J. Elaine Spear
products are a hot trend in tanning, but how do they really work?
products, first introduced to the U.S. market by John Abate
International, provide the red-hot proof that many tanners crave to
ensure they're catching some potent rays at your salon. The flush,
the rush and the instant glow that linger after their session make
them feel good about spending time intensifying the depth and hue of
celebrities tan with tingle products just prior to big events
because they love the way they make their already bronzed skin glow
for the camera. And tanners from all walks of life swear that,
beyond walking out of your salon looking great, tingle products help
them achieve a truly deep tan in a shorter period of time. While
there's no doubt that the popularity of tingle products has made
them a profitable retail item for tanning salons, there are still
some lingering questions about whether or not they actually do
improve the end result. In the interest of separating fact from
fiction, we've asked Industry experts to discuss the science behind
this popular category of products, as well as to mete out some
good, common sense advice. Here's what our experts have to
do tingle products create a tingling sensation?
ingredients are typically rubefacients external applications that
cause redness of the skin," says Tamie Sunday, director of
education for Nutra Labs/Glimra in Phoenix. Rubefacients increase
blood flow to the skin by dilating the skin's microcirculation a
network of small capillaries near the surface of the skin that
provide oxygen and nutrition to the tissue cells and take away
metabolic waste. "This produces a feeling of warmth by
increasing the temperature at the point of application. Nerve cells
then register this temperature increase as a tingling sensation.
Currently, the most common tingle ingredients are nicotinates which
are derivatives of niacin."
to medical sources, niacin, also referred to as nicotinic acid and
vitamin B3 - is essential for all cell respiration. It also aids in
the release of energy and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and
proteins; encourages proper circulation and promotes healthy skin.
This essential acid can be found in brewer's yeast, fish, peanuts
and even your morning coffee. In measured doses, niacin or vitamin
B3 taken internally is often prescribed by physicians to treat high
cholesterol, muscular weakness and even dementia. When applied
topically, nicotinates of all types simply increase the blood flow
through the microcirculation of the skin.
tingle products actually intensify tanning results?
experts readily admit there are no scientific studies that prove
that tingle products increase tanning results. But they do give
credence to the claims made by many tanners who say that tingle
products help them tan faster and darker. "The red flushing
created by tingle products is due to increased blood flow,"
says Deborah Pierce, vice president of research and technology for
California Tan in Westwood, California. "This will naturally
add immediate color to the skin after a tanning session. This
factor, coupled with the color generated in the immediate pigment
darkening reaction, will yield a more intense appearing tan.
Both of these responses are transitory in nature the actual
tanning process will generate the melanin production within 48 hours
of the tanning session."
notes that true tanning is the ultimate manifestation of a series of
oxidation steps that transform tyrosine into melanin via an enzyme
called tyrosinase "The tanning, or melanin formation,
intensifies with the increased concentration of tyrosine, oxygen and
tyrosinase," she explains. "This trio of substances in the
skin is increased when the blood flow is increased. Logically, the
flushing response to tingle ingredients should intensify tanning,
although no scientific study has been done to demonstrate this to be
tingle products good for the skin?
overuse of tingle lotions has been known to cause skin irritations
but when used properly, increasing microcirculation blood flow
actually enhances the nourishment of the skin at a cellular level.
"Skincare professionals currently use a variety of tools and
products to improve microcirculation," says Lee Hubbard, an
independent skincare therapist in Laguna Hills, California.
"This enhances cell vitality, which, in turn, discourages
premature aging and lackluster, sluggish skin. Bioelectric machines
as well as ultrasound machines, a variety of different skin care
products, and even pure oxygen treatments are being used by skin
therapists and physicians to improve microcirculation."
using tingle lotions require any precautions?
time you apply a product that elicits a strong response, there are
definite cautions that should be heeded," says Sunday.
According to Sunday, some of those precautions include:
Tingle products should never be applied to broken skin.
Tanners should avoid applying tingle products to their eyes, nose
and genital areas.
Tanners with sensitive skin shouldn't use tingle products.
New tanners should probably avoid tingle products.
Under no circumstances should these products be used by children.
Because the most common tingle ingredients are nicotinates, people
who are sensitive to niacin should avoid tingle lotions.
do I know how much tingle a product will produce?
manufacturers have developed their own rating systems, some with
graphics ‑such as a thermometer
indicate the strength of the tingle product. "There may still
be some confusion on the part of tanners, though, simply because
there's no universal rating system for tingle intensity," says
of Hoss Sauce in Portland, Oregon. "What may be a 4 rating for
one lotion, for instance, could equal a 3 rating for another. This
is why it's so important to know your products. Any time you add a
new tingle lotion to your product line, talk to a knowledgeable
company representative about the strength of the tingle and the
progression of the intensity in the
line. Once you're satisfied with the answer, try the product
usage directions should I give to my clients?
urges all salon owners to make sure their tingle lotion bottles are
clearly labelled. "This is essential
the safe use of these products," she advises.
"Manufacturers have methods of identifying the intensity
tingle a product will produce on the skin," says Pierce.
"Still, even the best labeling
efforts can be misunderstood especially by novice tanners who aren't
familiar with this lotion
vividly remembers the first time she used a product with reddening
agents. "The bottle wasn't properly labeled,
and I was unpleasantly surprised," she says. "I was in the
tanning bed when I began itching, tingling and turning red. I
thought I was having a very bad allergic reaction to the product.
There was no indication or warning on the packaging that these were
the expected results, and the person who sold me the product didn't
say anything about these reactions. It was later that I learned
about tingle products. Now, I love using them, but I never want to
be surprised like that again. It's important that all
be given enough information about tingle products to make informed
determined that most tanners don't read the labels in their entirety
unless they have a problem or question after they've already used
Hansen "Our tingle products contain cautions like, Warning.
Keep out of the reach of children. This product causes a temporary
reddening sensation. Not intended for use on sensitive skin.
Discontinue if rash appears. These cautions represent essential labeling
information, but and you can't assume that because these statements
are printed on the bottle, tanners will read them before using the
product." Hansen advises that salon owners learn as much as
they possibly can about every product they carry how they work, why
they work and the precautions involved with each formulation. He
believes this is the only way that owners can give their employees
the right information to pass on to tanners. In the case of tingle
products this means understanding why certain products produce a
tingling sensation, who should use them and who should not,"
the FDA considering regulating some tingle ingredients?
about rubefacients particularly nicotinates being under
consideration for regulation by the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) have circulated for quite some time. A
check of the FDA's Web site (www.fda.gov), followed by a call to the
agency, produced no information about official discussions regarding
regulating tingle ingredients. According to tanning industry
experts, though, the possibility of future controls by the FDA is
still open for debate. Sunday, for instance, believes that
FDA regulation isn't likely to occur since rubefacients are
topically applied to the skin as opposed to being ingested, making
them far less likely to be subject to strict govern ment policies.
"The only known side effect when using tingle lotions even when
used in large amounts is irritation of the skin," she says.
Pierce says she prefers not to see any type of FDA regulation of
tingleingredients become a necessity. "The FDA needs to become
involved any time products cause illness or injury to the
user," says Pierce. "Even though they're intense by
nature, red–dening products are considered tran–sitory since the
response time only lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours. However, if a
person with sensitive skin uses a tingle lotion, he or she may have
a more prolonged response to
the reddening agents, which may occasionally cause swelling. This is
where good labelling on the part of
manufacturers, and great education by salons, becomes
essential. I believe that as long as we continue to be a
self-regulating industry, there will be no need for the FDA to
impose guidelines on tingle ingredients."