For decades experts have been giving women the wrong advice when it comes to using artificial light to achieve that healthy glowing skin color. That beautifully tanned color is a look that many women strive for, and unfortunately the lasting results are often skin damage and premature aging. There is a way for women to safely tan without any off the unwanted side effects, and even improve their skin’s appearance. Understanding the differences between UVA and UVB rays can help you to understand the secrets of UV-Light for healthy tanning.
The Secrets of UV-Light For Healthy Tanning
While it is general knowledge that UV-light is not only found in tanning beds and in natural sunlight, what many women do not understand is that are different types of ultraviolet light which can all affect our skin differently. The most harmfully rays are the UVB and UVC waves which are closest to the sun and have the shortest visible light spectrum. This means that these rays are stronger and can cause severe burns if they were not immediately burned away upon reaching the earth’s atmosphere. This means that the only ultraviolet rays that reach the earth are the less harmful UVA and UVB waves. While each of these types of UV rays can give women the healthy glowing tanned skinned that they are looking for, there are some differences that need to be covered before you can be sure that you are getting the perfect tan, without causing damage to your skin or your body.
Features of UVB Light
There are several benefits to using UVB light to get the long lasting color and healthy glow, that every woman wants. These waves can help a tan develop gradually overtime, and the bronze color seems to last longer. The UVB rays also help your skin to produce more melanin, which is the body’s natural sunblock, to help prevent painful and damaging sunburns. A beautiful tan, also looks better when the body is healthy, and UVB rays also force the body to produce more Vitamin D which has proven to promote not only bone strength, but also for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Another benefit of UVB light is that a recent study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated that small, regular exposures to UVB rays can also help to reduce the risk of developing certain skin cancers, including melanoma.
Features of UVA Light
UVA Light can give women that almost instantaneous dark, island tan, but usually only in women who have a naturally occurring darker skin pigmentation. Unfortunately, this gorgeous dark tan will disappear faster, and also does not promote the production of Vitamin D in the body. These darker UV rays will help the body to naturally darker the pigmentation, or melanin, which can help to prevent damaging sunburns. While there is no known link yet to UVA light and certain skin cancers, these stronger light rays can cause signs of premature aging and even unsightly sun spots in some women.
A Healthy, Beautiful Tan
While there are benefits to tanning with both kinds of UV rays, the best tan can be achieved by mixing your exposure to both UVB and UVA waves. While this may seen like common sense, decades of incorrect information has made it difficult to find any tanning apparatuses that include the combined rays. Many experts have erroneously believed that UVA rays do not have a place in tanning, and are normally only found in tanning equipment that is manufactured overseas. With recent studies beginning to show the positive effects of combining the two rays, it is hoped that this safe and healthy method of tanning is soon widely available. Some of these healthy benefits include,
- UVA light exposure can help to lower high blood pressure similarly to prescribed medications.
- Helps to darken the skin’s own natural sun protection, melanin.
- Can help to prevent certain types of skin cancer with the darkening of pigmentation.
The Wrong Advice
In theory, it seems that combining the two light rays is capable of delivering a healthy golden tan, but it can be difficult to put it into practice. To get the right amount of undisturbed sunlight, not only does the sun have to be at the right angle, it has to be the right time of day in the exact spot. Since this does not happen often in nature, the amount of the sun’s rays that reach your skin are constantly changing. When this is combined with the misinformation that dermatologists, cosmetologists, and physicians are providing can make it almost impossible to get a healthy, glowing tan. Other misguided facts include,
- Tan only in the early morning hours when the sun is at its lowest.
- Always apply a sunscreen with a 20SPF or higher while you are outside.
If this advice were always followed, your skin would never get exposed to any of the beneficial UVB light along with the UVA rays. A tan that is only from the UVA will not only fade faster, it can also cause your skin to age faster. Even when protected by glass, these are the rays that can still filter through. This aging process is partially due to the lack of Vitamin D that you get with the weaker UVB rays.
Getting the Right Mix
While it is almost impossible to get the right mix of UV rays outdoors, there is an alternative solution for getting a healthy tan. While nature cannot be controlled, a tanning bed can. Each bed has a tanning lamp that can usually be preset. If not, the amount of UVB light will be clearly displayed on the bed. Unfortunately, even tanning beds have regulated the amount of UVB light that can be released, making it difficult to get enough of the weaker rays to a difference. Also adding to the problem is that many salons are focusing more on a quick, dark tan, rather than on the healthy golden ones. This is making it difficult to find a tanning salon that is geared for the healthy tanner. One of the secrets of UV-Light for healthy tanning includes inquiring about the salon’s tanning beds. There are still salons that have tanning equipment with a higher usage of UVB light.
What To Look For
One of the first things to look for in a tanning bed is the percentage of UVB light. For U.S. beds, the percentage is usually around 5-6, while European beds are slightly lower at 2-3%. If the tanning equipment has high pressured bulbs already installed, they can often switch them with the lower pressure bulbs which release higher levels of UVB rays. There can sometimes be a problem with this method also, since there are times when the bulbs cannot be exchanged. Other problems can as result in determining the amount of time to spend in the bed under both the UVA and UVB lights. Too much exposure to the UVA lights can result in a painful sunburn.
With the stigma slowly being replaced with the healthy benefits of tanning, some salons are slowly making it easier to get a glowing, natural looking tan. One new therapy has been termed “red light therapy”, and it is often being used to treat the ravages of sun damaged skin. It is in part, because of this treatment that experts are beginning to reverse their opinions about the harmful effects of UVB light. The red light treatments can not only help to erase some of the sun damage on the facial tissue, it is now being combined with blue light cleansing therapies. While these new combined lamps are still in the clinical stages, they could provide the ultimate answer to getting a healthy and beautiful tan. The premise behind these innovative lamps includes not only combining the red and blue lights, but also the UVA and UVB lights. With these combined, you will be able to get the benefits of the UVB light such as increased melanin protection and VItamin D, along with the darker tan from the powerful UVA rays. The red and blue waves would be used in concert to protect the skin from premature aging and help to rejuvenate old, tired skin cells. This combined therapy would be the perfect solution for a healthy tan that also looks gorgeous for a long period of time.
Secrets of Healthy Tanning
There will probably never be a substitute for natural shine, but there are some alternatives that can help you get all of the benefits of UVB and UVA light without many of the negative side effects. It has been proven that the experts were wrong, and that our bodies need UVB light to stay healthy and to protect our delicate skin from the more harmful UVA light. The secret to a healthy tan involves knowing the facts about the different rays of UV-light and the effects that they have on us. While the medical and cosmetic industries are slowly realizing that they have been wrong for decades, the changes are coming slowly. For now, the secrets of UV-Light for Healthy Tanning still remain known to only a few.