Teen tanning ban impacts pre-prom business


MARSHALL, IL. (WTHI) – Tougher restrictions for teens using tanning beds.

The new law banning those under eighteen from tanning in Illinois has been in place for nearly four months.

The goal is to curb cancer rates, but its impacting business during what is considered the industries busiest season.

Whether its prom or just gearing up for summer many teens are flocking to tanning beds to get that golden glow.

“They would come in to tan for Prom. Just to get a little tan when wearing a dress so they didn’t look so white,” said Bren Finkbiner, Owner of Bold and Beauty Tan Plus.

Bold and Beauty Tan Plus in Marshall, Illinois had quite a few clients under the age of 18 before the ban took effect, and now…

“It’s a little quieter, a little less busy, but some of the older people have been coming back which helps. I have lost $500-$1,000 a month during Prom time,” said Finkbiner.

Illinois is one of only eight states that have this type of restriction.

Tanners are now crossing state lines to get that sun kissed look.

“I think that is unfair because Illinois is losing the tanning tax. We’re sending them to Indiana, because that’s where most of them go,” said Finkbiner.

Vicki Wallace understands the need for regulation, as a two time cancer survivor, she is aware of the risks but says young teens may not be.

“They don’t even think about tomorrow. They don’t even think about next week. They feel like they are invincible and they aren’t going to be affected by this,” said Wallace.

Many are now opting for spray tans, a safer option, but a luxury this salon doesn’t offer.

Finkbiner is not sure if it’s worth the initial cost.

“By time you pay the price to buy one, I don’t really know if it would help.”

Finkbiner is still entertaining the idea of sunless tanning, hoping to gain back the customers she’s lost.

A similar law has been passed in Indiana that will not allow those under 16 to tan.

Ages 16 to 18 will still need parental consent.

The restriction is set to take place this summer.

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