You probably saw it … the ABC News report on how the tanning industry doesn’t follow FDA recommendations for protecting spray-tanners’ eyes during a session. But what can you do?
First, a bit of history: in 2006, the FDA set guidelines (not laws) recommending that salons offering sunless sessions provide disposable garments, nose filters, eye protection and lip protection to spray-tan customers, so the DHA solution wouldn’t be inhaled or ingested, and mucous membranes were protected from the mist during a session. The FDA then updated their recommendations in June 2012, right after the ABC News report. The right thing to do is for the tanning industry to meet the FDA’s requested safety measures, and do our utmost to practice the safest possible policies for spray-tan sessions.
When it comes to protective items, the disposable garments, nose filters/ plugs and lip balm are quite clear-cut; but eyewear is a bit trickier. If you also offer UV tanning, the eye protection products you are currently selling or providing are also acceptable for spray-tanning, as long as they stay in place while the tanner stands in a spray-booth or while being airbrushed. Goggles with elastic bands work well, and the strap can easily be moved a bit during the session to minimize lines on the side of the face. If you aren’t giving the goggles to your client to keep and are reusing them, make sure you follow EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) steps for cleaning the goggles to remove DHA solution residue between sessions … email Brenda@EyePro.net and I’ll provide you with the steps. If you sell disposable eye protection, it also works well for sunless tanning. Disposables can be thrown away after a single use, with no cleaning involved. Disposable eye protection doesn’t have any straps, but is held in place by medical adhesive, making spraying the face especially easy.
Spray-tan clients have two concerns when wearing eye protection during their session. One concern is that they can’t see well through the darker goggles, which can make operating the sunless booth awkward. Some women have told me that when being airbrushed by a tech, they would still like to see their surroundings clearly enough to feel safe. Several goggle brands offer a high visibility version,
and these are the best choice for sunless.
There are also three new brands of clear, disposable eyewear on the market, all of which allow a complete view while being sprayed. The only caution with the clear disposables is that they are ONLY for spray-tanning and offer NO UV protection. So, if your client is also a UV tanner, make sure they understand this.
The second and biggest concern spray-tanners have about eye protection is getting dreaded “raccoon eye” tanlines. Rick Norvell, of Norvell Sunless, LLC says, “We have always educated our spray-techs to spray only once across the eyes. The eye area is naturally lighter, and a spray-tan doesn’t look natural if the eye area is heavily bronzed. With a single spray-pass and our clear disposable eye protection in place, the client won’t have any noticeable spray tan lines.”
Abby Clemmer of Heartland Tanning – maker of the new Pura sunless booth – suggests that you spend an extra few moments demonstrating to your sunless customer how to fold disposables into a tight cone to prevent noticeable tan lines around the eyes, or how to move a goggle strap during their spray session.
Finally, your spray-tech can protect their eyes with clear safety glasses designed for UV unit maintenance. There are a couple brands of clear, UV-block glasses available from your favorite distributor for about $10. These lightweight, wrap-around safety glasses will keep any solution over-spray out of your tech’s eyes.
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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