So you've been staring into the cloudy, dry winter sky and asking the heavens when the sun will shine. Maybe you're staring at your pale legs and dreading warmer weather. Either way, if you haven't been getting any sunshine in your life, or sprinkled across your bod, consider visiting a tanning bed.
You may be wondering how a tanning bed works at turning your skin from an unhealthy looking pale tone to a vibrant and young sun-kissed glow.
Sunlight vs. Tanning Bed Light
Both sunlight and tanning beds emit ultraviolet radiation, known as UV. Sunlight emits UVA, UVB, and UVC light. Tanning booths, however, do not emit as much or as wide a range of this light, using only UVA and UVB light to help you get the perfect tan. This is important because UVC light is the most dangerous and harmful to your skin.
UVA light helps retain the longevity of your tan and works by going into the deepest layers of your skin. UVA rays are why you can still get a tan on a cloudy day at the beach. UVB rays work more quickly and have to do with direct exposure to sunlight and tend to burn your skin more easily. Sun beds minimize their use of UVB lights in order to prevent burning, which has been linked to increasing the risk of skin cancer.
The fluorescent lamps inside a tanning bed use as little electricty as they can in order to produce results. Newer beds, known as high pressure beds, use light bulbs that are made out of quartz and that emit only UVA rays. This creates a deeper tan faster than traditional beds.
Tanning salons also offer special indoor lotions and sunscreens that are meant to be used in tanning beds and will further prevent burning. Oils and outdoor lotions are not meant to be used inside beds and will block the rays from reaching your skin altogether.
-safety: A tanning bed is a safer alternative to sunlight because it leaves out the most harmful, UVC light. They are safer also because you can control the amount of exposure you receive, which is impossible in an outdoor setting. If you take the proper precautions and avoid going overboard, sun beds could be a great way to stay safe and look great.
-health: In many parts of the world, sunlight is a rare luxury during the cloudy winter months. Research proves that your body's exposure to sunlight can have mood as well as health benefits including stronger bones and increased production of certain, essential vitamins. Tanning booths can provide you with these benefits when sunlight is just not available.
-fashion: The way we look directly effects the way we feel and a nice tan can make you look and feel younger. The best part? No tan lines!
If you've never been in a tanning bed but are looking to try it out, remember that developing a glowing, lasting tan takes time. Talk to a professional about developing a good base tan and maintaining it through follow up sessions.