How would you answer these basic eye protection questions?
1. I close my eyes during my tanning session, so I don’t need eye protection, right?
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.
2. Do I need to remove my contact lenses before my tanning session?
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.
3. How can I avoid getting “raccoon eyes” from wearing eye protection?
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.
4. After I tanned, my vision was hazy and my eyes watered? Why?
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!