While not everyone can get a tan versus simply burning or seeing no darkening at all, for many people, tanning is the natural reaction to UV light exposure. The tanning process begins after exposure when the skin produces melanin which causes the skin to darken. Since melanin levels vary from person to person, darker-skinned people usually tan while lighter-skinned people with less melanin tend to burn and not tan. The delay between exposure and a visible tan is caused by the amount of time it takes skin cells to generate the melanin pigment and transform UV energy into heat. Over time, a tan fades as the darkened skin naturally scales off.
Two types of UV exposure cause different reactions. UVA usually stimulates existing melanin, making the skin darker. UVB may increase the amount of melanin produced by the skin, beginning a delayed tan that usually lasts longer than a “tan on tan” UVA tan.
If you are new to tanning, be sure to ask our staff which bed and exposure is right for your skin type. Come in and get a jump on your summer tan!