Sunless Tanning Explained

You've heard that SunLESS Tanning is better for you than

Sun Tanning, but why is that?

What is the difference?

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UVA/UVB - Sun Tan Explained 

Suntans, sunburns, and premature skin aging can all be caused by overexposure to  ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays which has been identified as cancer causing agents.

UVA rays accounts for about 95% of the UV light that reaches our skin, it is the more dominant tanning ray and penetrates farther into skin destroying key substances in skin that give it its firmness and elasticity.  UVA rays are deemed the sun’s “silent killers” because, unlike UVB rays, you do not feel the effects of UVA rays damaging your skin.

UVB rays while not as skin-penetrating or ever-present as UVA rays, UVB light is still just as   powerful.  These rays are directly responsible for sunburn and other visible changes to skin’s surface, including discolorations and photo-aging.  Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day but can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays so that they hit the skin twice. UVB unlike UVA rays do not significantly penetrate glass.

Both types of rays damage the skin cells’ DNA, prompting the production of more melanin, the pigment that gives our eyes and skin their color.  UVA oxidizes the existing melanin, causing immediate pigment darkening. All this melanin production signals that DNA damage has already occurred (the tan), and the damage from repeated UV exposures (tanning) keeps accumulating and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. 

Tanning Booth Explained


Tanning booths primarily emit UVA and the high-pressure sunlamps used in tanning salons emit doses of UVA as much as 12 times that of the sun. Not surprisingly, people who use tanning salons are  “74 percent more likely to develop melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, than those who have never tanned indoors. Tanning bed users are also 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma and 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, two of the most common forms of skin cancer. The more time a person has spent tanning indoors, the higher the risk. ) - Read more here.

So what is a SunLESS tan then?

With sunless tanning, no such damage occurs. It is a chemical mixture containing a coloring agent called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), that is put on your skin that temporarily "tans " the skin to a different shade or color.  Unlike UV rays, this coloring from DHA does not penetrate beyond the skin surface and is removed as the skin sheds. 

Information shared from SkinCancer.Org

Watch this educational video below by our friends down under.