Many people use tanning beds to get that sought after sun kissed look. That is not the only reason for the popularity of this equipment, many people are also realizing that there are also several healthy benefits to tanning with UVB and UVA lights including increased produced of Vitamin D. While there is no question that these beds do work, how they work is not common knowledge. In this article, on tanning bed how it works, you will learn the best way to get a healthy, golden tan.
Basics of Tanning
The skin is comprised of three separate layers, including the outer layer of the skin which is called the epidermis. This thin layer is comprised of cells which are constantly replacing the old, dead skin cells. The pigment melanin, is also produce in the epidermis. Melanin is what the body produces to help shield the skin from harmful UV light, and is also responsible for the darker color we get from tanning or sun exposure. Vitamin D is also produced in our produces when we come in contact with certain type of UV rays. As the tanned skin cells fall off, our tans will also begin to fade. It is this gradual fading that generally leads people to consider using a tanning bed to revive their golden glows.
Tanning Beds in General
Tanning beds use artificial lights to mimic the same UVA, and sometimes UVB like as the natural sun. The beds are equipped with cooling fans, and then uses the artificial light to quickly brown the skin. While there is debate over which UV rays are the most harmful, or beneficial, most tanning beds rely more on the UVA light than the lighter UVB rays.
The lights used in today’s tanning beds, were first introduced by a German scientist in the 1970’s. The initial study focused on whether athletes exposed to artificial sunlight indoors would perform better. Instead, the athletes became tanned, sparking the indoor tanning revolution. These bulbs now come in two different models, low and high pressure. While the high pressure bulbs are more common, the lower UVB bulbs are beginning to gain attention. The high pressure bulbs release controlled amounts of UVA light, which causes the melanin in the skin to become darker. While the UVA light bulbs can give a darker tan faster, they do not have the benefits of the lower pressure UVB bulbs. UVB light has come under fire in recent years. Studies have shown that this lower spectrum light does not significantly cause the skin to tan, and it can cause certain types of skin cancers. While this may be true, there are some benefits to UVB rays including increased production of the natural sun blocker melanin and Vitamin D.
An optimum tanning bed would include a bulb that uses both the high and the low spectrum lights. The combination of both UVA and UVB lights would help to give a longer lasting gradual tan, without several of the health risks that are often associated with tanning beds. As a word of caution, the rating that is listed on the side of the tanning beds is the amount of UVB rays that the bulb emits. It is not the number of the tan’s darkness, as many customers have mistaken in the past.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Tanning Bed
While many dermatologists and physicians agree that using a tanning bed is safer than sunbathing outdoors, there are still some downsides to having that bronzed look year round. Many of these problems can also be avoided, if the beds are used properly. Some of the harmful side effects can include,
- Certain types of skin cancers have been linked to over exposure in tanning beds.
- Premature signs of aging, including wrinkles and sunspots.
- Damage to the immune system and other internal organs.
These harmful side effects, are mainly caused by overexposure to the high pressure UVA lights. UVA rays have been linked to certain types of skin cancers, and have been proven to be one of the leading causes of premature aging. While the lower pressure UVB rays can also cause damage, they are less likely to be responsible for skin becoming sun damaged. Just as tanning beds can have harmful side effects, so can completely avoiding the sunlight. UVA and UVB rays are vital to a healthy lifestyle. Not only can the darkening of the skin help to protect us from harmful sunburns, they also are instrumental in the body’s production of Vitamin D and melanin. Recent studies have shown that people who avoid contact with UV light are actually at a higher risk of developing certain skin cancers and other medical conditions.
How to Work a Tanning Bed
Once you understand how a tanning bed and the different UVB and UVA bulbs tan your skin by coloring the melanin in the skin, it is time to understand how to properly work and use one. While there are several different types of tanning beds, and some with amazing features, there are ten basic tips that can be applied to all of them. There are several reasons why women want a year round tan, and the most important one is the beautiful feeling that usually accompanies it. Tanning beds are great for keeping a nice even tan, or for establishing a base tan. They should not be used to try and get a dark, tropical tan in only one sitting. This is when skin damage and painful sunburns usually occur. Instead, following these tips can keep any tan healthy and glowing.
- Before tanning indoors or outdoors, it is important to check with your health care provider if you are on any medications.
- Applying a tanning lotion that contains Tyrosine will not only help to increase the body’s production of melanin. it will also help to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized. The increased production of melanin will help with the tanning process, while helping to prevent sunburns.
- Applying hydrating or moisturizing lotions twice a day will not only keep your skin healthy, but it can also help your tan to last longer. Most tanning beds use UVA lights, which produce shorter lasting tans. As your skin cells dry and fall off, the tan gradually begins to fade. Keeping your skin moisturized can help to prevent skin cells from flaking off as quickly.
- This is especially true for achieving a base tan, but it is important to always remember the time. Over tanning, whether outdoors or inside while always result in a sunburn. Once the skin is burnt, there is no chance of getting that bronzed glow, for awhile. After the damaged skin has peeled, and completely healed, you can try slowly working your way back to a slight golden glow. To help prevent burning, never use a bed for longer than five to six minutes at a time. This is especially true for people with fairer skin.
- After the first visit, it there are no adverse affects it is important to keep tanning once every 48 hours. This will help your tan to gradually build up. Not only will this make the tan appear more natural, it will also help to prevent burning. If the skin is not dry or itchy, the tanning visits can even be repeated every twenty hours instead.
- After the base tan has been built to a gorgeous golden color, the tanning visits should be decreased to only twice a week. While spending a few minutes a week under the high pressure bulbs may not seem like it could do any damage, continual exposure can still have harmful and dangerous side effects.
- Any exposure to UV light in the eyes can be dangerous, and it is always recommended that you wear safety goggles while you are tanning. Some women worried about the white marks around the eyes, but there are now specially formulated bronzing creams, that are made for the sensitive eye area.
- For those who want an all over body tan, it is advisable to start slowly. Skin that is not used to prolonged exposure to UV rays can burn within seconds, especially in a tanning bed. Begin with a thin cotton towel, before completely exposing yourself. The towel will still let small amounts of the UV light through, letting your skin slowly adjust.
- Just like laying out by the pool or on the beach, you can still get tan lines from not shifting your body periodically. Occasionally moving your arms and legs so each part is equally tanned, will help prevent the embarrassing white crease lines.
- The final tip for using a tanning bed is to refrain from wearing any perfumes, makeup, or deodorant while you are tanning. The UV lights can cause these products to irritate the skin on occasion.
Using a tanning bed is a great way to get a beautiful base tan, or an exotic deep glow. With proper understanding on how a tanning bed works, anyone can have gorgeous color year round. With the combination of high pressure and low pressure bulbs, and a wide variety of tanning bed models to choose from, it can be easy to always be tanned
A tanning bed works with your skin’s own pigmentation to cause it to darken, in the same way the the natural UV light from sun. With the higher concentration of the UVA and UVB lights, a tanning bed can give you a gorgeous base tan, in as little as five minutes. Unlike other types of fake tans, the tanning bed will not only last longer, it can also provide some of the same benefits as natural sunlight. Benefits such as reversal of skin damage caused by overexposure to UVA rays, and increased production of Vitamin D in the body.
Using a tanning bed can not only benefit the body’s appearance on the outside, often women believe that they look slimmer and younger when they are tanned. It can also help to improve a woman’s emotional and mental well being. Feeling beautiful on the outside, can translate into feelings of peace and serenity on the inside. The increased production of Vitamin D, also helps. With all of the benefits associated with using tanning beds, it is no surprise that they have continued to gain in popularity over the years. With proper use, anyone can have a healthy and glowing tan year round by using a tanning bed.