Tanning 101

What is Tanning?

Tanning is your body’s natural response to ultraviolet light. The tanning process involves relatively quick reddening of the skin followed by slower forming – but longer lasting – browning of the skin (suntan).

The key is providing sufficient amounts of UVB to properly stimulate melanin (pigment) followed with effective amounts of UVA to complete the tanning process. UVA and UVB both exist in natural sunlight and in tanning bulbs. Specific tanning bed equipment, combined with bulb choice, determines the UVA and UVB amounts.

What is UVA? The “tanning rays” which have the longest wavelengths and penetrate deepest into skin.

What is UVB? The shorter wavelength rays that produce melanin and “activate” the tanning process. Overexposure to UVB can cause sunburn.

Tanning 101 — How light affects skin.

The perfect tanning light has enough UVB to stimulate production of melanin, the tanning power delivered by UVA, wavelengths to trigger production of vitamin D, and the warmth of the sun. The amount of UVA and UVB, coupled with the tanner’s genetic makeup, will determine the color and depth of tan.

For more information, visit www.tanningtruth.com.