UV Tan

  • Just like when you tan under the sun, when your skin is exposed to UV light, cells in your skin called melanocytes are stimulated to produce skin pigments called melanin. The melanin then surfaces on your skin, coming into contact with oxygen, where it starts to turn brown.

  • UV light from the sun hits your skin [from sun or lamps] and stimulates special cells called melanocytes.

  • Melanocytes start producing skin pigments called melanin.

  • The melanin travels to the surface of your skin where it comes in contact with oxygen.

  • It "oxidizes" causing the melanin to turn brown. Your skin has developed a tan.

Mystic Tan

  • With a spray tan, the process is different. The DHA (dihydroxyacetone) in the spray reacts with the amino acids in your skin and this stimulates a chain of reactions that cause the cells in your upper epidermis to turn brown.

  • A sunless spray tan (Mystic Tan) does not involve the production of melanin like a UV tan. The tanning spray solution contains the active ingredient DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), a sugar molecule that creates a tanned appearance in the upper layer of the skin (epidermis).

  • This stimulates a chain of reactions that causes the cells in the upper epidermis to turn brown. This process takes about 2 to 4 hours. The intensity of the color depends on the level of DHA and the amount of amino acids (proteins) in the skin.

  • A sunless spray tan lasts about 5-7 days, the average life span of the outer epidermis.

History of the Tan

Years and years ago, a tan was an unseemly sight, worn only by those who had to toil under the heat of the sun in fields and farms. It was only until 1923, when fashion icon Coco Chanel stepped off a friend's yacht in Cannes, after accidently catching a few too many rays that a tan truly came into style. Check out how the tan we've come to know and love today evolved throughout time.

  • Tans are only for the working class. Members of high society protect themselves from getting "ugly" tans by hiding under parasols and using whitening products.

  • Dr. Auguste Rollier opens the world's first dedicated sun clinic, at Leysin, high in the Swiss Alps to treat patients with ailments such as tuberculosis through what he called Heliotherapy.

  • Coco Chanel makes an appearance at Cannes with a sun tan, claiming she accidently spent too much time in the sun. The world decides they would like to repeat her "accident" and a tan becomes a fashion must-have.

  • Scientists discover the world's first self tanner, by accidentally spilling DHA on their hands and realizing that the substance left a tanned mark behind.

  • General Electric catches on to the sun tan craze and creates the world's first home tanning lamp, Sun Kraft. In that same year, Louis Reard unveils what is to become every girl's favorite beachwear – The Bikini.

  • Surfers on California's coast epitomize all things cool, with their laissez-faire attitudes and sun-kissed skin and locks. Coppertone also launch their first self-tanning lotion.

  • Friedrich Wolff introduces the world to the first ever sun bed, changing the face of tanning forever.

  • Tanned faces are regarded as healthy and youthful, with celebrities across the globe striving for that perfect sun-kissed look.

  • The world sees a boom of tanning salons popping up everywhere. The "tan craze" has spread across the globe, with everyone scrambling to get the glow.

  • The tan has never gone out of style. With different options available in tanning salons to suit every skin and person, indoor tanning has become the best way to get your year round, gorgeous glow.

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