Absorbing a Natural Glow

Christa Porasky, Reporter

Tanning has become a popular hobby among  students during the spring season.

Some students say it helps them prepare for spring break trips or to just give their skin a “natural” glow.

Some students take advantage of places like Premier Tanning in Dallas to replace  the sun in Northeast PA.

Some use spray tans; others prefer the UV rays of a tanning bed.

First year Lisa Kinter goes to Premier because it is close to school and she receives discounted flyers in her mailbox. She said college students are a group tanning salons target.

“They give us coupons to put in our mailboxes, so we are more tempted to tan and get prepared for spring.”

Kassie Williams, first-year physicians assistant major, chooses not to tan due to her fair-skinned Irish background.

“I’m naturally white and every time I try I just get burned, and it just hurts my skin. I would if I could because everyone likes the tan look now, but I’d rather do it in the sun.”

Williams thinks college-age students are a target demographic for tanning, particularly because it’s the age when people don’t see the effects that the sun’s rays can have.

Premier takes steps to ensure customers are informed and staff encourages tanners to take all safety measures before choosing to tan. Every first time tanner is required to fill out a form that detail medications and skin tone.

Donna Kornak, a Premier employee, explains that the information helps them to match treatments with the individual.

“We see whether or not you’ve tanned before, what your skin type is so we know how long to put you in for exposure time, and what type of lotion to match you up with, so that’s important.”

Kornak said she sees all types of people walking through the front door.

“We have a big variety of people come in, but I would say it’s mostly younger girls, late teens and early 20s. But there are so many middle-age woman and men that come in as well. We touch just about every age bracket that there is.”

March is one of the salon’s busiest seasons, due to spring break and proms quickly approaching, and it lasts through the end of July.

Kornak said it is important for tanners to wear the protection, such as  goggles and sunscreen, when they tan.

“You could definitely damage your eyes after repeated UV exposure. Just like being outside, you should wear your sunglasses.”

Premier Tanning sells goggles that reflect the rays that the bed produces. Many people only use a towel to protect their eyes, but that doesn’t provide protection.

“It’s also important to wear lotion, to replace the moisture that tanning will pull out of your skin. There are so many different lotions here that have great vitamins. Plus you will get a nicer tan, quicker, faster, and last longer.”

Safety is the number one factor when it comes to tanning, according to Kornak.

“I think anything in moderation is okay. You don’t want to abuse tanning,” says Kornak. “You could eat a lot of bad food, and damage your body the same way.”

She advises everyone to research tanning and its effects.

“You should definitely read up on it, and know what you are getting yourself into. UVA and UVB exposure can be absorbed outdoors as well, so the same protection you take outside, should be taken inside.”

Controlling exposure time is also important. Kornak suggests that clients avoid tanning every day for full the exposure time.

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