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How would you answer these basic eye protection questions?
Wrong. Your eyelids block less than 25 percent of UV light, so closed eyes are not protected from the powerful lamps that are designed to tan you quickly in a sunbed or booth.
FDA-compliant eye protection – such as the goggles and disposable styles sold in salons – are designed to protect your eyes from UV while minimizing tan lines. You’ll also find that FDA-compliant eyewear is see-thru (even those mirrored goggles and disposable eyewear “stickers” are see-thru – try them and be surprised!) so that you can see to adjust the controls on the tanning unit, check the session timer, or get out of the unit in an emergency situation.
If you wear lenses while you tan, they may dry out from the heat and the blowing fans, causing itching and irritation. You can easily prevent your contacts from drying out by using eye drops before and after your tanning session.
If you are one of those stubborn tanners who won’t wear FDA-required eye protection when you tan indoors, consider removing your contact lenses before tanning. The burn your unprotected corneas will receive is substantially increased because the contact lens blocks air circulation necessary for healing.
To avoid getting tan lines from eye protection, the first thing to do is start with a clean face. Nearly EVERY cosmetic product contains SPF to keep you from tanning! So, if you’ve applied moisturizer, foundation, concealer and eye shadow, you actually have four layers of SPF on your eyelids – they will not tan!
Salon operators should offer several eye protection styles, so that tanners can find the one that will best minimize tan lines. Offer traditional goggles, two-piece goggles and disposable styles for versatile eye protection.
You may have been experiencing photokeratitis, a common problem for tanners who don’t wear eye protection. The scratchy feeling in your eye wasn’t sand – it was your cornea peeling! Unlike your skin, your eyeball contains no melanin, and can’t produce a tan. So, it burns with intense UV exposure, indoors or outdoors.
Photokeratitis, sometimes called, “welder’s flash” or “snow blindness,” is the most common reason for ER visits by indoor tanners. Protect your eyes by wearing FDA-compliant eye protection every time you tan!
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