By Ivy Potter, Image Sun Tanning of NW Indiana
Ethnic skin is a broad-ranging category that includes people of non-European descent. Historically, individuals whose skin contains more melanin have avoided the sun and even sought out skin lightening beauty services. However, changes in popular culture and the beauty industry have encouraged Asian, Latina, and African American clients alike to embrace their darker complexion leading them to our salons to make sunless tanning part of their beauty regimen. The lighter shades of this skin type may be familiar to tanning salons. However, in contrast darker skinned clients are often neglected by the sunless industry because of a misconception that they don’t desire for their more pigmented skin to be darker. The confusion goes both ways, as potential clients with ethnic skin fear getting too dark and haven’t considered sunless tanning. Others feel uncomfortable approaching tanning salons to receive tanning services, fearing they will be misinterpreted due to their naturally tan skin.
The conversation is changing, and tanning businesses across the country are earning the business of a more diverse group of clients. My experience in the bodybuilding industry showcased that people of color enjoy the benefits of sunless tans. Clients I tanned for competitions began telling me they wished they could achieve the same beautiful color for special occasions that they had received for the bodybuilding stage. These clients were thrilled to learn that I offered sunless services that would enhance their natural skin and last much longer than a stage tan. This radically changed my perspective and afforded opportunities to grow my client base.