Title:
Device for UV protection of face while tanning
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective device 10 provides protection for the user's face from excessive ultraviolet light exposure, particularly when using an indoor tanning bed, which transmits powerful levels of ultraviolet radiation. A protective device 10 includes a face-engaging protective sheet 20, a side edge-engaging strap 30, and an upper edge-engaging strap 40. Preferably, at least the face-engaging protective sheet 20 is constructed from UPF rated ultraviolet light-resistant material. The side edge-engaging strap 30 is fastened to opposite edges of the protective sheet 20. The upper edge-engaging strap 40 is fastened to the protective sheet 20 and the side edge-engaging strap 30. The face-engaging protective sheet 20, the side edge-engaging strap 30, and the upper edge-engaging strap 40 of the protective device 10 are sized and shaped to fit onto a user's head.



Inventors:
Decastro, Jose M. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/158721
Publication Date:
01/04/2007
Filing Date:
06/21/2005
Assignee:
Jocksock LLC
Primary Class:
2/9
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A protective device for providing protection to an indoor tanning bed user's face from excessive ultra-violet light exposure, the protective device comprising: a face-engaging protective fabric sheet, wherein the protective sheet includes an inner surface, an outer surface, an upper edge, a first side edge, and a second side edge; a side edge-engaging strap having a first end, a second end, and a center region, wherein the first end of the side edge-engaging strap is fastened to the first side edge of the protective sheet, and the second end of the side edge-engaging strap is fastened to the second side edge of the protective sheet; and an upper edge-engaging strap having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of upper edge-engaging strap is fastened to the upper edge of the protective sheet, and the second end of the upper edge-engaging strap is fastened to the center region of the side edge-engaging strap; wherein the outer surface of the protective fabric sheet provides a 50+ rating for ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor classification system.

2. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the side edge-engaging strap and the protective sheet are fastened together in a selectively detachable and selectively re-attachable manner.

3. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the upper edge-engaging strap and the protective sheet are fastened together in a selectively detachable and selectively re-attachable manner.

4. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the side edge-engaging strap and the upper edge-engaging strap are elastic.

5. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the protective sheet provides a 50+ rating for ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor classification system.

6. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the protective sheet provides an excellent level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor classification system.

7. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the protective sheet provides a very good level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor classification system.

8. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the protective sheet provides a good level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor classification system.

9. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the protective device is sized and shaped to secure to a user's head.

10. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the protective device provides ultraviolet protection to a user's ears.

11. The protective device of claim 1, wherein the protective device provides ultraviolet protection to a user's neck.

12. A device for providing protection from excessive ultra-violet light exposure to a user's face while tanning, the device comprising: a face-engaging protective fabric sheet, wherein the protective sheet includes an outer surface; at least one side edge-engaging strap, wherein the at least one side edge-engaging strap is fastened to opposing edges of the protective sheet; and wherein the face-engaging protective sheet and the side edge-engaging strap are sized and shaped to enable the device to slip over a user's head, and wherein the protective sheet provides ultraviolet protection factor-rated ultraviolet light protection.

13. The device of claim 12, further comprising an upper edge-engaging strap, wherein the upper edge-engaging strap is fastened to another edge of the protective sheet and to the side edge-engaging strap.

14. The device of claim 12, wherein the side edge-engaging strap and the protective sheet are fastened together in a selectively detachable and selectively re-attachable manner.

15. The device of claim 13, wherein the upper edge-engaging strap and the protective sheet are fastened together in a selectively detachable and selectively re-attachable manner.

16. The device of claim 13, wherein the side edge-engaging strap and the upper edge-engaging strap are elastic.

17. The device of claim 12, wherein the outer surface of the protective sheet provides a 50+ rating for ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor classification system.

18. The device of claim 12, wherein the outer surface of the protective sheet provides an excellent level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor classification system.

19. The device of claim 12, wherein the device is water resistant.

20. The device of claim 12, wherein the device is air permeable.

21. The device of claim 12, wherein the protective device is sized and shaped to secure to a user's head.

22. The device of claim 12, wherein the protective device provides ultraviolet protection to a user's ears.

23. The device of claim 12, wherein the protective device provides ultraviolet protection to a user's neck.

24. A method for providing protection from excessive ultra-violet light exposure to a user's face while tanning using a protective device, the method comprises: constructing a protective device, wherein the protective device includes a face-engaging protective fabric sheet, a side edge-engaging strap, and an upper edge-engaging strap, wherein the side edge-engaging strap is fastened to opposing edges of the protective sheet, and the upper edge-engaging strap is fastened to the protective sheet and the side edge-engaging strap, and wherein the protective sheet provides ultraviolet protection factor-rated ultraviolet light protection; sizing and shaping the face-engaging protective fabric sheet, the side edge-engaging strap, and the upper edge-engaging strap of the protective device, wherein the protective device is sized and shaped to fit onto a user's head, and enabling a user to place the protective device onto the user's head prior to tanning.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a device for UV (ultra-violet light) protection while tanning and, more particularly, to a device for UV protection that is configured to protect the face.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The indoor tanning business has become increasingly popular with people wishing to tan their skin to enhance their appearance. Indoor tanning appeals both to people who do not live in a climate that permits the desired amount of sun and to people that do not have adequate time for traditional sun tanning. In this regard, tanning beds, and particularly the more modem tanning beds, allow for maximizing tanning potential in a reduced amount of time. Traditionally, tanning beds enable a user to receive approximately a day's worth of tanning in thirty to forty minutes. Currently, modem (high powered) tanning beds are enabling an approximately equivalent amount of tanning (i.e., ultra-violet light exposure) in five to eight minutes.

It is well known that the heat and ultraviolet rays generated by tanning beds may potentially cause damage to the skin of the tanning patron if proper precautions are not taken. These concerns are only increasing with the increased use of modern (high-powered) tanning beds. As such, indoor tanning patrons are often looking for ways to moderate the risks associated with tanning while still maintaining the desired tanning benefits.

Unfortunately, tanning has several undesirable consequences. One such consequence is the potential for overexposing sensitive areas on the body to high amounts of ultraviolet light. Such areas include the face, ears, and neck, which may be particularly vulnerable to high amounts of ultraviolet light due their shape and the nature of the skin tissue in that area.

Another such consequence is the potentially unsanitary nature, for both the current and subsequent users, of lying on tanning beds that have been repeatedly used by numerous individuals. In this regard, the use of sunscreen lotions for protection from ultraviolet light can be undesirable due to their generally sticky nature, as well as their tendency to attract dirt and grime. Typically, most sunscreen lotions are messy, clog a user's pores, and leave a user's body feeling oily.

Another undesirable option that is often selected by indoor tanning patrons is to cover their face with a small towel, typically a white terry cloth towel. A terry cloth towel provides very little ultraviolet protection for the indoor tanning studio patron, and particularly for the face and neck region of such a patron. Such towels can also be questionable in terms of hygiene since the tanning bed patron usually does not have first-hand knowledge of the cleanliness of a towel that been supplied to him or her.

Accordingly, a protective device is sought after that is simple, sanitary, and will not leave an undesirable amount of tan lines, but will provide the desired amount of UV protection for the selected areas. Thus, those skilled in the art have recognized the need for a device that provides indoor tanning patrons with UV protection for sensitive areas, and particularly for a device that is configured to protect the face, ears, and neck. The claimed invention clearly addresses these and other needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, and in general terms, the claimed invention resolves the above and other problems by providing a protective device that affords protection to the face from excessive ultra-violet light exposure. In accordance with the claimed invention, the protective device includes a face-engaging protective sheet having an inner surface, an outer surface, an upper edge, a first side edge, and a second side edge. The outer surface of the protective sheet provides substantial ultraviolet light protection. Preferably, the protective device also includes a side edge-engaging strap and an upper edge-engaging strap. The side edge-engaging strap includes a first end, a second end, and a center region. Preferably, the first end of the side edge-engaging strap is fastened to the first side edge of the protective sheet, and the second end of the side edge-engaging strap is fastened to the second side edge of the protective sheet. The upper edge-engaging strap includes a first end and a second end. Preferably, the first end of the upper edge-engaging strap is fastened to the upper edge of the protective sheet, and the second end of the upper edge-engaging strap is fastened to the center region of the side edge-engaging strap.

In one aspect of a preferred embodiment, the side edge-engaging strap and the protective sheet are fastened together in a selectively detachable and selectively re-attachable manner. In another aspect of a preferred embodiment, the upper edge-engaging strap and the protective sheet are fastened together in a selectively detachable and selectively re-attachable manner. Preferably, the side edge-engaging strap and the upper edge-engaging strap are constructed from elastic or another suitable material that has at least some flexibility.

In one preferred embodiment, the outer surface of the protective sheet provides a 50+ rating for ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) classification system. In one aspect of an embodiment, the outer surface of the protective sheet preferably provides a good level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the UPF classification system; more preferably the protective sheet provides a very good level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the UPF classification system; and most preferably the protective sheet provides an excellent level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the UPF classification system.

In one aspect of a preferred embodiment, the protective device is sized and shaped to secure to a user's head. In one such embodiment, the protective device provides ultraviolet protection to a user's ears (in addition to the user's face). In another such embodiment, the protective device provides ultraviolet protection to a user's neck (in addition to the user's face). In one embodiment, the device is water resistant, while in another embodiment the device is not water resistant. In accordance with one aspect a preferred embodiment, the device is air permeable, while in another embodiment the device is not air permeable.

Another embodiment of the invention is also directed towards a device for providing protection from excessive ultra-violet light exposure of an indoor tanning bed user's face while tanning. This device includes a face-engaging protective sheet having an outer surface. The outer surface of the protective sheet provides ultraviolet protection factor-rated ultraviolet light protection. Preferably, the protective device also includes at least one side edge-engaging strap. The at least one side edge-engaging strap is fastened to opposing edges of the protective sheet. In some embodiments, the protective device includes two or more side edge-engaging straps that are fastened to opposing edges of the protective sheet. Preferably, the face-engaging protective sheet and the side edge-engaging strap are sized and shaped to enable the device to slip over a user's head. One preferred embodiment additionally includes at least one upper edge-engaging strap that is fastened to another edge of the protective sheet and to the at least one side edge-engaging strap.

Still another embodiment of the invention is directed towards a method for providing protection from excessive ultra-violet light exposure of an indoor tanning bed user's face while tanning using a protective device. Preferably, the method includes: constructing a protective device, wherein the protective device includes a face-engaging protective sheet, a side edge-engaging strap, and an upper edge-engaging strap, wherein the side edge-engaging strap is fastened to the protective sheet, and the upper edge-engaging strap is fastened to the protective sheet and the side edge-engaging strap, and wherein the protective sheet provides ultraviolet protection factor-rated ultraviolet light protection; sizing and shaping the face-engaging protective sheet, the side edge-engaging strap, and the upper edge-engaging strap of the protective device, wherein the protective device is sized and shaped to fit onto a user's head; and enabling an indoor tanning bed user to place the protective device onto the user's head prior to tanning.

Other features and advantages of the claimed invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate by way of example, the features of the claimed invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a preferred embodiment device for UV protection of a user's face while the user lies in an indoor tanning bed;

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a preferred embodiment device for UV protection of a user's face before being mounted on a user's head;

FIG. 3 illustrates a rear elevation view of a preferred embodiment device for UV protection of a user's face before being mounted on a user's head.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Briefly stated, a preferred embodiment of the protective device, constructed in accordance with the claimed invention, is directed towards a device for providing protection for a user's face from excessive ultraviolet light exposure while tanning. This device includes an ultraviolet light-resistant protective sheet that has an inner surface and an outer surface. Preferably, the protective sheet provides ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rated, ultraviolet light protection.

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like or corresponding parts throughout the drawings and, more particularly to FIGS. 1-3, there is shown an embodiment of a protective device 10 constructed in accordance with the claimed invention. Briefly stated, a protective device provides protection for the user's face from excessive ultraviolet light exposure, particularly when using an indoor tanning bed, which transmits powerful levels of ultraviolet radiation. A preferred protective device 10 includes a face-engaging protective sheet 20, at least one side edge-engaging strap 30, and an upper edge-engaging strap 40. Preferably, at least the face-engaging protective sheet 20 is constructed from UPF-rated, ultraviolet light-resistant material.

In a preferred embodiment, the face-engaging protective sheet 20 includes an inner surface 22, an outer surface 24, an upper edge 25, a first side edge 26, and a second side edge 28. In another aspect of a preferred embodiment, the side edge-engaging strap 30 includes a first end 32, a second end 34, and a center region 36. Preferably, the first end 32 of the side edge-engaging strap 30 is fastened to the first side edge 26 of the protective sheet 20, and the second end 34 of the side edge-engaging strap 30 is fastened to the second side edge 28 of the protective sheet 20. In still another aspect of a preferred embodiment, the upper edge-engaging strap 40 includes a first end 42 and a second end 44. Preferably, the first end 42 of the upper edge-engaging strap 40 is fastened to the upper edge 25 of the protective sheet 20, and the second end 44 of the upper edge-engaging strap 40 is fastened to the center region 36 of the side edge-engaging strap 30.

As mentioned above, the outer surface 24 of the protective sheet 20 provides UPF rated ultraviolet light protection. In some embodiments, the protective device 10 includes two or more side edge-engaging straps 30 that are fastened to opposing edges of the protective sheet 20. Further, in some embodiments, the protective device 10 does not include an upper edge-engaging strap 40.

In some preferred embodiments, the protective device 10 is constructed from a single layer of UPF-rated, ultraviolet light-resistant material. In such an embodiment, the inner surface 22 and the outer surface 24 of the protective sheet 20 are opposite sides of the same layer of UPF-rated, ultraviolet light-resistant material. In other preferred embodiments, the protective sheet 20 of the protective device 10 includes more than one layer of material. In such an embodiment, the inner layer of material may be selected for additional material characteristics, including by way of example only, and not by way of limitation: breathe-ability, heat resistance, elasticity, light reflectivity, smoothness, and softness.

In one embodiment, an additional layer includes insulating material that reduces potential heat build-up behind the protective sheet 20, thereby reducing perspiration that would otherwise have a detrimental and undesirable effect. In another embodiment, an additional inner layer provides additional UPF rated protection. One such suitable UPF rated material is SportUPF, made by Sportex International Inc. Another suitable material is C-gear, made by Solartex Sun Gear, Inc.

To use a preferred embodiment of the protective device 10, a user's head is inserted in the opening of the protective device 10 created by the protective sheet 20 and the side edge-engaging strap 30, with the inner surface 22 of the protective sheet 20 positioned against the user's face. Typically, the user's head is inserted in the opening of the protective device 10 until the top of the user's head makes contact with the upper edge-engaging strap 40 that connects the upper edge of the protective sheet 20 to the center region 36 of the side edge-engaging strap 30. After the protective device is in position on the user's head, protective sheet 20 covers the user's face, the side edge-engaging strap 30 is secured around the back of the user's head, and the upper edge-engaging strap 40 is secured across the top of the user's head. The face of the user is covered and provided with UPF-rated protection as a result of the ultraviolet light-resistant material from which the protective sheet 20 is constructed.

In one aspect of a preferred embodiment, the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is water resistant. However, in another embodiment, the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is not water resistant. In another aspect of a preferred embodiment, the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is breathable (i.e., air permeable). However, in another embodiment, the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is not breathable.

In still another aspect of a preferred embodiment, the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is heat resistant, while in another embodiment the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is not heat resistant. In yet another aspect of a preferred embodiment, the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is light reflective, while in another embodiment the material from which the protective device 10 is constructed is not light reflective. Additionally, the protective device provides the added benefit of increasing sanitary conditions in an indoor tanning environment by preventing the use of a potentially sweaty towel as a “make-shift” face cover.

Referring now to other aspects of a preferred embodiment, the protective device 10, or at least the outer surface 24 of the protective device, is produced in a variety of different colors. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that darker colors tend to lend themselves more easily to higher UPF ratings.

In one preferred embodiment, the protective device 10 is configured in two sizes. In the first size, the protective sheet 20 is approximately 12 inches long (i.e., in the direction from the top of the user's head to the bottom of the user's neck) +/− an inch. Continuing, in this first size, the protective sheet 20 is approximately 13 inches wide (i.e., in the direction from one side of a user's head to the other side of a user's head) +/− an inch. Additionally, the side edge-engaging strap 30 is approximately 7½ inches (+/− an inch) from its connection at the first side edge 26 to its connection at the second side edge 28. Further, the upper edge-engaging strap 40 is approximately 7 inches (+/− an inch) from it connection at the upper edge 25 to its connection at the center region 36 of the side edge-engaging strap 30.

In the second size, the protective sheet 20 is approximately 14 inches long (i.e., in the direction from the top of the user's head to the bottom of the user's neck) +/− an inch. Continuing, in this first size, the protective sheet 20 is approximately 15 inches wide (i.e., in the direction from one side of a user's head to the other side of a user's head) +/− an inch. Additionally, the side edge-engaging strap 30 is approximately 7½ inches (+/− an inch) from its connection at the first side edge 26 to its connection at the second side edge 28. Further, the upper edge-engaging strap 40 is approximately 7 inches (+/− an inch) from it connection at the upper edge 25 to its connection at the center region 36 of the side edge-engaging strap 30. It will be understood that in other preferred embodiments, various sizes of the protective device 10 are configured for different sized users.

Referring again to the UPF-rated material of the protective device 10, in one preferred embodiment, at least the outer surface 24 of the protective sheet 20 (and possibly the entire protective sheet) provides a 50+ rating for ultraviolet light protection as defined by the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) classification system. In one embodiment, the outer surface 24 of the protective sheet 20 preferably provides a good level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the UPF classification system, more preferably the protective sheet 20 provides a very good level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the UPF classification system, and most preferably the protective sheet 20 provides an excellent level of ultraviolet light protection as defined by the UPF classification system.

Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to tell if a fabric offers good sun protection. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) shows how well a fabric protects one's skin from ultraviolet light, and thereby enables an individual to choose the proper sun protective clothing. Various factors affect how well a material is rated in the UPF classification system. Such factors include, by way of example only and not by way of limitation: the type of material, the weave of the material, the thickness of the material, and the dyeing of the material. In one exemplary embodiment, a specially woven and dyed polyester fabric is utilized as the UPF-rated material from which the protective device 10 is constructed. UPF ratings range from 15 to 50, with materials that are rated higher than 50 labeled as UPF 50+.

The UPF classification system chart is shown below:

UPF RatingUV ProtectionUV Blocked
15, 20Good Protection93.3% to 95.8%
25, 30, 35Very Good Protection95.9% to 97.4%
40, 45, 50, 50+Excellent Protection>97.5%

The protective device 10 of the claimed invention makes no assertion of cancer prevention or related benefits. However, the American Cancer Society has stated on numerous occasions that it feels that about 80% of skin cancers could be prevented by protecting skin from the sun's rays.

The UPF 50+ rated material of a preferred embodiment of the claimed invention is far superior to that of a typical white terry cloth towel, which is often used by patrons of an indoor tanning studio. Such a cloth towel provides virtually no ultraviolet protection to the sensitive areas of the indoor tanning studio patron, and particularly to the face and neck region. Such towels can also be questionable in terms of hygiene since the tanning bed patron usually does not have first-hand knowledge of the cleanliness of a towel that been supplied to him or her.

The various embodiments described above are provided by way of illustration only and should not be construed to limit the invention. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize various modifications and changes that may be made to the claimed invention without following the example embodiments and applications illustrated and described herein, and without departing from the true spirit and scope of the claimed invention, which is set forth in the following claims.