A Shining Example
Locals benefit from innovative skin-care treatments and exceptional service at Island Sun Tanning
by Sharon A. Shaw


A tanning salon is the obvious destination when one wants to achieve a sunny glow in  preparation for a vacation or event this time of year, but the latest services available offer clients benefits that are more than just skin deep.


Debbie Burns is the owner of Island Sun Tanning, with five locations throughout suburban Philadelphia, which have been providing the latest advancements in tanning and skin care to locals for the past 16 years.


A year ago Island Sun Tanning introduced the Beauty Angel to its salons, offering customers the benefits of red-light therapy. This remarkable treatment helps heal skin, treat scars and lighten dark spots. “Island Sun was the first salon in the area to offer this technology,” Debbie says. “We are always innovative in making our business stand out.” The Beauty Angel features full-body red-light lamps and a vibrating floor, such as those used in physical therapists’ offices, to increase circulation, loosen muscles, assist with toning and diminish cellulite.


The red light used in this therapy has an entirely different wavelength than UV rays, which stimulate pigment-producing melanocytes. “You cannot get a tan from it,” Debbie assures. Instead, red-light therapy penetrates to the bottom of the dermis layer, where it stimulates the fibroblast cells. These cells then boost production of collagen and elastin proteins. According to Debbie, red-light therapy has proven effective in its ability to improve the look and feel of one’s skin, reduce pore size, diminish acne and minimize the appearance of scars, stretch marks, age spots and hyper-pigmentation. “Our red-light program has by far been one of the most surprising services that we’ve offered that provides the consumer with amazing results,” she says.


The therapy begins with treatments three or four times a week. Most customers will notice smoother skin within the first 30 days and see significant improvement after 60 to 90 days of treatment. After the desired results are achieved, maintenance requires only a weekly visit. Customers who choose to continue with a maintenance program receive 30 days free and are given a lifetime monthly price for the service. “If they commit to us for the program,” Debbie says, “we will commit to their maintenance.”


Above the Rest

The staff of Island Sun Tanning provides a consultation for customers in which they discuss their objectives, offer scheduling recommendations and suggest appropriate skin-care products. By taking the time to educate customers, Island Sun Tanning sets itself above the rest.


“There are tanning salons that are professional and not so professional,” Debbie says. “We pride ourselves on helping customers determine their skin-care needs and make appropriate selections.”


Anyone can plug in a piece of equipment and call themselves a tanning salon, but Debbie realizes that skin care is a sophisticated process that should not be taken lightly. “Our reputation is at stake,” she says, “and we take our job very seriously and make sure that we educate our customers.” As members of the Smart Tan Network, Island Sun Tanning’s employees are professionally trained and certified. 


In addition to a great selection of indoor-tanning lotions and all-natural and vegan skin care from Arbonne, the salon also carries iRenew, a line of skin-care products specifically designed for use with red-light therapy that can improve the therapy’s results. Because it offers this advantage to customers, Island Sun Tanning includes a supply of product in the cost of its treatment programs.


The Hydration Station is another innovative piece of equipment featured by Island Sun Tanning, which allows skin to better absorb the effects of UV or sunless tanning. Through a combination of steam, liquid vitamins and infrared light, it rejuvenates the skin and loosens muscles. Many of Island Sun Tanning’s customers choose to include this service in their Tanning Cocktail—a package that allows them to enjoy several services in one session.



Both UV and sunless tanning services are available at Island Sun Tanning. Sunless tanning is a popular way to achieve a golden glow, effective not only for those who wish to tan without UV exposure but also for those who want to supplement UV tanning or need spot treatment of areas on the body that do not tan as well. The sunless tanning booths offered at Island Sun Tanning are completely private, and the process is complete in less than a minute. A cosmetic bronzer in the solution provides immediate results while the tan develops over the next four to six hours.


Whether her customers choose to enjoy red-light skin-renewal therapy, UV or sunless tanning, Debbie believes that the education her staff provides sets Island Sun Tanning apart.

Island Sun Tanning has locations in Bensalem, Neshaminy, Fairless Hills, Huntingdon Valley and Newtown. Visit www.islandsun.org for directions, contact information and details.


Michelle Garling is a freelance writer based in Doylestown.

Rob Hall is a photographer based in Plumsteadville