Thursday, April 5, 2012

The good, The bad and........ well you be the judge!

The Good, The Bad and possibly, the downright terrible!

How do you tell a good tanning establishment from a bad one? Well, there are many things to consider and to determine all of them would make this the length of a small novel rather than a blog, so we will just take a few vital and important pointers.

The first thing is always instinct. Gut feeling is not just an airy-fairy thing. It is not known as the intelligence of the unconscious for nothing!

Does the place look spotlessly clean and hygienic or do you turn you nose up before you even walk in the door. If you are hesitant about taking that first step because it looks ‘iffy’ don't go in. your intuition will be right 99% of the time. Ask around and see whether other people do find it clean and hey, if you were wrong, who’s going to know what you were thinking, you can always go back and see for yourself.

So, the place looks clean and tidy, it smells fresh an you can see that it is immaculate – that is a great start in itself and first impressions invariably couldn't for a lot, but make sure that you check the cabins and the beds are as clean as reception. I have been to places that have a clean front of house because there’s no trade – and when you get ‘behind the scenes it is a different story altogether. A great salon will always let you look around long before you decide to tan.

You’ve made the decision to give it a go – but is there anything that you should know about what ‘they’ should be doing? Absolutely! Make sure the staff are properly trained and if they have been there for three months or longer that they have a proper, internationally recognised qualification pertaining to the industry. Most good staff are proud of their certification and are only too willing to point out which one is there's on the wall. Some staff may have more than one certificate showing how they have progressed through proper education. As well as the staff being trained – is the studio (sometimes called a salon or solarium) also registered with A) the local authority and have a current, up-to-date Health Licence and B) a proper tanning educational facility or, better still, more than one. Good examples are Smart Tan International, The Indoor Tanning Association, The Vitamin D Council, The European Sunlight Research Forum or The Sunlight Research Association.

The next most vital thing is to make sure that the person who is going to help you with your tanning, as well as being trained, gives you a proper consultation. This is not meant to invade your privacy, it is meant to protect you and your skin and make sure that your tanning regime is personalised for you. You want the time to be accurate based on a host of factors that should be explained to you in a precise but professional manner. Do make sure that your chosen establishment does times that can be calculated down to the minute – It's no good having a place that can only offer say 6, 12 or 18 minutes if you happen to need say 3 minutes or 7 minutes! Burning should always be a 100% no-no and if timing can't be calculated down to one minute increments, then you could very easily, unwittingly be asking for sunburn! The megaSun mantra is never ever sunburn, indoors or out!

There are so many more things that we could add here – for instance making sure you don't get ripped off by a salesperson rather than a tanning consultant/technician trying to see you something totally inappropriate because they have a boss who pays them on a commission basis. There's nothing wrong with commission in the right place and done the right way, but we have found through experience that paying a wage that the team can rely on every week and not having to sell things that are wrong, just to make ends meet, always ends in disaster. However, using the correct product to increase your tan and look after your skin are another blog for another day.

If you do have any questions about tanning or choosing a studio that is right for you, don't hesitate to call megaSun – that is what we are here for and of course we ARE trained! Call into our studios at 41 High Street, Auckland City or 100 College Hill, Ponsonby - and you will see that we are clean and we do know what we are talking about!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Now you know how it works, you can enjoy your tanning experience!

It’s a great way to get people to listen – just use terminology they are not familiar with; carefully select words or phrases that you know to be incorrect, but sound as if they are correct and you are half way there. Work on the principle ‘who is going to check anyway’ and hey bingo, you have a whole new set of followers thinking you are very clever. This may well be the case for some people, but not one we care to follow thank you very much!

You see, for years there has been a bogus argument floating around – that sunbeds are more dangerous than natural sunshine. To give more ‘supposed sway’ to this argument, the word intensity has been added. It also gives a bit of extra weight behind the idea – and why? Because most people wouldn’t have a clue what ‘more intense than sunlight’ actually means! So the dermatologists, lobbyists and the anti-tanning brigade are banking on the fact that most of you won’t know the answer and just believe whatever you are told. The fact that we absolutely need to differentiate between dosage and intensity is not likely to enter the head of most people. However, there is a crucial difference and one that needs to be understood if you want to know the real truth.

Generally speaking, the majority of modern, professional, indoor tanning equipment emits around the same UVA and UVB as the noontime sun. With this in mind, trained, certified operators can base their incremental exposure times of a patron on their skin type (which will have been established during the consultation and detailed form filling stage at the first visit) and the emissions of their equipment to build up non-burning dosages to slowly and gradually build a tan.

To state that indoors tanning equipment is more intense than sunlight is both misleading and inaccurate since the total output is measured thus: Total UV Output = UV Intensity x Duration of Exposure. So, if tanning equipment were to be say, two or three times more intense than summer sunshine, the duration of exposure will be controlled – (in the case of megaSun beds this is from 1-18 mins lying down and 1-12 mins vertically). The total UV output is always controlled to minimise any risk of sunburn. The more intense the output, the shorter the session will always be.

Research has not demonstrated that intensity of sunbeds is the issue; the number of photons delivered to the skin and how fast they are delivered is the key. To support their bogus claims, some anti-tanning lobby groups claim that it is possible that intensity could be an issue.

So the big question is this: if intensity really is the issue, why oh why hasn't dermatology BANNED all of its dermatologists from using their ‘phototherapy’ devices? Bearing in mind, these machines are more intense than sunbeds – and they are used to treat ‘cosmetic skin conditions’ – yes psoriasis is classed as a cosmetic skin condition. So if intensity is such a danger, why is dermatologists equipment still being used to ‘treat’ these purely cosmetic skin conditions with what is effectively burning doses of UV light – and breaching the Hippocratic Oath of ne’er do harm?

Would you like the answer? Here it is in a nutshell. The answer is MONEY!!!

In America alone, more than 1.5 million people use sunbeds (and they have not all been killed off), to informally treat ‘cosmetic skin conditions’ of their own volition at very little cost. Now, If the same people were to use the dermatologists office for the same condition, they would be paying the normal average cost of $100 per visit.
If intensity were such a big, genuine issue, then this kind of treatment would have been banned 16 years ago by dermatologists, when they first suggested that commercial sunbeds should be banned.

So you see how clear this all is – it is about the money not about the science!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Are you protecting your family or are you lining someone's pocket? Prepare to be horrified by what you read....

Get ready to to be shocked, then make it your goal to shock every person you know with the information you are about to read!

for years everyone has run to their drug cupboard to grab their sunscreen. it doesn't actually have to be sunny with a risk of sunburn for this, just the mere mention of the word 'going outside' has generally been enough to trigger an urgent dash to the pharmacy, supermarket or storage place to bring out the beloved 'saviour of the skin', the infamous chemical sunscreen. You see, that is what most sunscreens are, a bottle full of chemicals and most people would;' have the foggiest idea what those chemicals do, or don't do. Well, let's be honest, you don't have to know do you? Those every friendly people on the adverts all tell you the same thing: you need large dollops of the stuff applied to your skin and that of every person you could possibly ever come in contact with. Come rain. hail or shine this bottle of chemical goo will protect you from that FREE thing, created by nature, called sunshine. Now let's be perfectly frank here, if sunshine could be bottled, the dermatologists, cosmetic companies and pharmaceutical giants would be fighting each other to see who could make the biggest profit from it; then no doubt the idea of sunscreen could go and whistle!

Those of us 'in the know' i.e. the people who have known for a very long time that most of these chemicals are likely to do more harm than good ( in other words the opposite of the Hippocratic oath), have been ignored and fought a losing battle trying to get the message across to the unsuspecting public. However, there are at long last, working committees who are brave enough to stand up and be counted and provide statistics which prove conclusively that no one should be applying this stuff willy nilly, day in, day out to their skin. More importantly, the harm it can do to children and young people in particular, must told to every parent, nursery, kindergarten, pre-school,school, clinic and hospital and so that the word can be spread to protect ALL children! Humans need moderate exposure to sunshine to get vitamin D NATURALLY form UVB. Sun IS Life!!!

So what you may ask can you do when there is risk of sunburn. The answer is: use a physical sunscreen - ie one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, cover up skin with light weight clothing, wear a hat with a brim and always protect the eyes with sunglasses. Stay in the shade once a moderate amount of exposure has been achieved. The golden rule is never ever burn. Physical sunscreen has a white appearance and may not be so aesthetically pleasing to some, but it is surely better to have this than apply chemicals that can be absorbed and can cause severe toxicity and possibly skin cancer. Be aware that some companies are now trying to be crafty by adding other chemicals to physical sunscreens to try to make them appear colourless; as we are trying to avoid chemicals, check the label carefully.

If you want to know what damage the chemicals in sunscreen can do to you and your loved ones, read the articles

Friday, February 4, 2011

Will Common Sense Prevail?

The slamming of sunbed users getting a 75% increase in cancer if using tanning beds under the age of 35 has been totally discredited by one of the world’s leading experts on sunlight, UV and vitamin D. Dr William Grant. The database used made the 'increase' possible due to the following statistics being erroneously and deliberately included; thus making a mockery of the study:
a) skin type 1 people.
b) unsupervised individuals (ie unknown factors which may include some or all of the following: where they tanned, whether they were suitable for tanning or had a skin type which would allow tanning, how long and how often they tanned).
c) dermatologists own ‘phototherapy’ tanning units; (there are no rules banning anyone from their equipment)
d) home tanning units.

In professional tanning salons skin type 1 individuals do not get past the skin analysis point and are not allowed to use sunbeds. Dr William Grant has proven that when the analysis and stats are torn apart, the results are totally erroneous. – in fact once the four factors which should NOT have been included in the first place are removed from the equation, the melanoma risk actually Decreases! Melanoma and mortality has been continually decreasing since 1985 especially in women aged 20-44. The only major increases have been in male, indoors workers. Interestingly, in Canada they don't have an increase in derms like most other countries and their level of skin cancers and melanoma are not increasing but in fact are decreasing as time goes on.

It is a known fact that at least 1.5 mill people have attended a minimum of 39 sessions per year of ‘phototherapy’ at a dermatology clinic – ie sunbeds under another or ‘medical’ name in the last year. This netted the derms [dermatologists] a nice tidy profit of $5billion – so it is no wonder they want the sunbed competition removed as they could increase this by untold amounts if operators had to hand over all business to them!

Dr Marc Sorensen states the only real reason that people are against sunbeds, are for nothing more than money – money for derms to have it ALL to themselves and money for derms and other societies who want to profit from ‘phototherapy’ sessions and sales of sunscreen. Some derms, have been sent to prison for cutting off skin or sending samples of unknown origin for ‘analysis’ and claiming they are melanomas or other skin cancers and consequently they are being used in data and statistics that blame sunbeds for increases that do not even exist! Dr Michel Rosin was sentenced to 22 years in prison for fraud – for removing ‘lesions’ he said were melanomas but were a variety of materials, not all of which were human tissue even!

The number of derms in the USA alone has increased 320% DUE TO SUN SCARE MESSAGE! We could therefore state they are exposed and their motive is pure profit. Insurance companies worldwide are paying for lesion removal under the title of ‘melanoma removal’- even when they are not melanomas. The reason for making such claims is that the insurance companies would not pay the dermatologists for other types of lesion removal. Consequently, it appears on the surface that melanomas are on the increase, when in fact non-malignant and other lesions are being referred to as melanomas to ensure the dermatologist gets paid. This is a fact confirmed by the eminent professor Sam Shuster of Newcastle University in the UK.

Another ridiculous statement made by a well known dermatologist in America:
“I see us moving to underground shelters and perhaps living underground” a claim made by – Dr Wilma Bergfeld former AAA president, She also predicts that by 2012 skin cancer will be biggest cancer killer; it is well documented breast cancer leads this table and cannot be overtaken in this timeframe making her predication impossible. This kind of scare tactic encourages depletion of vitamin D. It is fortunate that the public at large are starting to realise just how important controlled UV exposure is for health – just as nature intended! Vit D from controlled, non-burning exposure to UV light could prevent a minimum of 300,000 deaths a year!

You be the judge – and the jury. Read the facts, ask the questions and draw your own conclusions; I hope using common sense!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Same Old Same Old.....

'Tis the season to be jolly…... and so like many others, I am reminiscing on things that have happened over the last year; and better still, about those old traditions that I grew up with in England and while they might be old, I still enjoy them! There’s no denying it, given half the chance, I would be back there like a shot to celebrate the Festive Season. So no matter that is 'same old', it is a same old that i, and millions of others enjoy.

Now, to a 'same old, same old' that I am getting totally fed up of hearing, is the anti-tanning brigade’s sunbed bashing scheme. Sadly, we are lumped together with the dross of the industry, then to add insult to injury, we are publically trounced by so called dermatology ‘experts’ who have their facts inexplicably wrong, but because they hold a medical/scientific qualification, we are expected to hang on their every word and believe every verbal utterance that spouts forth from their mouths. Sadly, the public/media have become so engrossed in their rhetoric they assume (incorrectly), they must be right. Of course, the media don’t ask them to explain or prove their findings – ‘they are qualified they must be right’ they say!

This leads me to answering something I have been asked recently: 'do sunbeds really give you vitamin D'. After such drivel that they don't has been blasted all over every newspaper and news programme in NZ of late – I will answer honestly and with pride; you see I do have to be accountable for what I say; and yes, I also have to provide backup for what I say – why? Because I own a sunbed studio of course, so I must be wrong – right? I will lay down the gauntlet of fact and let you judge for yourselves…..

The latest statement emanating from our screens by a so called local ‘dermatology-UV light-sunshine-vitamin D-expert’ claims that vitamin D is diminished by sunbeds – and thus you can't get vit D from a sunbed. This is absolutely, utterly, totally WRONG – these are the facts of nature:
Studies show/prove UVB light produces vitamin D and UVA light diminishes excess vitamin D in the skin. This is a natural process that helps the body regulate vitamin D production. Making the assumption that sunbeds do not emit UVB and only emit UVA (and subsequently diminishing vitamin D production) is factually wrong and is purely a scaremongering tactic!

To show this is a false assumption:
More than 90% of sunbeds emit 95% UVA and 5% UVB just like sunlight. Scientific studies have shown that indoor tanners have 90% higher vitamin D blood levels than non-tanners.
Studies have also shown that a single sunbed session can help the body produce 10 - 20,000 IU of vitamin D. Many doctors are referring their patients to indoor tanning salons (including megaSun studios) to increase their vitamin D blood levels.
As a point of interest, I have been personally involved in Vitamin D depletion and I have tested out the theory of supplementation vs controlled sunbed exposure – guess which one gave me the highest levels – yes the sunbeds. (I have skin type 2 and don’t tan outdoors as I burn but I never ever burn on a megaSun sunbed and I am no longer vit D deficient!!!! (note there is a difference between deficiciency an dinsufficiency but that is for another blog).

Professor Johan Moan has just won the prestigious Norway Award for his study: Sunbeds as vitamin D sources: a short extract of the results follows:
The sun bed sessions raised the 25(OH)D levels from typical winter values to typical summer values. For the purpose of maintaining a summer level through the winter, when no vitamin D is produced by the sun in northern countries, one should consider a significant increase of the recommended intake of vitamin D intake, and to encourage the population to get moderate, non erythemal sunbed exposures.
Congratulations to Johan for being an independent professor – not paid for by sunbed owners for his invaluable lifetime studies into vitamin D.

The 'same old, same old' anti-tanning, anti-sunbed message has gone too far and it is time for the general public to ask the so called ‘expert dermatologists’ to be accountable for what they say and face the embarrassment of 'proving' what they say is true when it goes in the face of ALL current scientific fact – especially when all they really want is to have sunbeds exclusively for their surgeries as ‘phototherapy beds’ and then they can have ALL the revenue that sunbed operators currently have as wages.

There are other issues to address, but I will save them for 2011. Till then dear readers and to our faithful clients at megaSun, the megaTeam wish you all the very best for Christmas and the coming year – and please remember if you are in a sunny climate, smart tan; have moderate sun exposure and a non-burning fashion is paramount!
Enjoy your holidays!