Do You Know Your Tanning Skin Type?

Tanning works differently for different skin types. These differences can be considerable, are hereditary and cannot be changed by outside influences. People with very sensitive skin (skin type I and II) will burn easily and will tan only with difficulty. People with darker skin (skin type III and IV) have minimal problems with sunburn and will tan easily. Your skin type is determined by your own skins' natural ability to produce melanin (pigmentation).

The "Fitzpatrick scale" is used by tanning salons for classifying the 6 skin types, based on the skin's reaction to the first 10 to 45 minutes of sun exposure after the winter season:

Skin Type Sun Burning and Tanning History

Skin Type
Skin Tone
Always Burns Easily;
Never Tans
People With Fair Skin, Blue Eyes, Freckles
Always Burns Easily;
Tans Minimally
People With Fair Skin, Red Or Blond Hair, Blue,Hazel Or Even Eyes
Burns Moderately;
Tans Gradually
Normal Average Caucasoid
Burns Minimally;
Always Tans Well
White /Lt.Brown
People With White Or Light Brown Skin, Dark Brown Hair, Dark Eyes
Rarely Burns;
Tans Profusely
Brown-Skinned Persons
(East Indians Or Hispanics)
Never Burns;
Deeply Pigmented.
African And American Blacks

NH Tanning Regulations - Is Your Salon Compliant?

The New Hampshire State Legislature passed House Bill 729, which became effective January 2005. The bill requires the Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics to regulate tanning facilities. The New Hampshire statute, RSA 313-A:1, 26-34, are laws specific to the operation of tanning facilities.

Effect On Tanning Salons...

Businesses that offer tanning services must be registered with the Board as a tanning facility. All operators of tanning equipment must be at least 18 years old and must be individually trained and certified by a Board-approved program and instructor.

313-A:30 pertains to operational requirements as follows:
I. Operators shall have sufficient knowledge in the operation of the tanning devices, including but not limited to:

    • Requirements of this section and of 21 CFR 1040.20
    • Proper use of U.S.F.D.A. Recommended Exposure Schedule
    • Procedures for correct operation of the tanning facility/device
    • Recognition of injuries and the facility's procedures for handling such injuries from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation
    • Manufacturer's procedures for operation and maintenance of the tanning device
    • Proper use of protective eyewear
    • Emergency procedures in case of injury
    • Effects of UV radiation, acute and chronic exposure, biological effects and health risks
    • Photosensitizing agents
    • Recognition of the 6 skin types and the Fitzpatrick Scale.

II. Operators shall be trained in all of the areas listed in paragraph I. Training shall be received through curricula and programs approved by the board. A tanning facility shall maintain a list of the facility's operators who have been trained in accordance with this section. Such list shall include the date of the training and shall be available for inspection by the board.

III. Operators shall obtain proof of age from each tanning device user pursuant to RSA 313-A:31, I.

IV. Operators shall read aloud and shall provide each tanning device user with a written consent statement containing the wording listed below and the Fitzpatrick Scale. In the event that the user is under the age of 18, this wording shall be read to the user's parent or guardian. Operators shall obtain the signature of the user or parent or guardian on the written consent prior to the initial exposure to the tanning device. The consumer consent form shall include the following wording in at least size 12 font:
Follow instructions. Avoid overexposure. As with natural sunlight, overexposure can cause eye and skin injury and allergic reactions. Repeated exposure may cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. Wear protective eyewear. Failure to use protective eyewear may result in severe burns or long-term injury to the eyes. Medication or cosmetics may increase your sensitivity to the ultraviolet radiation. Consult a physician before using sun lamp or tanning equipment if you are using medications or have a history of skin problems or believe yourself to be especially sensitive to sunlight."

V. Upon notification by a consumer of a complaint or an alleged tanning injury, a registrant shall provide information to the consumer about how complaints may be filed with the board.

VI. The tanning facility registrant shall maintain a record for each individual tanning device user which shall include dates exposed, length of exposure and signed consent form. Records shall be maintained for a minimum of 3 years or 3 years past the age of majority of the client.

Effect On Tanning Clients...

313-A:31 pertains to tanning of minors:

I. No person under the age of 18 shall be allowed to utilize a tanning device at a tanning facility without the written consent of that person's parent or legal guardian and without an operator present. Proof of age shall be satisfied with a driver's license or other government issued identification containing date of birth and a photograph of the individual. This consent requirement shall be satisfied only if the parent or legal guardian is physically present at the time of the initial use of the tanning device, and the responsible adult signs a document declaring that he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the minor and attesting to the age of the minor. The consent of the parent or legal guardian shall be valid for 12 subsequent uses of the tanning device by the minor.

II. No minors under the age of 14 shall be allowed to utilize a tanning device at a tanning facility without a written order from a physician licensed under RSA 329. Persons using a tanning facility under the provisions of this paragraph shall be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for every use of the tanning facility.

To access the complete list of administrative laws derived from House Bill 729 visit:

info from Suntanning Association For Education (SAE) and NH tanning salon regulations

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Tanning & Natural Health News is a publication of Tan Plus /Essentials Of Life, Barclay Square, 350 Route 108, Somersworth, NH. This publication is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be presented as medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

Copyright © 2015 • Ray Allard • All Rights Reserved

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