting
solar energy. The absorbed energy excites the sunscreen temporarily; then,
as the chemical relaxes back into its original state, it transforms that
entry into something harmless (usually heat). This process is repeated
countless times per second.
In addition, every sunscreen has a characteristic absorption spectrum
that is capable of absorbing only certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light
energy. High SPF sunscreen formulas contain blends of more than one sunscreen
because no single-chemical is capable of absorbing all UVB radiation.
High SPF products contain Oxybenzone (or Benzophenone-3), a UVA absorber.
In 1986 (the last year data was published) Padimate (or Octyl Dimethyl
PABA) was found to be the most widely used UVA absorber in the United
States. Contrary to consumer belief, this is not the same as PABA, which
rarely is used anymore because a small percentage of people are known
to be sensitive to it.
One of the newest ingredients to hit the SPF market is Parsol® 1789,
a highly effective filter against the sun’s UVA rays. Many of the
leading SPF manufacturers have begun using Parson 1789 because currently
it is the only sunscreen that also contains skincare properties.
Another new property that has been incorporated in SPF formulas is zinc
oxide. Most people associate zinc oxide with the white thick paste lifeguards
used in the past. It was known to be the best sunblock available, but
it was cosmetically unacceptable and therefore not used by the mainstream
population. Fortunately, things have changed, and you now can get the
physical sunscreens that are transparent. For example, zinco oxide is
now manufactured so that the particles are so small that you cannot see
them. These space age physical sunscreens are referred to as microfine
powders and Z-CODE (microfine zinc oxide) is an example that has been
incorporated into one manufacturer’s higher block SPFs in the past
Additionally, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate) is
becoming an increasingly popular UVB absorber, especially in PABA-free
and sensitive skin sun products. Use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen product
that block UVA and UVB is much safer than UVB blocks alone.
Make sure to inform clients to apply sunscreen approximately 20 minutes
before being exposed to the sun. This allows the sunscreen time to “set
up” on the skin so that it can do its job correctly. Remember, an
SPF 2 blocks out approximately 50 percent of ultraviolet rays; an SPF
10 blocks out about 85 percent of ultraviolet rays; and, an SPF 15 blocks
out approximately 95 percent of ultraviolet rays and is the reason that
most health professionals suggest an SPF of 15 or above.
It is useful to have an assortment of products with varying SPF numbers.
The suntan lotion that is desired in the early days of summer may have
too great an SPF for the last days of August.
Another point to consider is that different parts of the body require
special care in the sun. Because of their prominence, noses, cheeks and
lips often require a product with a stronger SPF than needed for arms
and legs. Educate your customers that regular use of suntan products and
common sense about how long to spend in the sun is extremely important.
Imagine this dilemma: One of your customers is leaving on a cruise in
less than one week, and she has been so busy that she has not had time
to tan. What to do? Being the knowledgeable salon operator, have the perfect
solution-suggest a sunless tanner.
Afraid that offering a sunless tanner is counterproductive to selling
indoor tanning? Think again. What better way to secure customer confidence
than by showing them how to even out those unsightly pressure points and
uneven tan lines? You already offer a complete line of skincare products
to keep your customers’ skin moisturized and provide darker, more
beautiful tans. So round out that skincare promotion by offering sunless
tanners and you will find it will shed new light on your profits.
Self-tanners have gained popularity in the past few years for a number
of reasons. The medical community’s condemnation of UV light has
caused some sun worshippers to seek refuge indoors. And while indoor tanning
offers a controlled environment and all the comforts one could want, the
media’s incisive industry bashing has caused some fear to getting
in a tanning bed.
Another reason self-tanners are gaining favor is the ease of application
and upkeep. In the past, a lot of people thought self-tanners were messy
and difficult to apply. Today, self-tanner application has been refined
and products have gained a respectable place in the industry.
In addition, many salon owners are noticing a trend toward their clients
covering their faces with towels to avoid premature wrinkling. Sunless
tanners are the perfect remedies for those telltale towel lines on their
faces and necks. In addition, it is a great product for those people who
have problems tanning or for those difficult areas to tan such as the
feet and hands. Sunless tanners also can be used to fill in pressure points
and even out tan lines. And, for some fair skin people, sunless tanners
can be used to augment the tanning process.
In days past, sunless tanners didn’t live up to their promise of
deep, golden tans. Instead, they left the skin streaked and splotched
with a distinctive orange cast. Today’s sunless tanning products
are far more sophisticated than those introduced nearly 30 years ago.
In fact, in the last few years, these products have undergone a sort of
metamorphosis-streaks, splotches and orange; smooth, bronze and beautiful
The key ingredient to the products’ evolution is Dihydroxyacetone,
or DHA, which is an extract of sugar cane. DHA reacts with proteins in
the skin to produce a bronze coloration on the top layer of skin-in essence,
a cosmetic effect that does not saturate the skin.
Over the years, the formulation technology has been greatly improved
to provide better application and coloration. Many of the earlier products
were formulated using higher DHA concentrations; today, sunless tanners
use lower concentrations because of the improved technology.
The majority of self-tanners on the market are a medium grade of color.
How dark they tan really depends on the individual’s skin type and
the condition of the skin. It is important to remind your clients that
what works on one person may not necessarily look the same on another.
The first step to ensuring a great sunless tan is to exfoliate the skin.
The skin needs to be clean and free from dead skin cells in order to alleviate
uneven distribution. Clients also need to exfoliate well and then dry
off completely before applying a sunless tanner. For example, if a client
is young and has soft, supple skin, he or she probably doesn’t need
to exfoliate as much. If he or she has naturally dry skin or are in a
place with a lot of humidity, exfoliation is the key to getting an even,
The second, and probably the most important step, is application. Some
experts suggest spot testing the product to see what shade of bronze will
result. The key to obtaining an even tan is to apply a smooth, thin layer
of the self-tanner. Avoid using too much self-tanner in one application;
you can always go back and apply another layer if the color isn’t
When applying the self-tanner, special attention should be paid to the
knee, elbow, ankle and eye areas. The reason? Color is proportional to
the surface area of the skin, and these areas are likely to become darker
because there is a higher concentration of self-tanner in the fine lines.
Additionally, it is important to wait for the product to dry completely
before getting dressed, since DHA interacts with proteins and can cause
fabrics to stain. Also, avoiding the hairline is crucial since hair is
protein and self-tanners will cause it to discolor.
Once the color has fully developed, another coat of self-tanner may be
added to darken the tan. Mistakes and uneven patches can be fixed easily
by exfoliating the area or by adding more self-tanner. Make sure to tell
clients to allow self-tanners to dry before beginning any activity, as
sweat during application can cause an uneven or streaked tan.
Since self-tanners work on the top layer of skin, the average tan only
will last for approximately three to four days, gradually fading as the
top layer dries and flakes off. Salon operators need to remind customers
that self-tanners don’t contain any sunscreen and even though their
skin is tan, they still can get sunburned.
In addition, because DHA often is associated with skin dryness, it is
important to suggest a moisturizer to complement self-tanners.