Tanning Basics

The Fundamentals of Tanning

Moderate tanning, for individuals who can develop a tan, is the smartest way to maximize the potential benefits of sun exposure while minimizing the potential risks associated with either too much or too little sunlight.

This position is founded on the following tenets:

The tanning industry promotes and teaches what we refer to as The Golden Rule of Smart Tanning:  Don’t ever sunburn.

  • The indoor tanning industry has been effective at teaching sunburn prevention than those   who promote complete sun avoidance. Non-tanners sunburn more often than people who tan indoors
  • An estimated 30 million North Americans patronize indoor tanning facilities at some point during the year. Every year, millions of indoor tanners successfully develop “base tans” before embarking on sunny vacations – tans that, combined with the proper use of sunscreen outdoors, help them prevent sunburn. It is important to remember that it takes time to achieve a proper base tan.
  • Public debate on this issue has completely lost the perspective that there are known physiological and psychological benefits associated with sunlight, that there are many other potential benefits that need further research, that the risks are manageable for anyone who has the ability to develop a tan and that, for many people, the benefits of sun exposure outweigh the risks associated with overexposure.
  • A tan is the body’s natural protection against sunburn. Your skin is designed to tan as a natural body function, and the body is designed to repair sun damage as a natural process.
  • A tan does not occur in one day or one week!  
  •    It is best to follow a program of tanning for at least 3-4 weeks prior to sun exposure. This will not provide you with adequate out-door sun protection, but it will assist in starting the tanning process.
  • The professional indoor tanning salon industry is part of the solution in the on going battle against sunburn and in teaching people how to identify a proper and practical life-long skin care regimen

Whether you tan indoors or outdoors, the process is the same.  Ultraviolet rays stimulate skin cells to produce melanin, the pigment that makes your skin tan.

There are two types of ultra violet light rays — UVA and UVB.  Different indoor tanning units use different combinations of these two tanning rays. Whatever the combination, your exposure times are regulated by the federal government to minimize your risk of sunburn  or overexposure.

Smart tanning involves following the exposure schedule designed for your skin type and avoiding sunburn by tanning gradually.

By controlling the type and amount of UV light you receive in your bed, there is no doubt that this is the best, smartest place to acquire a tan.  However, there is some precautions you should take to maximize your enjoyment of your tanning bed.

Why Redder isn’t Better

Many think that; if they do not experience a slight red/pinkish tint after their tan, that they did not “get anything”.   The Truth is the red/pinkish tint you see, is a burn – your skin’s worst enemy.  Do not rely on the color of your skin to tell you when to get out of the sun!  Over exposure is not readily evident sometimes hours after the sun has gone down.

It is important to remember to follow a program of gradual tanning based upon your particular skin type. Once properly determined, you can quickly achieve a Smart tan

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