How Skin Tans
When sunlight hits your skin, it sets off a chain reaction that might end in a bronze tan or blistering sunburn, depending on a number of factors. At the top of the chain is the UV radiation itself, which hits the surface of the skin and stimulates melanin-producing skin cells called melanocytes.
There are actually three types of melanin: eumelanin, pheomelanin, and neuromelanin.
The first two contribute to hair, skin, and eye color, whereas the third resides in certain parts of the brain
(where its function remains something of a mystery to medicine). Eumelanin shows up as a brown color, while phaelo-melanin results in a red hue. (Blondes and redheads produce more phaelomelanin and thus tend to tan poorly.)
Melanin acts as the skin’s shield, absorbing UV radiation and quarantining its destructive effects from reaching other cells. People with lighter complexions produce melanin when subjected to UV rays over a period of time, which is why it often takes multiple sessions in a tanning bed to get a tan.
Those with darker complexions—though curiously having the same number of melanocytes—produce melanin on a regular basis regardless of sun exposure, lending their skin a much more effective defense against sunburn.
Tan with Confidence
Our experienced, certified operators are trained to control exposure times based on your skin type to optimize your bronze look without an overexposure.
Always remember to cover up and keep track of sun exposure outdoors on days when you have already been indoor tanning and vice-versa.
Put on your birthday suit and even out those tan lines you’ve been hiding. For more information on tanning, visit the Joint Canadian Tanning Association website.