Just How Safe Are Sunbeds?

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Thanks to Coco Chanel making a golden a fashion statement, the concept of tanning has become an increasingly popular venture which thousands of people use every week. With time running short due to work and family commitments the element of sitting out in the sun for a few hours is unreachable to many, so sunbeds have become the most popular indoor tanning practise.

How do sunbeds work?

Behaving just like the sun itself, sunbeds use a combination of UVA and UVB to promote the production of melanin in the skin. This skin pigment splits under the radiation which effectively creates more melanin that browns as it rises to the surface of the skin, making it ‘tan’.

Depending on the machine in use, the results can differ and different types of UV dominate the lamps in the sunbed. Most modern sunbeds emit a higher dose of UVB which is faster at creating a lasting golden tan.

For a good idea of the sunbeds available today, see Best Sunbeds online tanning shop.

What are the risks and benefits of using a sunbed?

The main risk involved with using sunbeds is ultimately the chance of developing skin problems. Some of the most modern sunbeds can produce as much as five times the amount of UV radiation as the sun at midday. This means that your skin can be damaged in a very short time.

The charity Cancer Research UK states that the use of sunbeds before the age of 35 can enhance the chance of developing melanoma by as much as 75%. Some professionals also add that the UV rays can also harm DNA in the skin which can lead to ageing of the skin.

In addition to the negative outcomes of using sunbeds, some positives can come out of them such as the availability of vitamin D. This vital vitamin comes from the sun itself and is often used as a free treatment for depression. By not using a sunbed your body can obtain the right amount of vitamin D in a casual five to ten-minute walk in the sunshine.

See the Cosmopolitan for the 7 best ways to getting a tan.

How to reduce the risk

If you want to use sunbeds there are some tips and guidelines to help reduce the risks associated with the use of sunbeds.

  • Cap treatments at 20 per year, ideally less
  • Keep a 48-hour gap between treatments
  • Keep out of the sun on the same day as a sunbed session
  • Remove makeup and use protective eye goggles every time
  • Keep time short


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