UV TANNING FAQS
HOW YOUR SKIN TANS
There are various physiological and psychological reasons why exposure to light is desirable and necessary. There is a growing body of scientific evidence showing people actually require light exposure to function effectively. Light exposure causes the brain to release the hormone serotonin that then acts as an antidepressant in the body. As well, exposure to light produces various health benefits, such as the production of the very necessary Vitamin D3 that aids in the prevention of bone diseases (i.e. osteoporosis) and in the improvement of psoriasis symptoms.
People that are exposed to longer hours of UV light tend to feel happier and are able to enjoy life. Potential health benefits include but are not limited to: production of Vitamin D, decreased risks of breast and colon cancer, and reduced risk of sunburn. The psychological benefits of tanning are also well researched. Sunlight deprivation has been linked to some mental disorders. There are numerous reasons, physical and psychological, why exposure to ultraviolet light is desirable. FDA regulations at the present time prevent the indoor tanning industry from making any medical representations or claims related to indoor tanning exposure. And of course, people know that a great tan looks good, feels good, and can add to personal confidence and desirability.
The tanning process:
Tanning takes place in skin’s outermost layer, the epidermis, with special cells called melanocytes. When exposed to UV-B light (the shorter wave length of ultraviolet light) melanocytes produce the pigment, called melanin. Melanin is the pinkish pigment that travels through the epidermis and is absorbed by other skin cells; when melanin is exposed to UV-A light (the longer wave length of ultraviolet light) it begins to oxidize or darken, therefore producing a tan. This is your skin’s natural SPF against the sunlight and how it protects itself from overexposure to UV light. Your lips and your eyelids do not produce melanin, and therefore they should be protected when exposed to UV light.
DID YOU KNOW?...
The heat that you feel while tanning is from the infrared spectrum of light and has absolutely nothing to do with the tanning process.