Do you know the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

Tanning Basics: What’s the Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays?

Starting your tanning journey is an exciting time! You look forward to healthy vitamin D levels and a beautiful tan. But where do you begin?

Which bed do I use? How long do I tan for? Which bed is best for my skin type? Do I even know what my skin type is? Right from the start, your mind will be overloaded with questions. Don’t worry! Hot Spot Tanning is here to help you start off on the right foot and get on the path to the tan you’ve been dreaming of.

First, you need to know the difference between UVA and UVB rays.

UVB Rays — Building Rays

UVB rays are known as the building rays. This specific type of short wave ray builds melanin in your skin. Melanin is what produces the natural base tan and color in humans. In short, the more melanin you have, the tanner you can become after developing a strong base tan. This base tan protects your skin from burning when you’re outside under the hot summer sun.

While UVB can help build your tan, it can also cause you to burn if you take on too much too soon. It is important to “B” patient and use those UVB rays to build up a great base tan. Basic or standard tanning beds are ideal for accomplishing this tanning goal.

Building up the right amount of melanin can take time, depending on your skin type and genetics, so don’t rush! Just think, while you’re piling up your melanin inventory, you’re also taking care of your vitamin D levels at the same time. If you rush your tan, you’ll end up with a burn. The best tans take time!

UVA Rays — Bronzing Rays

Once you’ve built up your base tan, use UVA rays to bronze the melanin. You’ve built up a substantial amount of melanin, and now it is time to use it to achieve the bronze tan you’ve longed for. The UVA rays help emit pigment (color) out of the melanin you’ve generated. 

UVA rays are commonly found in 10-12 minute beds, such as the Matrix brand beds at Hot Spot Tanning. UVA long wave rays are strong, so you’ll only need to be exposed to the rays for a short amount of time.

Use Both UVB and UVA Tanning Beds for the Best Results

In order to achieve your tan effectively, use a combination of UVA and UVB tanning beds once you’ve developed your base tan. By mixing it up, you’ll give your skin something to respond to.

Think about it this way:

If you go to the gym three times a week and complete the same cardio exercise every time, after a while your body will get used to the workout and you won’t see any results. The same goes for tanning. Using a smart combination of UVA and UVB tanning beds after completing your base tan will give you the results you’ve been looking for.

Looking for More Tanning Tips?

Be sure to sign up for the Hot Spot Tanning newsletter to have tanning tips (and specials!) sent right to your inbox. If you have any questions about tanning, stop by any Hot Spot Tanning location in Middle Tennessee and our tanning specialists will help you get on the path to your perfect tan. 

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