Tanning Tips for Outdoors

Tanning Tips

Protect yourself outdoors
When recreating outdoors, wear appropriate full-spectrum sunscreens-even if you already have a tan. Remember, you can still tan while wearing sunblock, and you can still sunburn if you have a tan! You also should wear hats whenever possible while outdoors, particularly if you have a receding hairline or thinning hair. The top of the head is especially sensitive to sunburn. The shade a hat provides will also help reduce the amount of sunlight on your face and arms, also common sites of sunburn.

Avoid sunburn
If you remember nothing else, remember this cardinal rule of tanning. Sunburn is the enemy associated with permanent skin damage. It occurs when tiny blood vessels in your skin burst from getting too much sun exposure. Whether tanning inside or outside, never burn yourself intentionally. Many people falsely assume that sunburns will eventually "fade" into tans. This is not so. Sunburn is an injury on top of your tanned skin. Tanning salon operators are trained to do everything in their power to help you tan moderately and minimize your risk of getting burned.

The Sun's Rays

What are the different sun rays?

The sun emits three kinds of non-visible ultraviolet light: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is the shortest, most harmful light but is primarily stopped by the earth's ozone layer. UVB is the medium wavelength of light and is necessary to trigger the tanning process, but too much UVB can cause sunburn. UVA is the longest wavelength and is responsible for the oxidization of melanin in the skin.

The Tanning Process

What is the tanning process?

UVB stimulates the melanocyte cells in the skin to produce melanin ( a.k.a. pigment) which is then oxidized by UVA, turning it brown. As the outer layer of skin sheds, cells are lost and your tan will fade. Therefore, to maintain a tan requires continuous exposure to ultraviolet light. The degree of colouring depends on the amount of melanin you have, your individual reaction to ultraviolet light and the time of exposure.