We Are Sunshine


Monday, May 20th, 2019

So far, 2019 has been a good year for most salons. Sales are study and there’s been very little media. But, May has been known to bring us negative media. May was Skin Cancer month and there are many campaigns that normally show up this time of the year. There’s also been a higher number of research papers out this year on indoor tanning in Canada. The good news is there has been no mainstream media on the research so far.

The JCTA, behind the scenes, reviewed and prepared responses that were ready if needed. We’ve prepared our next government newsletter to address the new research, which actual uses very old research papers to create new number on our industry. Here’s what I mean: They take research from the ’70s and ’80s, when there were no regulations on lamps or equipment, and use new stats to create results that actually mean nothing about risk with modern equipment. These lamps emitted high levels of UVB and UVC. Lamps and equipment in Canada were regulated at the end of the 1980s, therefore if you used data in a new piece of research before 1990, it would make the new piece of research invalid.

One of the latest research papers used an Australian study that they said mimics the Canadian environment and indoor tanning industry. These researchers disregarded a UK study which has a similar environment and industry as Canada. The UK research used the same criteria as the Australian study but found a statistically insignificant increase risk for indoor tanning. The Australian study showed 10 times the increased risk as the UK study. As for outside environment, I would say most people would agree Australia has a different climate than Canada. This was confirmed by a chief medical officer in Australia in a conference call the JCTA and others did in 2014. For example, the average UV Index in Australia in the summer is 11 and in Canada it’s 8. From October to March, the UV index is below 3 in Canada, not the same in most of Australia for their spring, winter, and fall. Lamps & equipment regulations in Australia were very different as well. Again, any data derived from using the Australian study would make the Canadian data invalid for Canadian salons.

Another misrepresentation in research reports is this statement: “Indoor tanning is similar to sun exposure for ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation exposure, but is 10–15 times stronger than sun exposure for ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation.” The misquoted research actually said that the UVA at the highest peak is 10 to 15 times that of sunlight, but when you look closely at the research, it states the intensity is only 1.8 times that of sunlight when you look at the total spectrum of the UVA. Total intensity is very different than a peak. Also not reported is that the lamps that this research used are no longer sold in Canada and have not been sold in Canada for many years.

Now for the good news. Grassroots Health ran their 3rd Annual North American Sunshine Month in May. You can find their press release on their Facebook page or on their website . Here’s just a quick summary of the month-long event: Sunlight benefits that go beyond vitamin d; Benefits of sunlight for people with MS; The relationship between vitamin D and skin cancer; Optimum levels of sunlight; The risk is sunburning, not moderate exposure.

We also heard that Dr Marc Sorenson has started promoting his book “Embrace the Sun.” This should help boost the positive message and let people learn there are 1000s of pieces of research out there on the benefits of moderate sun exposure. There is even a section in the book on sunbeds. If you haven’t read his book, it’s a must read for anyone in the industry

The JCTA continue it “Please Tan Responsibly” social media campaign, which is still sending 1000s of Canadian every month to the JCTA Consumer website. In March, we had just under 30,000 Canadians visit the website, where Canadian can find the closest JCTA Professional Salon to them, along with positive information. Right now, the campaign is into the Sunburn Prevention segment. This includes ads to promote sunburn prevention with natural photoprotection — a tan. Also included in this year’s sunburn prevention campaign is Survey Says; Testimonial/results from the Canadian Tanner Survey which was done in January. The biggest results that tanners showed us: They have a better holiday when they pretan. Just started in May is the segment for sunless tanning. Both will continue until the end of June.

We could be doing more, with your help. On average a JCTA membership costs a salon 57 cents a day. Is it worth spending 57 cents a day to change the perception of the Canadian indoor tanning community? The egg producers came together and changed what people think about eggs. It took them almost 20 years to change the negative press, but they have. The JCTA can do the same thing with you becoming a member.

Please become a member.