After 26 years in the tanning eye protection biz, you’d think I had heard it all. But, even I was surprised when Samantha Stoddard, owner/operator of Arizona Sun Tanning, in Chelsea, MI emailed me explaining that a new tanner had asked for a pair of disposable eye protection and rather than fold them into a cone, she stuck them flat on her eyeglasses! A startled Samantha learned that her guest’s previous salon had not informed her that disposable eye protection is folded into a cone to provide a complete seal around the eye. Eyeglasses and sunglasses allow a lot of ambient light in at the sides and don’t protect the eyes, even if they are a full UV-block.
Upon further inquiry, Samantha also learned that the tanner had originally laid them flat on her eyes in the stand-up unit, and they blew off – that’s how she came up with the idea to stick them flat on her eyeglasses! Samantha took the time to properly show her how to use disposables to protect her eyes from UV, and explained that they’re the best choice for stand-ups; when worn properly, they don’t blow off!
Although amusing, such anecdotes point out that some salons don’t properly explain how to wear eye protection. Each brand of disposables has directions on the back of every single pair and on the back of the display box meant to share with salon tanners. In addition, Wink-Ease eyewear offers a free, laminated counter mat that shows how to fold disposables into a cone and place them properly on the eyes. Share the 30-second video on how to fold disposable eye protection on your salon’s social media pages, along with social media ads that gently remind people about protecting their vision during tanning sessions.
Goggles are also misused. Carol Brown, former owner of Perfect Tan in Kenton, OH, also has an incredible story. “In Ohio, we’re required to offer a one-minute sanitizing soak to tanners who have their own goggles,” she explains. “Time after time, one woman would not dip her goggles. Finally, I explained to her that her sweat and makeup were drying on the goggles and the plastic case she kept them in was creating a petri dish of bacteria. Then, she immediately gave them a good soak!”
Luella Gustafson, retired owner of several salons in Iowa, explains that she often had tanners bring in goggles with lenses missing! “People just don’t seem to understand how important eye protection is!” she exclaims. All eye protection needs to be kept very clean, because your eye is a mucous membrane – it picks up infections and easily spreads them to the rest of your body.” Gustafson concludes, “I reminded tanners to handle their goggles by the nose bridge – they don’t want to touch any part of the goggle that touches the eyes, especially with tingle lotions!”
Crystal Martin, owner of Sun Spot Atlantis in Colorado Springs, CO shocked me when she said, “We just had someone bring in their eyewear that her dog had chewed up – she was still going to use them, teeth marks and all!” Crystal gave the woman a new pair of goggles. “I just couldn’t take it! How dirty!” she exclaimed.
Would you like a laminated counter mat that illustrates the importance of eye protection and how to use it, as well as the link to view how to fold disposables? I will also send the link for the free, online training that provides each staff member who attends an “Eye Protection Expert” certificate. Email Brenda@WinkEase.com with code IST Fold Me.
Tanning industry veteran Brenda Fishbaugh is president of Eye Pro, Inc., makers of disposable eyewear. She travels extensively training salons on the effects of UV light on vision.
Copyright 2016 ist Magazine