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Indoor Tanning Beds: UVA vs. UVB

Updated on July 4, 2017

These two types of UV rays get a lot of attention, particularly in the tanning industry. While it is not a necessity to know the difference between these two, it can make the difference when it comes to making sure that you know exactly how to get the tan that you want as each type of UV ray has its own characteristics and benefits.


UVB rays are usually the ones that are in lower level tanning beds, like the level 1 and level 2 beds that most people start out in. These rays are great for building up a base tan because they tend to stay on the surface of the skin.

UVB rays also help to increase the level of melanin in the skin, which is what gives the skin that beautiful bronze colour that you want to have. As the melanin in the skin increases, it becomes easier than ever to get a tan instead of getting a sun burn. The base tan that is developed when first going tanning actually helps to protect the skin from future sun burns.


UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, giving it a rich bronze colour that is often associated with a deeper, long lasting tan. Where a tan that is strictly from UVB rays will fade to the colour of the base tan within a few days of not tanning, a gorgeous tan from UVA rays will last much longer. These tans also tend to look much better than the basic tans from UVB rays.

These rays are usually found in beds with a 12-minute limit. Because they are so much stronger, customers do not need to be exposed to them for long periods of time.

You Need Both

While a tan from UVB rays is essential for building a base tan, and the UVA rays are necessary for maintaining a deeper tan, both are actually needed on a continuous basis. Because the UVA rays penetrate deeper, they will not provide the same amount of colour that UVB rays will. Both of these rays come with their own set of benefits, and, in order to enjoy them all, customers have to switch things up when it comes to tanning beds.

Tanning is a fun thing to do that will result in you looking better as your skin slowly turns a golden bronze and you feeling better as the symptoms of depression slowly fade away and your self-esteem rises. That doesn’t mean that you should just pick up a pair of tanning goggles and head over to the tanning salon.

First, it’s always important to think about what you want, and what you want your tan to look like. Then, take the time to browse through a few more articles to learn about tips and tricks for tanning and other beginner articles to make sure that you wind up with the look that you want, and you have all of the knowledge to make it happen from the very beginning.


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