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Here is some very interesting information about tanning:

The Positive Effects of the Sun

*Heliotherapy is defined as the treatment of disease and other disorders by exposing the body to sunlight.

It is recognized that sunburn and long-term UV-overexposure can cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. However, there is no proof that moderate tanning is harmful. Rather, the science of Heliotherapy supports the idea that regular, controlled exposure to the sun offers many health benefits including:


Sunlight is known as “The Sunshine Vitamin”
When exposed to the UVB portion of sunlight, the skin produces Vitamin D, also known as The Sunshine Vitamin. By making it possible for your body to absorb calcium and other vital minerals from your diet, Vitamin D and the sun play crucial roles in the life-long development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Sunlight and Vitamin D synthesis significantly influence your body, everything from lowering cholesterol to preventing cancer.

Light Affects Over 100 Bodily Functions

Light plays a crucial role in the regulation of over 100 bodily functions. The pineal gland, the body’s “third eye,” coordinates most of our life-sustaining functions based on the light information it receives. Located deep in the center of the brain, the pineal gland receives light energy exclusively through the eyes. Sunlight keeps the body’s systems in balance, everything from the immune system to fertility.

Light Increases Longevity

Sunlight provides us with the vital nutrients that have the power to increase our longevity. Sunlight enters the body through the eyes and skin, affecting virtually every cell in the body. It is not surprising that sunlight can be used as a natural remedy. Through the prevention of such diseases as colon cancer and the stimulation of white blood cells to fight other diseases, the invigorating sun can help us live longer, healthier lives.

More Positive Effects…

Dermatologists have prescribed Heliotherapy as a treatment for acne, psoriasis and other skin disorders for decades.

Exposure to bright light has been found to help alleviate some symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome, such as mild depression and mood swings, irritability, physical discomfort, and social withdrawal.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a mood disorder caused by sunlight deprivation, has been successfully treated with Heliotherapy.

*The above information was obtained from scientific studies conducted by California Tan and the Heliotherapy Light and Skin Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine.


MYTH: There is no such thing as a safe tan.

REALITY: Actually, you could say that it isn’t safe to totally avoid the sun.

The benefits of regular sun exposure far outweigh the risks of overexposure, which easily can be minimized by merely avoiding sunburn. Research shows that regular, moderate sun exposure might actually decrease your risk of getting breast, colon, prostate and ovarian cancers as well as osteoporosis or even Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re a woman, you are 69 times more likely to die of breast cancer than skin cancer. And the vitamin D you receive from ultraviolet light, which cannot be replaced in your diet, may inhibit the formation of internal tumors, including breast cancer.

MYTH: Indoor tanning is more harmful than tanning outdoors because the UV light from a sunbed is more intense.

REALITY: Today, all sunbeds and tanning booths used in salons are regulated by the FDA as Class II Medical Devices. This means you are only exposed to a standardized amount of UV, with a mixture of both UVB and UVA rays, designed to minimize burning. When used according to the FDA’s exposure guidelines (posted on each tanning system), sunbeds and booths are designed to maximize tanning and minimize burning.

Conversely, tanning outdoors is an unregulated, uncontrolled environment. There are many factors that have to be considered when you tan outdoors: geography, time of day, weather conditions, the seasons, and the ozone layer. Remember the best way to safeguard yourself from sun damage is to wear appropriate levels of SPF sunscreens outdoors – even if you already have a tan.

MYTH: In order to get a suntan, you have to burn first.

REALITY: A sunburn does NOT fade into a tan. Sunburn indicates UV-overexposure and actually damages the skin, leaving it inflamed (as indicated by the skin’s red coloring and sensitivity), dry, chapped and visibly unappealing. In fact, sunburn can lead to premature aging and potentially skin cancer.

Always practice moderation when tanning by using the proper sunscreen protection when tanning outdoors and the exposure time that is recommended for your personal skin type when tanning indoors.

MYTH: People get sexually transmitted disease like AIDS from sunbeds.

REALITY: The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that this is physically impossible. The AIDS virus (as well as other serious viral diseases) does not live outside the body. This fear may come from the fact than many people lay nude in sunbeds during their tanning session (in order to eliminate tan lines). However, even if there is profuse sweating, the AIDS virus, or other venereal diseases, cannot be passed to the next user. Additionally, tanning salons are required by law to disinfect the acrylic shield on the sunbed after each session.


Approximately 22 million U.S. consumers tan at salons every year and there are more than 24,000 tanning facilities listed in the Yellow Pages.

The tanning salon you visit should evaluate your skin type to determine your personal recommended UV exposure time. They should also remind you to wear eye protection and make it available to you, encourage the use of a lotion (before and after tanning), and recommend the appropriate lotions to use.

As a consumer, you should be selective when choosing a tanning salon, making sure that it is a clean, professional establishment that follows responsible practices.