We all know that too much exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds can be dangerous and increase the risk of skin cancer. Too much of anything is never a good thing, but in healthy moderation, safe exposure to UV tanning can actually have positive health benefits—particularly when it comes to Vitamin D.
Here's everything you need to know.
What is Vitamin D?
First, let's talk about Vitamin D. It's a vital nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system by regulating insulin levels and helping the body fight infections. Without enough Vitamin D, your body is at risk of developing health problems (like osteoporosis).
So how do we get Vitamin D?
While there are dietary sources of Vitamin D such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms, the primary source of Vitamin D is sunlight. When skin is exposed to UVB rays from the sun, it manufactures Vitamin D3 and transports it to the liver and kidneys where the vitamin is then converted into its active, usable form.
How Does UV Tanning Support Vitamin D Production?
Safe exposure to UV tanning can be a useful way to help improve Vitamin D levels, especially during the winter months when there's less sunlight available. According to research, UV tanning may stimulate the production of Vitamin D in the same way as natural sunlight, making it an effective alternative to outdoor tanning.
However, safe exposure is key. Overexposure to UV radiation can still be harmful and increase the risk of skin cancer. It’s crucial to find a balance between getting enough Vitamin D and minimizing the risk of skin damage.
How Can I Safely Tan?
Follow the guidelines set by the World Health Organization, which suggest that adults get 5-15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week on the arms, legs, or back in the summer.* During the winter (or if you live in an area with limited sun exposure), UV tanning can be a useful alternative.
- Choose a reputable salon that adheres to strict safety guidelines. The iTAN team is trained on safe indoor tanning practices. We’re always here to help guide you in creating a healthy tanning routine—including what type of bed or level is right for your skin, the best tanning and post-tan care, and the frequency of your visits.
- Be careful not to burn when outdoors. Alternatively, indoor tanning offers a controlled environment which reduces over-exposure.
- Boost your UV protection with antioxidant-rich skincare. Tanning lotions from the iTAN and Zoki bodycare line are packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants and anti-aging peptides to help protect, nourish, and smooth your skin.
*Keep in mind that UV tanning is not suitable for everyone. If you have a history of skin cancer, you should avoid UV tanning altogether. If you’re unsure, always consult with your doctor.
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