Questions to ask tanning bed operators when looking for a place to tan:
• When was the last time the beds were serviced?
• How many hours do you run the bulbs?
• How often do you recommend to tan?
• What products would you recommend?
• What sanitizers do you use to clean the beds?
Where to tan in Craig
• Studio 7, 2017 W. Victory Way
• Imagemakers Salon, 458 Yampa Ave.
• Nakita Nails and Tanning, 356 Ranney St.
• Oasis Tanning and Nails, 487 Yampa Ave.
• Holistic Health & Fitness, 420 Breeze St.
• Attitudez, Hair, Nailz & Tanz, 1111 W. Victory Way Suite 127
• Tanglez & Rayz, 449 Yampa Ave.
Although some people like to keep a crisp color year-round, others enjoy a tan during the summer.
"A lot of women here tan because we have such long winters, and to some people, it's just a mental state of being," said April Cox, manager of Studio 7 salon in Craig.
Tanning is a sort of pampering that makes people feel better and happier with the way they look, Studio 7 owner Darcey Walker said. The busiest months are usually from March through July at local tanning salons.
At Studio 7, the majority of tanning clients are women between 25 and 50, but locally, a considerable amount of men also are regular tanners.
In Craig, the only alternative to tanning in a bed is to use lotions that promise a tan. Spray and airbrush tanning is another alternative, but it is not available in Craig.
For those who have never tanned in a bed before and are interested in trying it, Cox and Walker offered some tips. The first part, they said, is doing some research to find the right place.
"Just ask a lot of questions," Walker said. "Don't be afraid to ask anything."
The purpose of asking questions is to make sure salon operators know what they are doing when they are handling the tanning beds, Walker and Cox said.
Responsible tanning bed operators should maintain the tanning beds on a regular basis, which includes replacing the bulbs.
Tanning bed operations are regulated in the state of Colorado, but no training is required for operating a tanning bed. Other forms of tanning, like airbrush tanning and rub-on bronzers, are not regulated by the state, though the FDA has controlled chemicals used in both.
State regulations for tanning beds include making sure beds are sanitized between each use, providing protective eyewear, and ensuring certain statements are displayed on tanning beds for clients to be informed.
After finding a tanning salon, the next piece of advice Cox has for people new to tanning is using moisturizer before and after a session.
Salons usually offer products that are specifically used to replenish skin nutrients after tanning.
If clients are also going to wax, Cox recommends tanning first because waxing will open pores and tanning afterward will be more damaging to the skin.
Although some people warn about the dangers of tanning beds and exposure to UVA and UVB rays, Walker said there also are some benefits that come from tanning.
"It's not dangerous when done in moderation," she said.
Walker said tanning can help with acne and psoriasis in some cases, and cites it as a good source of vitamin D.
The difference between being in a tanning bed and outside in the sun is control.
"Outside you can't measure it because of the ozone," Walker said. "Here, it's controlled. You get the exact amount of UVA and UVB rays."
In addition, Walker and Cox said they recommend tanning no more than once a day and starting moderately for those who have never tanned before.
"A lot of people don't know you're not going to get tan in one session," Cox said. "It takes about seven sessions before you really notice a base tan."
Yesenia Robles can be reached at 875-1790.