Life on Earth would not be possible without sunlight and the tanning process is a natural and intended response to sun exposure. Let’s explore how indoor tanning has captured the sun’s rays to create smart tanning. Ultraviolet light from the sun and from indoor tanning units consists of two main components: UVA and UVB, both of which contribute differently to your tan. Indoor tanning equipment utilizes a carefully formulated and controlled mixture of the two light waves designed to tan you with a minimized risk of sunburn. That’s why we call indoor tanning smart tanning. The tanning process takes place in the skins outer most layer, the epidermis. About 5% of the cells in your epidermis are special cells called melanocytes. When skin is exposed to UVB light, melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment ultimately responsible for your tan. The pinkish melanin travels up through the epidermis and is absorbed by other skin cells. Melanin absorbs UVA light and oxidizes or darkens creating a protective barrier. The tanning process is your body’s natural way of receiving the benefits of moderate UV exposure while protecting itself. Sunburn occurs when too much UV exposure disrupts the tiny blood vessels near the skins surface, turning your skin red. Researchers believe repeated sunburn, NOT moderate tanning, is responsible for skin damage and should be avoided. A smart tan should be acquired gradually following the guidelines set by your salon professional.Click tanning salon

Skin’s Three Layers

First is the epidermis which consists of two layers. The horny layer which is the outer layer and the dead skin sealant. The second layer of the epidermis is called the germanative layer. This is the “living epidermis,” where the tanning process occurs. In the epidermis there are three main cells:

Basal Cells – Parent cells that line the base of the epidermis.

Keratinocytes – The skin cells that become tanned. They make up most of your epidermis, creating the seal between skin and the outside environment.

Melanocytes – The very special pigment-making cells found at the base of the epidermis. They produce and emit melanin – the protein that turns brown and gives your skin its tan.

The second layer of skin is the dermis which is the middle layer: Elastic tissue. Flexibility and strength.

And the third layer is the subcutaneous layer. This is the fatty tissue that binds the skin to the body.

  1. UVB shines down on the skin, which stimulates melanocytes into activity.
  2. Melanocyte cells, triggered by UVB, begin producing melanosomes which contain melanin and distribute them evenly throughout the keratinocyte cells in the lower epidermis.
  3. UVA shines down on skin, strikes the melanin that has been produced, blows it up like popcorn and creates an umbrella-like shield of protection around the keratinocyte skin cells that we call a tan.
  4. Oxygen is required for UVA to complete its main job: darkening the pinkish melanin and turning it brown. Your skin gets oxygen from the bloodstream, which is why good blood circulation is important for your tan.
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