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Are sunbeds worse for you than the sun/ sunbathing?!

If you are a tan lover living in the UK, you will know all too well the struggles we face in achieving a natural tan. There are 8,760 hours in a year and the UK is on average sunny for a meagre 1,490 of them! It is therefore no surprise that we are looking for alternative ways to get that much needed Vitamin D and that sun kissed glow.

Vitamin D is vital for the human body. Primarily it helps us boost our immune system to defend against illness. Every winter it is Vitamin D which fights off the dreaded cold and flu viruses which flood their way into our homes and workplaces.

Vitamin D is also used to develop calcium in our body to strengthen our bones and recent studies have shown that it actively counters depression and offsets mental illness.

This need for an alternative source of sunshine and Vitamin D has led to the repeated question of whether ‘Sunbeds are worse for you than the natural Sun’. The good news for you sun starved tanners is that according to Mark Birch-Machin, a skin cancer expert at Newcastle University, “The simple answer is that sunbeds are about the same as being in the sun,”

Ultimately with a question like this, it boils down to the facts, and in this case it is a comparison of how much Ultra Violet (UV) radiation is in natural sunlight and in sunbed light.

The facts are, and bear with us here as this get technical !!:
• There are two forms of UV radiation to concern us tanners: UVA and UVB…exciting names we know!

• Of the two, UVB is far more intense and potentially harmful to our skin.

• Natural sunlight can contain as much as 8% UVB and 92% UVA.

• The average sunbed uses 5% UVB and 95% UVA.

• This equates to the same level of intensity as the Mediterranean sun.

You are probably overloaded with UV just by reading all that… but when we look at these facts it is clear and exciting to see that there is little difference between tanning on a sunbed and tanning in natural light!

It is also great for the majority of us that can’t just pop over to the Mediterranean each week for our much needed Vitamin D and and tan top up!

Ultimately, it is important to stress that as with all good things, moderation is key! As discussed above sunbeds and natural sun light offer the same level of ultra violet intensity! However, any tan from natural sunlight or a sunbed, requires our skin to be exposed to Ultra Violet rays and this needs to be monitored responsibly.

At Bodilight, our staff are always on hand to advise you on how to tan safely. We work hard to ensure that your sun bed tan is as safe, if not safer, as any natural tanning session. So pop in and see us or give us a call for any tanning advice, information on your specific skin type and advice on which products will suit you from our extensive range.