Everyone who tans is familiar with the distinctive scent that lingers on the body, known as After Tanning Odor, or ATO. Despite urban legend, this scent is not the smell of the internal organs being baked, but natural bacteria that lives on the skin. The heat from the tanning bed encourages these bacteria to grow, causing the scent. Like all bacterial scents, the odor can be eliminated by sound hygenic practice. Here are a few methods of reducing the bacterial growth.

Shower at least an hour prior to tanning. Using any typical, anti-bacterial body wash or soap will kill most of the bacteria on the surface of the body. Dry yourself thoroughly before putting on your clothes.

Apply deodorant liberally. Apply it to areas not typically considered, such as the back of the knees and inside of the elbow. Any area that is prone to profuse sweating during the tanning process can use a dose of deodorant.

Spray the surface of the tanning bed, or the floor, if it is a standing booth, with the disinfectant spray. Let stand for a minute and a half.

Wipe the surface with paper towels, removing the spray and the bacteria.

Apply non-bronzing tanning lotion to the exposed areas of the body. This will not only remove most of the remaining bacteria, but add a more pleasant scent to the skin.

Shower again immediately after tanning.