It’s time we all get on the same page.
When we look back, very few of us knew that indoor tanning would become our career. Despite being looked down upon as a novelty, a niche industry and/or one that sells a potentially harmful service to the masses, we chose it. We’ve persevered despite having a bad reputation in our communities, sometimes accused of trying to entice teenage girls to tan indoors. I’ve had enough, you’ve had enough and the time to act has long passed. It’s time to “step up” as responsible businesspeople and protect for our livelihoods.
Throughout my decades in the industry, I’ve worked behind the counter selling memberships and I’ve cleaned beds. I’ve sold tanning systems and serviced them. I’ve sold sunlamps and installed them. I’ve taught accredited industry operator training for over 20 years. I’ve represented the industry in Washington, D.C. at FDA and state regulatory meetings, given testimony at state house and senate bill hearings, and spoken at many industry expos over the years, too. Typically, I’ll ask the audience if anyone knows how to explain the tanning process. I’ve have been offered confused replies about “the B ray and the A ray,” and basically, very few people have been able to clearly explain how one obtains a cosmetic tan indoors. I must tell you that I find it embarrassing. I also ask what salon operators see as their biggest obstacles. I get replies such as the weather, the economy and gas prices, competition and negative media. Well, we can’t change the weather and individually, we have little effect on the entire economy and gas prices. But now I’m asking you (to coin a phrase) to “think globally and act locally.”
While many salons stand out with their professionalism and factual information, it’s time that we ALL do. The fact is that as an industry, we’re not all on the same page and this has led to rampant negative media. You’ve probably seen a clip or read a report about a salon that allows double sessions, makes health claims (against FDA/FTC standards), allows people to tan while taking prescription medications or even sells a session to someone who is obviously sunburned. The media informs the public about these problems and it becomes the reigning opinion about tanning salons. Some salons will claim that their staff has passed operator training programs, which is fine; however, high turnover is always an issue for small businesses and we suffer from it.
The public is inundated with negative media about salons and perception becomes reality. The lack of salon education and factual information fuels this negative media, but it can be and should be countered with better training. Our industry needs to deliver a strong, cohesive message to the public and it can be done with Sun is Life!
Understand that Sun is Life Training & Certification is not simply another operator training program. This training immediately brings your salon and staff to a higher level of indoor tanning knowledge, professionalism and service to your salon guests. We don’t just send your employee a manual to read. The program is current with the way today’s generation learns and understands and is designed to allow you (the owner or manager) to monitor their progress and completion of it.
Those who make a living in the tanning business need to communicate a common message to the public, so that more people will weigh the risks and benefits of controlled UV exposure. Let’s begin with the fact the indoor tanning provides a controlled method to obtain a cosmetic tan according to individual skin type and with a timer that minimizes the risks of overexposure and sunburn. Visit sunislife.com and enroll today!