Named after the Mexican peninsula, You-Ca-Tan (2401 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Kenner, Suite 12, 504-464-6888; www.youcatan.com) is more similar to a full-service beauty parlor than a tanning salon, according to owner Regan Colombatto.
In July, Colombatto took a leap of faith and bought the turnkey business, which had been around for about 20 years, hoping she could stop working 12-hour shifts as a registered nurse and spend more time with her two young children. Despite not having experience owning a business, Colombatto's personal history of tanning ("back in the '80s") left her with enough knowledge of the market to maintain an established clientele.
You-Ca-Tan offers many tanning options. VersaSpa is an open-air sunless tanning treatment that involves three processes, a prep, a moisturizer and a bronzer, to create the desired look. "[We use] top-of-the-line products that don't make you orange," Colombatto says. She took an online course to become certified to apply bronzer to customers. With the airbrush tanning gun under her belt, Colombatto introduced mobile spray-tan parties. "Instead of coming to a salon when it's not convenient, we come to you," she says.
The salon also offers anti-aging red light therapy, which involves 20-minute sessions four times a week for 12 weeks.
"It helps with collagen production, and it's very important for someone my age," Colombatto says. She recommends "cocktail tanning": customers tan in a bed for 20 minutes, do the moisturizing Versa Spa and then treat fine lines and wrinkles with red light therapy. Tanning in the UV bed encourages sweating, which opens pores. "When you have open pores like that, when you go into the booth, you're going to be more receptive to grab that color," Colombatto says. "It's just a way to enhance the coloring."
Sweating also helps clients lose water weight, an additional feature of what Colombatto calls "full benefits."
You-Ca-Tan will add an esthetician, nail technician and herbal wrap services in the next few months.