Did you know that the body needs vitamin D? That it is, in fact, essential for good health?
The body is able to manufacture all its own vitamin D needs directly from sunlight, but we are often not exposed to enough sun throughout the year. Lack of vitamin D, in fact, leads to a number of health problems and is essential for proper bone and teeth formation. Tanning beds may offer a solution.
Of course, many say that tanning beds cause cancer and are not good for your health. So, we have conducted some research to look at the truth of the matter and reviewed a few of the best tanning beds around.
How does a tanning bed work?
- 1 How does a tanning bed work?
- 2 How to use a tanning bed
- 3 Is tanning good for you?
- 4 How to choose the best tanning bed for you
- 5 Top 5 Tanning Bed Reviews to Consider
- 6 Conclusion
Tanning beds are fitted with long bulbs that give off UV radiation, much like the sun. It is this UV light that gives you your tan. They stimulate cells in your skin to produce a brown pigment called melanin that protects your body from burning. So, in fact, your tan actually protects you from sunburn.
Of course, the UV radiation also serves another function: it allows your body to produce vitamin D.
- Reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Reduces the risk of getting the flu
- Reduces the chances of getting depression
- Boosts weight loss
- Allows normal bone and teeth development
- Reduces the risk of rickets in children
How to use a tanning bed
In order to use a tanning bed correctly and keep your tan looking good, you need to make the correct preparations and make sure of your after-care.
- Before using a tanning bed take a shower and exfoliate your body. This could be done with an abrasive soap, scrubbing sponge, loofah, etc. A skin free of dead cells keeps your tan longer.
- Use only the best tanning bed lotion you can afford. The better the quality, the longer your tan lasts. Besides a longer-lasting tan, your skin will also be softer and smoother.
- Make sure you wear goggles while tanning to protect your eyes. Without them, you could run the risk of permanent damage.
- Do not stay in too long or your run the risk of burning. Your first session should only be between six to eight minutes. Bump up your time in the tanning bed as your tan progresses.
- Do not tan every day. Wait for about 48 hours before your next tanning session – one to two times a week is sufficient to maintain your tan.
- Use a tan extending lotion after each session. They keep you tanned for longer.
According to Dr. Michael F. Hollick, vitamin D is essential for good health. But do take care to do things in moderation in order to prevent sunburn – even from a tanning bed.
Is tanning good for you?
We have, over the years, been told that tanning, whether from the sun or a tanning bed, causes cancer and other ailments. Recent research, however, points to other facts about tanning.
Here are a few facts, according to these studies:
- Tanning beds are a close second to the sun when it comes to optimizing levels of vitamin D
- Lack of sunlight leads to more health problems (including an increased risk of contracting cancer) than exposure to UV rays does
- Less than one percent of people are at risk of developing skin cancer due to sun exposure or a tanning bed
- The vitamin D gained due to UV exposure lessens your chances of getting other cancers and chronic diseases
- A tanning bed decreases your risk of getting ten times more cancer than what they could possibly cause
This makes you think, doesn’t it? In fact, the research indicates, in a nutshell, that any negativity aimed at UV exposure from the sun or a tanning bed actually points to an extremely small likelihood that you MIGHT (with the possibility of less than one percent) get cancer, while the benefits actually outweigh that slight likelihood by far. People who very seldom get sun exposure are by far more likely to develop skin cancer than those who are regularly exposed.
But here are some more facts:
- People with skin cancer and high vitamin D levels have thinner melanoma and a larger survival rate than those will low levels of vitamin D
- Regular exposure to UV actually decreases your chances of getting melanoma on areas of the body not exposed to sunlight
- Skin cancer on areas regularly exposed to sunlight have the best chances of recovery
- People who are habitually exposed to sunlight, e.g. farmers and fishermen actually stand a smaller chance of developing skin cancer
So who gets skin cancer?
People who are not regularly exposed to the sun or who have had severe sunburn during childhood!
Many people ask this question: “How dangerous are tanning beds?”
I believe the answer to this question is that it is just as dangerous as walking over a road, if not less. As explained, any possible danger is far outweighed by the numerous health benefits you get from using one. Not all of us are lucky enough to be able to go to the beach or have year-round sunlight. In fact, did you know that approximately 10% of people living in the Unites States are vitamin D deficient? For many, a tanning bed is the answer to a vitamin D deficiency.
How to choose the best tanning bed for you
Choosing the best tanning bed for your needs may be a bit difficult. You need to decide what the purpose of the bed is. Do you want a slight glow, or do you want a deep tan? The answer does matter. Other things to take into consideration is whether you get claustrophobic, or perhaps have a back issue and have a problem lying down for a period of time.
There are, basically, three types of tanning beds to choose from
A low-pressure tanning bed
A low-pressure tanning bed is the more traditional tanning bed and the one most people are familiar with. The UV rays emitted by the bulbs has a spectrum that is very similar to that of sunlight. While it tans you quickly, you also run a high risk of sunburn. This type of bed is therefore not really recommended for people who burn too easily.
A high-pressure tanning bed
This type of bed lessens your chances of getting sunburnt because it has more UVB rays than UV rays. It also gives a longer lasting tan although it takes longer to get one.
A tanning booth
A tanning booth is a great solution for people who have back issues, hygiene issues, or who suffer from claustrophobia. Instead of lying down like you do in a regular tanning bed, you actually stand up while tanning. You, therefore, get a better tan because all parts of your body are exposed while your skin does not come into contact with any surface.
Another factor to consider when choosing the best tanning bed for you is the type of bulb
You have two types of bulbs to choose from, UVA bulbs and UVB bulbs. A UVA bulb builds a quicker tan but you also get sunburnt quicker. A UVB bulb, on the other hand, means you need to spend more time to build up your tan while your chances of developing sunburn are less.
Top 5 Tanning Bed Reviews to Consider
To make things easier, and to help you make the best choice possible, we have reviewed five popular tanning beds and given our opinion on them.
1. Solar Storm 24S with Arm and Face Tanners
This home tanning product comes with a few unique features designed for a more uniformed tan. Most of the tanning bed is also pre-assembled, making it easier for installation.
2. Solar Storm 24 Bulb Wolff Systems Tanning Bed with Face Lamps
The Solar Storm requires minimal maintenance and has a durable frame.
3. SunDream Tanning Stand-Up Tanner
This is a great option for those who suffer from claustrophobia.
4. Sunfire 24 Deluxe
If you like some music while tanning, then this is a possibility!
5. Solar Wave 16 Lamp Home Tanning Bed
An efficient home tanning system without breaking the budget.
Of the different products we had a look at my personal firm favorite is the Solar Storm 24 Bulb Wolff Systems Tanning Bed with Face Lamps. For someone who is tall, the extra length just does it for me, while the larger tanning surface and face lamp adds to its allure. Add to that this product is 98% preassembled, something that I really appreciate, and I am sold.