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In the last few months, my columns have highlighted the ways that several leading U.S. tanning centers have created a post-COVID “new normal,” focusing particularly on eye protection policies. This month, I’m checking in with the tanning salon world in Ireland and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The UK (partially opened salons on July 14) and Canada both reopened considerably later than the U.S., so they had some time to look at what was working and what wasn’t for salons in the States.
“Anything that is one-time use just seems to be the cleanest way to go right now.”
Before the COVID crisis, Jayne Contois, Owner of Cabana Tan in Bradford, Ontario, Canada (near hard-hit Toronto) provided sanitized goggles for tanners. “When we finally reopened, we decided to stop providing free eye protection,” she explains. “Some guests reacted when we told them we no longer offered ‘community goggles’. When we explained that individual eye protection is part of the COVID-19 rules, they all said, ‘Oh. That makes sense.’” Now, Cabana Tan tanners are purchasing their own goggles. “I’ll provide a pair of free disposables if they forget, or they can buy a pair of disposables each time,” Contois continues.
Contois also used to store lotion bottles for her tanners. “I quickly decided this was way too much work now!” she exclaims. “My staff had to sanitize the bottle before handing it to the guest, then when it was returned after the session, it had to be sanitized again.” These were two of the many services that Cabana Tan provided to guests, but due to COVID restrictions, must now forgo.
Want to see the ECHO brochure with hygiene products that UK Ergoline offers to UK salons? Email Brenda@WinkEase.com, use the code: IST ECHO, and I’ll send you the link.
Let’s sail across the Atlantic to Tan-u-Mission in central England. Tracy Williams is the owner of two facilities, and one is brand new. “We have had a brilliant first week back!” Williams exclaims. “Rather than just taking walk-ins, we had to go to an appointment system due to government guidelines, so it’s been really crazy,” she adds. Before she opened her new store, she stocked up on disposable eye protection. “We are giving everyone free disposables, and they are flying out the door!” she enthuses. “A few tanners are buying their own goggles and bring them every time they tan, but most prefer the cleanliness of disposables.”
Dave Eatherington, a longtime tanning product sales rep for UK’s Ergoline distributor, discussed Ergoline’s ECHO Plan (Enhanced Coronavirus Hygiene Operation). “Ergoline UK and Ireland put together cleanliness kits with relevant marketing for reopening salons, providing owners with the many hygiene items they had difficulty locating because tanning and beauty salons were the last businesses to reopen and all the other businesses had grabbed up sanitizers and masks,” he explains. “We found there was a huge interest in salons buying new, fresh goggles to sell to each tanner. We also noted a renewed interest in carrying solely disposable eyewear. Anything that is one-time use just seems to be the cleanest way to go right now. I wish I owned stock in tanning bed disinfectant!” Eatherington exclaims.
What changes have you made to your salon’s eye protection policy? How’s it going? Email Brenda@WinkEase.com and you might be in my next column.
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.
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