Is Tanning Really Essential?

I've been sneered at for attending the local tanning salon. Tanning is recommended in a tanning bed versus normal exposure from the sun. See what kind of tan is right for you.

How important is tanning when competing in fitness, figure, or bodybuilding? I am a woman whose skin tone is a warm, brown complexion. I've been sneered at for attending the local tanning salon. But the truth is, regardless of your natural skin color, tanning or at least a base covering is needed when presenting your physique on stage for a competition. There are many reasons. The lights used for stage illumination are quite different from that of natural light or the lights we use in our homes. The stage lights are bright and a person's skin tone will get washed out if not protected with a tanning product. The darker the skin, the easier it will be for judges to evaluate a person's body conditioning and muscular development when compared to the other athletes on stage. You want the judges to see the lines that complement your physique by attaining a golden color that will be captured by this type of lighting.

Tanning is recommended in a tanning bed versus normal exposure from the sun. The damaging rays from the sun can cause your skin to age and have a unhealthy, leathery look. For healthy, glowing skin, tanning should begin weeks before a show, 2 to 4 times a week for 15-20 minute intervals. When to start will depend on your natural complexion. Two weeks before the show, be sure to exfoliate the skin to strip away dead skin and impurities. The smoother the skin, the more even the tan application will be. There are various tanning products on the market. Amongst the most popular for Fitness and Figure competitors are Jan Tana, Dream Tan and Pro Tan.


For the past 6 years, Jan has been the "Official Tanning and Skin Care Consultant" for major bodybuilding and fitness events. These events include Mr. & Ms. Olympia, The Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, Ms. International, Ms. Fitness World, and The Night of Champions. She offers a complete line of tanning products that includes a pre-tan scrub, face and body bronzer, show and competition tanners, deep moisturizers, posing oil, hair remover, triple accelerators and shower gels. Jan Tana has it all.

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Mohamed Mohsen's Dream Tan is a simple alternative to applying liquid tanning dyes! All of the color and none of the mess. It is safe for use around the eyes and this lustrous moisture-rich formula spreads easily and coats completely in just one application with no prior tanning necessary. Dream Tan is made of the finest emolient-based ingredients and washes off completely with soap and water. Unlike other dyeing products, Dream Tan is applied with your open hand, much like rubbing moisturizing cream. You can apply Dream Tan one hour prior to appearing on stage. Approximately 15-30 minutes is all that is required to cover the entire body. Oils are already formulated in Dream Tan to give you the perfect shine and luster on stage and in sunlight. However, if more shine is needed simply add a few drops of mineral oil to the jar as needed and mix well with a toothpick or apply a light coat of oil on your body before applying Dream Tan. All colors used in Dream Tan are FDA approved for use on the face and around the eyes. Dream Tan is not a dye and washes off completely, actually leaving your skin moisturized. However, Dream Tan never dries, so care should be taken to avoid rubbing off the tan. Dream Tan comes in two different colors. Formula one is brown-bronze and formula two is red-bronze. Choice of formulas is a matter of personal preference.

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Since 1985, this product has been delivering top-notch service for the tanning industry! Simply put... You can get a deep dark tan within hours, easy brush-on application, guaranteed even coverage, non-streaking color, and it won't interfere with natural tanning. This is definitely one of the most popular products used by competitive bodybuilders and fitness competitors to get a great, dark tan! It contains water, isopropyl, acetone, dihydroxyacetone, FD&C Yellow No, 6,5, Blue No.1,Red No. 40. It is applied using a brush and spread evenly unto the body.

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Be sure to get someone with experience or practice to apply your tan. Streaks in your tanning application will affect your overall appearance and may distract the judges from your spectacular physique. Try to stay cool to ensure that your tan does not streak but sometimes this is inevitable. Back stage environments can be very crowded and heat will be easily generated. A miniature fan is recommended. Remember to wear loose clothing and bring towels. You don't want to ruin your gorgeous suit or costumes with tanning smudges.

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