Light, warmth and energy from the sun are essential for the survival of humans, animals and plants. The sun stimulates both body and soul.
It provides us with power, vitality, a feeling of well-being, a tan and good health. As long as the sun shines, nothing can get us down so easily.
Sunbeds should ONLY be used by adults over 18.
People with Skin Type 1 should NOT use sunbeds or sunbathe in the sun.
When using sunbeds ALWAYS wear UV protective goggles.
Leave at least 48 hours between tanning sessions.
How the skin tans
Positive effects of the sun
Tanning is quite simply the body’s way of using the skin as a natural sunscreen. Tanning takes place thanks to the invisible part of the sun’s rays, the UV rays. When the UV is sensed by the skin, the top layer of the skin reacts by becoming thicker to protect itself. The UV-B part is responsible for causing a tan which stays for a longer time. The pigment cells in our skin are stimulated to produce a brown colour called melanin. It takes several days for “production” to take place. The dark colour of the skin provides good protection from the sun. This is why the UV-B part is also important when getting a pre-holiday tan on a sunbed. UV-A causes a darkening of the melanin which is already in the skin, and this is immediately obvious. This combination of indirect and direct pigmentation therefore gives an outstanding tanning experience. With a specific pre-sunbathing session on a sunbed, you can therefore achieve natural protection for your skin. This means that you can stay out and enjoy the real sun for 3 to 5 times longer!
• Sunbeds can give you a sun protection factor (SPF) of 3 – 5.
• Pre-tanning on the sunbed helps to protect you from sunburn.
As well as giving you a great tan, sunlight or a visit to the tanning salon have positive benefits on your health. The UV-B rays in natural as well as artificial sunlight are vital for producing the vitamin D that is required for many metabolic processes. Vitamin D3 is especially important here, as several positive health effects have been attributed to it:
- Positive effect on bone structure
- Improvement in calcium supply
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Helps to stimulate the immune system
- Increase in physical and mental capacity
- Helps relief from depression
- Helps reduction in cholesterol level
- Helps strengthening of cardiovascular system
- High level of success for treating skin diseases, e.g. acne, psoriasis etc.
- Prevention of abnormal cell growth
- Lowering effect on blood pressure
- Activation of happy hormones “Endorphins”
- Improvement in general well-being
- Pre-tanning on a sunbed reduces risk of sunburn
People react differently to the sun depending on their skin type. You should know your own skin type so that you can adapt your exposure to the sun and your sunbed use accordingly. There are six different skin types recognised in the world, the first four of which are most common in Europe. Therefore please get more in-depth advice from your tanning salon professional or take a skin type test.
So do try to clear the facts up, here are some brief answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about sunbeds and sunbathing.
1) CAN I GET SKIN CANCER FROM JUST USING A SUNBED?
No. All the medical and scientific evidence points to over-exposure – burning – as the factor that will increase e your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly if the burning happens in childhood. Using a sunbed responsibly is a controlled way to obtain your tan through UV exposure. Indeed, there are now studies which show that regular UV exposure can actually help prevent the most deadly form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma.
2) DOES USING A SUNBED RAISE RISK OF CANCER BY 75%?
No. This is a very misleading statistic frequently used by the media. The figure comes from a crude analysis of selective studies and research. The figure indicates a relative risk factor which equates to 0.005775% relative risk increase if ever used a sunbed. Just to clarify, the relative risk factor of 0.005775% figure includes the alleged 75% increase! However, the original studies (and therefore the analysis) did not adjust findings for skin type 1s – skin type 1s should not sunbathe or use sunbeds. The analysis also omitted key studies, such as Luxembourg Health Institute study. Including of the skin type 1 adjustments and key omitted studies would have significantly reduced the already incredibly low relative risk factor of 0.005775%. It is important to note that relative risk is very different from real or actual risk. Relative risk is the probability factor of something happening if you do it, rather than not doing it.
3) CAN EVERYONE USE A SUNBED?
No. People with skin type 1s (sensitive skin – see above); under 18s and people on certain medications that may cause their skin to react to UV exposure should not use a sunbed or sunbathe at all.
Skin type 1s who wish to tan should use a sunless tanning option. Ergoline Plus recommends a range of sunless tanning options including URBAN TAN.
4) HOW MANY TIMES CAN I SENSIBLY USE A SUNBED?
Moderate tanning of 2 – 3 sessions per week is OK but it is important to leave a minimum of 48 hours between sessions.
5) WHY WILL SOME SALONS LET ME USE THEIR SUNBEDS FOR LONGER SESSIONS?
Different sunbeds have different power and UV output. A professional operator such as SULARIS, and especially a salon with membership of TSA, will advise accordingly with one objective: to avoid over-exposure or burning!
Can I go on a sunbed and out in the sun on the same day?
This should be avoided as much as possible so as not to exceed the daily dose of UV rays and therefore risk getting sunburn.
Can I go on a sunbed when pregnant?
If you have not been advised to void natural sunshine, you can also go on a sunbed. If in doubt, ask your doctor.
Can people with skin type 1 go on a sunbed?
People with skin type 1 are very sensitive to the sun and, according to dermatologists, they should not use sunbeds or sunbathe at all. Skin type 1s who wish to tan should use a sunless tanning option – such as Urban Tan as mentioned before.
What should be taken into account when using tanning lotions?
Only use lotions specifically made for use with sunbeds. Provided that they have been medically or dermatologically tested, there is no reason to avoid using them. Do not use SPF lotions (for sunbathing outside) when using a sunbed. Tanning pills or reams that have not been tested are not advisable, however. In case of doubt, seek the advice or your doctor or pharmacist.
How long does the tan last?
Around two to four weeks after the last time you sunbathe. Due to the skin’s natural system of renewal, the top skin cells are gradually shed. After about 28 days the skin will have renewed itself. If the right care is taken, for example by using special cosmetics, the tan can last longer.
Why doesn’t skin tan evenly?
The inside of the arms and legs don’t tan as easily because they don’t have as many pigment-forming cells as the rest of the skin. The face doesn’t tan as easily either because it naturally has a thicker corneal layer to protect itself from UV-B. Freckles and pigment patches contain a high number of tanning pigments and therefore to a lot darker than other parts of the skin. The parts of the skin that take your weight have a poorer blood supply. A lack of oxygen can lead to a reduced colouring of the melanin pigments. Sunbeds with an ergonomically formed base acrylic are therefore particularly suited to a tan “without pressure points”.
What should I do if I do get sunburn?
Mild sunburn is best left to wear off by itself. This means staying out of the sun or a few days, looking after your skin with moisturising products and drinking a lot of water. In the case of severe sunburn, see your doctor or seek advice from your pharmacist.
How can I make my holiday tan last longer?
You can go on a sunbed once or twice a week. A few minutes of tanning are enough to maintain your holiday tan. The recommended maximum number of sessions per year is 60.
Can the body produce enough vitamin D in winter?
Not in our climate. However, the body stores vitamin D during sunny months in the fatty tissue. In winter this is released as it is required. A large number of recent studies have shown that the UK population and even sunnier European country populations (due to lifestyle) have a seasonal or even long-term vitamin D insufficiency which could endanger their overall health.
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