|The Truth About Tanning
The sun emits three types of ultraviolet rays. The
shorter the ray, the more harmful it becomes. The shortest of the three,
UV-C, is unable to penetrate the earth's ozone layer. Only UV-B and UV-A
enter the earth's atmosphere, and of these two, the shorter UV-B is the
ray responsible for burning. UV-A, the longest ray, is responsible for
browning of the skin resulting from moderate exposure to
ultraviolet light, is only now being properly understood as the
skin's ultimate source of protection from a real danger-burning.
Burning is the reddening of the skin resulting from
over-exposure to ultraviolet light, and should be avoided at all
If tanning truly provides protection from
this danger, why then are people constantly being told to stay
out of the sun? The answer lies in understanding sunshine.
Outdoors, UV-B can reach levels of up to 40
percent, making burning a very real possibility, even for darker skin
types. This then poses a real dilemma for those who want to acquire a
tan without the dangers inherent in burning-a dilemma that has been
solved by the indoor tanning industry.
Indoors, tanning beds emit approximately
one-tenth of the UV-B experienced outdoors, minimizing the chances of
developing a sunburn and the negative consequences that accompany such a
This is great news for those wanting to reap the
positive benefits from tanning. Beyond its attractive cosmetic appeal,
tanning in moderation has been proven to reduce the risk of developing
breast, colon and ovarian cancers. Moderate tanning lowers blood
cholesterol levels, strengthens bones and teeth, reduces depression,
aids in weight loss, increases immune response and heightens physical
If you still remain unconvinced about the
desirability of a tan, ask yourself one final question:
Who ever heard of "tall, pale and handsome?"
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