Let's talk sunbed tanning!
How many sessions will it take me to get a tan?
Tanning is a process - with gradual exposure it will take on average 10 - 20 sessions to achieve a quality base tan. 2-3 sessions per week is recommended during this period, after which one session per week/two weeks is enough to maintain your colour. Use of a maximiser (tanning enhancer) and your skin type will change the amount of time it takes for you to achieve your desired tan. Providing a quality tan enhancer is used, a result should be noticeable after 4-5 sessions (as dry skin tans much slower).
How does tanning work?
Tanning is what the skin is designed to do (to protect itself from over-exposure and outside stresses). Moderate UV exposure to produce a tan is like exercising your muscles so they don't waste away. We call this process natural tanning. Note: we ONLY advise this for people with skin type 2+.
Natural tanning occurs when skin is exposed to UV light- both UVB and UVA. Special cells called melanocytes produce melanin pigment which travels to the surface of your skin. Done moderately, this strengthens and protects the skin, while the top layers turn a browner colour as a consequence. The cosmetic tan that results from repeated moderate tanning sessions is a bonus of this biologically crafted process.
It is important to realise that burning is not tanning, and your skin does not need to get red in order to get brown. It is equally important to know how vital it is to use good quality tan accelerator and extender products to keep the skin hydrated and nourished during the tanning cycle. Just like muscles need good nutrition to perform their best, so does the skin need good care for a great tan AND a glowing colour.
In an indoor tanning environment the ratio of UVA to UVB is controlled to a degree that you are far less likely to develop a burn. Everyone has about 6 million melanocytes, but everyone has a different amount of melanin, according to their skin type, which is why we are all a different colour, and why people tan differently. This is why it's so important to have an individual tanning programme designed for you, like we do at Body Liqueur.
Are sunbeds safe?
There are benefits to sensible, moderate, non-burning exposure to UV light- regardless of the source. Studies suggest that adequate vitamin D can reduce your risk of developing many different cancers such as colorectal, breast and prostate, and also reduces the risk of many other illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and Depression.
Saying that sunlight is harmful and therefore should be avoided is as misleading as saying that water causes drowning, and therefore we should avoid water. Sun exposure is important- for those whose lifestyle keeps them indoors more than is natural, and particularly in the winter months many people choose to use a sunbed in moderation for their UV exposure. Commercial sunbeds are a controlled way for people to get UV exposure. The sun is an uncontrolled way to get UV exposure. Since we can hardly ban people from the sun, it's illogical to ban the only controlled version. It is far better to use a controlled environment to educate people about how to get their UV exposure responsibly.
Why can I only tan once every 2 days?
Tanning is a 24 to 48 hour process, and the cells producing melanin (tanning) pigment need this time to fully respond to the UV exposure and do their job. Tanning too soon will interrupt the tanning process as your skin tries to start the process over again before the first one is complete. Also, your skin needs time to adjust back to pre-tan moisture levels to look great and tan more effectively.
We know it's tempting sometimes to jump in that sunbed every day- let's face it- it feels so great! But hold yourself back to just three tans a week and you'll soon see an awesome difference in your colour and in your skin. (In fact, as you tan moderately over a longer term- you'll start to see your colour increase more on the second day after tanning than the first.)