Learn About Tanning and Skin

To a number of people, summer suggests the perfect time to hang out at the beach or the pool, soaking up the sun’s rays in search of a wonderful tan. However, before you head to the pool in your bathing suit or pay for a booth in a salon for tanning, there are few things worth considering when it comes to sun exposure and your skin. Some folks believe a healthy glow is the result of tanning, but a tan actually reveals that the body is trying to shield itself from damage through sun exposure. A number of people in truth desire tanning, but do you know what tanning is all about – how skin tans and how tanning occurs?

How Tanning Occurs

The energy emitted through radiation from the sun gets to the earth as Ultraviolet form of rays. The rays of the sun that reach the skin contain ultraviolet radiation in two forms: Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B. Although the earth is shielded by ozone in the atmosphere, the past few decades has experienced ozone layer breakdown by UV rays which has made human more vulnerable in recent times, to skin damage due to UV rays. UVB rays burn the skin’s upper layers (the epidermis), and in that way cause sunburns. UVA rays are responsible for tanning in people. UVA radiation penetrates the lower epidermis layer of skin, where melanocytes cells are triggered to produce melanin. The body’s way of preventing skin burn is offered by melanin. Lighter-skinned people tan less than darker-skinned people because the melanocytes of their skin produce less melanin. Tanning is caused by the melanin brown pigment.

Tanning Downsides: Sunburn and Premature Aging

UVA rays don’t just make you tan; they may also bring about serious skin damage. This is because UVA radiation sinks deeper into the human skin than UVB radiation. UVA radiation can go a little bit further, breaking the walls of the protective epidermis of the skin and go all the way to the dermis, where nerves and blood vessels are located. As a result of this, UVA rays may impair the immune system of a person, making it more difficult to fight off skin infections and diseases.


When UV radiation reaches the skin, they interrelate with a natural skin chemical termed melanin. Melanin is the skin’s first line of defense and absorbs UV radiation in order to protect the skin from sun damage; this reaction of UV rays and melanin is what produces tanning for the skin. When you’re exposed to an exceeding amount of UVA rays, the protection provided by the skin melanin is broken and the resulting effect is a sunburn. Exposing oneself to intense solar radiation may also increase the chances of a person developing the deadly melanoma cancer of the skin.

Premature Aging

Cancer is not the only skin problem linked to UVA exposure. The main factor causing premature aging of the skin is UVA radiation. To get firsthand knowledge of the effects of sunlight on the skin, observe the skin of older folks and see how dissimilar it is from your skin. Much of that is not due to the age difference but sun exposure.

Sun Protection for Today and Beyond

You can shield yourself from the rays of the sun and its equivalent damaging effects by staying indoors. However, coming outdoors every now and again is not a bad idea if the necessary precautions are taken against sunburn or sun exposure. To shield yourself from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation when outdoors, consider wearing sunglasses and a hat, make use of sunscreen, and put on protective clothing that will cover as much of the skin as possible. Sunscreen should be an essential inclusion of your routine sun-protection plans. They help protect your skin from UV radiation. Sunscreens come with an SPF number. Generally, the higher the sun protection factor (SPF) number, the more the product provides protection against UV rays.

Also, consider wearing protective clothing made from built-in SPF fabrics. Contrary to widespread belief, tanning beds are not the “best” way to have a tan. They emit similar UV rays coming from sunlight, so avoid using them. Cover yourself when outdoors with a sunless tanning product. If you prefer the sun-kissed skin tanning products, try the “do-it-yourself” products or the spray-on tan of a salon. However, remember to always use sunscreen and stick to other precautions and protection against UV rays anytime you’re going to be outdoors for a long period of time.

The UV radiation is stronger in the months of the summer. They are also more powerful in areas of high altitude that embrace geographic factors that can amplify the risk of aging prematurely. The sun, as a matter of fact, is inviting and warm, but exposure to UV radiation can be costly. Take the necessary steps highlighted here to prevent the disorder that sun damage can leave your skin with.