Skin tanning is the process by which skin is made to attain a darker appearance than the normal one, called a tan. This can be done in a natural way by exposing oneself to the UV rays of the sun or using man-made products, which is called sunless tanning. Methods not involving the sun have become more widespread among many people after doctors discovered the role of UV in skin cancer.
One method of tanning skin from ultraviolet radiation is by basking in sunlight, in a leisure activity called sunbathing. This is most common and arguably most convenient way to get skin tanned. The effectiveness and speed of suntan can be enhanced by another phenomenon called windburn. Windburn is a process where wind removes a layer of skin that filters out UV rays leading to a more pronounced tanning.
Besides the sun one can also achieve skin tanned from UV is by using a device referred to as a tanning bed or a sunbed which produces UV radiation artificially. Sunbeds have fluorescent bulbs infused with phosphor and produce rays identical to those of sunlight. Besides a small portion of UV B, most of the radiation produced is UV A using this device has little difference from sunbathing.[I:http://www.tweetarticle.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/VeronicaCappelletti6.jpg]
Skin tanning can also be achieved without using the sun or any other source of UV radiation. This method is called sunless tanning or fake tanning. Chemicals of different kinds have been used to successfully cause skin to have a tan similar to that caused by the sun. The chemicals may be applied to the skin topically or orally.
Pills containing beta-carotene have become very useful for non-UV tanning because they produce a lasting effect and protect against sunburn. Sunburn is the discoloring of the skin due to excessive exposure to sunlight. Beta-carotene produces a better skin tone than sun tanning and eliminates the risk of cancer posed by the sun.
There are other different compounds besides beta-carotene that are used to manufacture UV-free tanning products. Pills or products based on beta-carotene remain the most popular choice for getting a tan, though. Also, some people have started to use temporary tanning solutions like creams and powders that come off when cleaned with water.
Author: Veronica CappellettiThis author has published 20 articles so far.