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I’ve been in the indoor tanning industry for 30 years pushing the importance of eye protection. I thought I’d heard all the excuses tanners gave for not wearing it … but a few of these even surprised me over the years!
Salon operators have had to come up with some creative methods to combat tanners’ crazy excuses. Have you?
Dana Branson, District Manager at The Tan Company in Columbia, MO had a guest tell her that she didn’t need eyewear because she smoked so much weed. “I told her, ‘Ma’am, that’s good for glaucoma, not preventing cataracts,’” Dana laughed.
Kelly Priebe, of Sun Spa UV & Spray-Tanning Studio of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, had a tanner claim after her session that she had forgotten her goggles, and used a sock over her eyes instead of hollering for Kelly to bring her some. But Kelly doubted the tanner was able to use even a completely inadequate “UV-blocking sock” … for a stand-up session!
Salon operators have used some creative methods to combat tanners’ crazy excuses. Crystal Martin, of Sun Spot Atlantis in Colorado Springs, CO offered a once-a-year goggle exchange. Tanners gave her their old pair and got $2 off a new pair. “They will use the same pair for YEARS if we don’t educate them about the need to swap out their goggles, just like they would a toothbrush,” Crystal said.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the excuse that Louise Small of California Sun Tanporiums in Bear, DE heard most often. “My guests tell me they don’t need eyewear because they put a towel over their face while tanning. I explained that a towel is typically an SPF 5 and doesn’t protect their face or their eyes. I suggested they purchase a total UV-blocking cloth face-protector and wear eye protection under it,” she said.
“When I asked to see their eyewear before their session, tanners often showed me their sunglasses,” says Rhonda Bollinger, of Special Touch Tanning in Kettering, OH. “I explained that sunglasses will create HUGE tan lines around their eyes, and that sunglasses allow ambient light to come in around the sides. I suggested that they’d be much happier with FDA-compliant eye protection and that they move it around a bit during the session to avoid tan lines. Alternating types of eyewear can be helpful, too.”
“I used a flashlight to educate tanners about unprotected eyes,” says Lisa Duke of Time Out Too, in Essexville, MI. We all know how we can see a flashlight shining through the palm of our hand. “I explained that if a little flashlight can penetrate the thickness of their hand, what happens to their thin eyelids when they use a sunbed with powerful facial tanners? That did the trick – they purchased eye protection!” Lisa says.
Robert Ashe of Sun Seekers in Portsmouth, NH, had a sobering story. “I had a guest who refused to wear eye protection. We actually had an argument about it! She finally agreed to wear it and I let her tan. The next day, she came in and told me her eyes hurt from not wearing eyewear and that I needed to pay for her eye doctor appointment and treatment. My insurance company became involved. Now I’m even more vigilant about it: If you don’t wear eyewear, you don’t tan at my salon!”
These salon pros found ways to convince tanners to wear eye protection – have you?
President of Eye Pro, Brenda has spent more than two decades in the industry building Eye Pro, Inc., maker of the world-leading Wink-Ease disposable eyewear. Her background includes everything from a marketing & management degree from Indiana University, to a commercial pilot’s license, scuba diving and studying healing and massage. In addition to ensuring every indoor tanner wears eye protection, her passions include protecting endangered animals.
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