One reason our customers enjoy the professional indoor UV light experience is that our knowledgeably trained staff can give them controlled UV exposures to gradually develop natural sunscreen – often called a “base tan” – while minimizing the risk of sunburn. The tanning process actually creates two different forms of natural protection against sunburn:
- Melanin pigment produced when UV light meets the skin literally enshrouds and shields skin cells in the skin’s epidermis, protecting each cell from getting too much UV exposure. Melanin is a powerful anti-oxidant, helping the skin naturally eliminate free-radicals that can cause damage.
- As the skin tans, the outer layer thickens (a natural process called acanthosis) which is nature’s design to make the skin naturally more resistant to sunburn.
The value of a base tan, as any indoor tanner knows, is that it adds another layer to your sun protection arsenal – making sunscreen worn outdoors for outings on sunny days even more effective. Here’s how that works:
- A typical new client begins tanning with 5-minute sessions, gradually develops a tan and can work her/his way up to 20-minute sessions. At this point, she/he becomes naturally FOUR TIMES more resilient to sunburn than when she/he first started tanning. (5 minutes x 4 = 20 minutes). So that tan has an SPF 4 value.
- When someone with a base tan uses sunscreen outdoors, they essentially multiply the effectiveness of the sunscreen. In other words, an SPF 15 product applied to the skin of a person whose base tan has already made her four times more resilient to sunburn creates a net SPF of 60. (SPF 15 x 4 = SPF 60).
In sunny environments many fair-skinned people can sunburn during normal outdoor activities even while wearing sunscreen. But with a base tan their sunscreen becomes more effective and they are much less likely to sunburn.