Is tanning a defense mechanism against UV damage?


Tanned skin is a trend that has been with us for several decades, but have you ever thought about what changes in the skin to tan when exposed to the sun? There must be one reason, and today I will explain to you what happens to our skin when it is exposed to the sun.

Formation of colored skin when sunbathing

When exposed to the sun, an interesting process called melanogenesis is triggered in the skin. I know, a little complicated word that you don't need to remember. Just remember that with this process the brown pigment melanin is produced in the skin, which causes our complexion to be more brown. Just as pigments are added to the skin with e.g. powders and blushes, the natural process of the formation of pigments with which our skin is colored is triggered in our skin.

Tan protection from UV rays?

Tanning is a mechanism by which cells defend themselves against DNA damage. Melanin is deployed as a shield and this shield absorbs UV light so that it does not have to reach the DNA where it could cause cancerous changes. Any tan is a defense mechanism. However, even tanned skin is not a complete protection against burns and other adverse skin reactions that develop when exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, there is no healthy tan obtained by sunbathing, as this is always the result of damage. Despite the fact that we obtain some protection by coloring the skin, UV rays still affect skin damage, as they cause the formation of free radicals, the consequences of their action however, they manifest themselves in damage to cells and tissues.

Is there a healthy skin tan?

Dermatologists agree that the only healthy way to get a tan is with self-tanning products. Why? Self-tanning products such as Sunless tan lines contain special sugars that are also naturally present in our body. These sugars bind to amino acids on the surface of our skin and after a few hours the skin turns tan. For naturally colored skin, you do not need to be exposed to the sun, the ingredients in Sunless tan lines and to top it off, they are 100% natural and vegan.

Author: Petja Škufca, B.Sc. cosmetologist

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