As the indoor tanning community continues to evolve and grow professionally, the market’s most successful operations continue to focus on key competencies. Joe Levy, Executive Director for the American Suntanning Association, is the lead developer of International Smart Tan Network’s salon certification program since 1992.
The science of sun care is coming back to center, as it needs to. As more and more research mounts to support balance, teaching sunburn prevention as a life-long approach to sun care makes more sense than teaching over-use of sunscreen and all-out sun avoidance, which, ironically, often leaves people more susceptible to sunburn when they inevitably do go outdoors.
Obviously, there’s an entire “sun scare” industry that has benefited from having people believe that any and all UV exposure is harmful. But with many researchers now implicating over-zealous sun avoidance as a major public health mistake, as the dust continues to settle on the scientific discussion of this topic the professional sunbed salons who will succeed long-term will be the ones who truly practice sunburn prevention and the principles of Smart Tanning.
That means recommitting your stores to teaching sunburn prevention in the salon as well as teaching your clients how to prevent sunburn outdoors.
“There is no future for tanning facilities who are not at the cutting edge of teaching sunburn prevention,” Levy says.
Smart Tan’s UV Tanning Certification Training model for salons teaches your salons how to integrate the most advanced approach to sunburn prevention in the market today – with a special emphasis on how to tan Skin Type II clients – the fairest-skinned customers who can tan, but who typically sunburn outdoors when they attempt to do so.
Creating success stories in your salon (and your community) with Skin Type II clients can help cement your brand as a professional salon committed to quality and sunburn prevention.
Commit to sunburn-prevention as a cornerstone to your overall quality. The industry’s leading salons are doing this. We suggest you take two days a year and survey your clients about their results at your store – particularly measuring your effectiveness at helping them prevent sunburn.
“The benefits of this are two-fold,” Levy said. “What you’ll learn from this is how you can improve your performance. But if you do this correctly, your clients won’t see this as an imposition. They will appreciate that you are committed to quality and to improving your service to them. The data you’ll get from doing this will improve your business,” Levy said. “And it will reinforce in your employees and your clients that you are committed to quality.”
Clients come to tanning salons for many reasons. With indoor lifestyles as the norm, North Americans get less regular sun exposure today than at any point in our history – which means salon clients will be turning to you for all of the therapeutic reasons that they would turn to outdoor sun.
And even though it’s important that you and your staff understand the science behind all of these reasons, it’s also important that the message projected in your salon is consistent with the fact that indoor tanning is a cosmetic business.
That means the common message about risks, benefits and effects of UV exposure needs to be simple and clear:
This is covered in your Smart Tan Certification training as well.
The UV tanning community has fully accepted spray tanning as an equal partner in our overall landscape. Aside from the fact that a spray tan does not offer the same photo-protection from sunburn that a UV tan affords, spray tans have come a long way – and so have salons that have integrated spray into their business models.
Your salon should embrace the fact that there are two viable ways to help clients achieve a golden glow today. UV and Spray support each other.
Since its inception in 2012, the American Suntanning Association:
Your success in indoor tanning, or any business for that matter, depends largely on your willingness to work and invest in your business. The world is watching us, and despite the industry’s efforts to prevent additional harmful regulations and remove current ones, much of our future will be determined by our ability to show the world that we are committed to professionalism and limiting risks associated with UV light. It’s vital for you to maintain the highest of standards, particularly regarding controlled exposure schedules, sunburn prevention and spray tan safety.