It’s been more than six years since I’ve been to a tanning salon, and I’m amazed how they’ve changed. Walking into MegaSun Lounge, the pounding house music, coloured lights and beautiful clientele filtering down from Fitness First make me feel as though I’m on a film set of a TV movie. First impressions aside, I’m impressed by how clean and well-equipped the salon is, and how seriously they take safety (they analyse my skin first and only let me tan for a limited time).
Feeling both wobbly and white, I opt for the VibraNano tanning option, a standing capsule with a vibrating power plate in the floor that promises to train the muscles in the legs, lower body, back and stomach in just 10 minutes. The booth is less harmful than natural sunlight because it filters out the UVB rays that cause sunburn.
Step by step
The helpful staff analyse my skin, prescribing my pale complexion nine minutes in the booth, before showing me the machine’s functions. I’m impressed that you can plug in an MP3 player. After lathering myself in tanning cream (which smells rather nice), I step into the booth, turning on the UV and the vibrating plate, which is activated with my foot. Goggles on, the vibration starts slowly, even though I’ve opted for the fitness option: there are also gentler levels called ‘relax’ and ‘wellness’.
Three minutes in the vibration becomes much stronger – I’ve been instructed to move my feet when the strength changes. I make the mistake of looking down. If I ever needed motivation to continue exercising, a glimpse of my pasty body jiggling all over in the glow of the UV light is enough to send me straight down the gym.
• With knowledgeable staff and top hygiene, MegaSun is the most pleasant tanning salon I’ve visited.
• Yes, sunbeds expose you to harmful UV rays, but this type of controlled tanning is better than baking on Jumeirah beach and burning your skin. Even my white bits weren’t burnt the next day.
• The tanning machine comes with banging house music and the option of water spray to cool you off. Rock star!
• It’s a workout in 10 minutes, and there’s no need to make an appointment – just turn up.
• The house music, the vibrating, the fan and the UV lights creates an assault on the senses that may startle some.
• I don’t know why, but I always find I smell a little after a sunbed. Unpleasant, I know, but it’s something to take into account.
• It’s quite expensive.
• Too many sunbeds can damage your skin.
I walk out after just 15 minutes with slightly wobbly knees. The next day I have that slight glow that results from a sunscreen-happy day on the beach, my thighs only slightly aching from the workout.
MegaSun also has a collagen bed, which gives off a slight UV glow but mostly emits a collagen light to apparently banish wrinkles. The technology is baffling, but if it is collagen light, it’s revolutionary.
The VibraNano is Dhs80 for eight minutes (Dhs60 for 10 minutes on a normal sunbed). Megasun Lounge, Business Central Towers, Dubai Media City (04 445 8424).