Tanning is nothing more than the body’s own sunscreen. It is brought about by the invisible part of sunlight, UV rays. As UV light reaches the skin, the upper dermal layer responds first by thickening in order to protect itself (light-induced callosity).
The UV-B component is responsible for indirect, deep tanning. The pigment cells of our skin are stimulated to produce the brown pigment called melanin. It takes saveral days for ‘production’ to start. But in return, the dark colour gives the skin an effective sunscreen. This is why the UV-B component is so important when building up a base tan in preparation for a holiday in the sun.
UV-A light causes a darkening of the melanin already present in the skin. Although this direct tanning process at the surface of the skin occurs straightway, it only lasts for a short time. Skin protection from intelligent pre-tanning on a sunbed means that you can enjoy the natural sun three to five times as long.
- On sunbeds it is possible to achieve a light protection factor of 3-5.
- Developing a base tan on a sunbed helps to protect against sunburn.