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The Science of Tanning

There's a lot of controversy surrounding tanning. Some people say a little sun is good for you (it's a source of vitamin D, you know), while others say you should stay in the shade to avoid skin cancer. But how many people really know what's going on in your skin to make you turn brown? Get the good on tanning here!

What is a Tan?

Melanocytes are special skin cells that produce melanin (skin pigment) when they are exposed to ultraviolet light in sunlight. The pigment absorbs UV radiation in sunlight, so it helps to protect skin cells from UV damage. Your body actually produces two kinds of pigmant. One is called eumelanin and it is responsible for the golden brown color we normally associate with tanning. Another pigment is called phaeomelanin and it produces a red color. Redheads and blondes produce more phaeomelanin and less eumelanin, which is why they don't tan as well.

How Does Your Body Know It's Sunny Out?

Sunlight (or UV light from tanning beds) affects the pituitary gland (a gland at the base of the brain that secretes hormones) which then produces MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone). This hormone flows through the bloodstream to the melanocytes, which makes them able to produce more melanin. Since the pituitary gland is tied into the optic nerve, (the nerve in your eyes that lets you sense light), wearing sunglasses makes you tan less. Weird.

Tanning and Race

Different races tan differently (and some don't tan at all). Caucasians (white people) and other lighter skinned races tan the way explained above. People of darker races produce melanin continuously (without having to go in the sun), which means their skin is always pigmented (dark) to varying degrees. People of dark races are much less likely to get skin cancer because their cells are constantly protecting them from UV radiation.

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What is the minimum SPF You Should Wear?

  • At least SPF 10
  • SPF 100
  • SPF 30
  • I don't wear sunscreen

Random In The Forums

-OblivionKid-
Well, Idk u very well brit. But u seem as a very nice person. You are cherished by many people. I see u in chat a lot. And u ave a gr8 personality. You've talked to me a few times. And theyre fun. I'll miss seeing in chat and miss seeing cheer up Jayme. You're a gr8 person. Don't let anybody change u. EVER. Keep that amazing personality. Bc its gonna get you far. ^-^ Enjoy being 18 brit. I don't like saying goodbye. So See you around -The Kid-
reply 1 minute
XxIHateMathxX
XxIHateMathxX posted in General:
From cows. What happens is you don't drink enough water?
reply 4 minutes
Pink_Cool_Girl
Pink_Cool_Girl posted in General:
I'm Alaska. Where do we come from?
reply 38 minutes
Pink_Cool_Girl
Pink_Cool_Girl posted in General:
I know you guys hate it when I rant about FNAF. But this is serious. "Final Chapter" and "last FNAF game" think again FNAFers. Scott just announced FNAF THE SISTER LOCATION is coming out! (Matpat is currently crying himself to sleep). Scott wanted to announce it at the end of the year, but apparently someone dug through his NOTES++ and found the idea, Scott would then have to announce it EARLIER. But it doesn't stop there- in an FNAF, the phone guy mentions something about "the sister location" and I think that it means a different location that looks like it....? We don't know right now, but the news is spreading like a virus all over the internet! (pun intended). Post your ideas about this game in the comments
reply 42 minutes
-TrueMorality-
G'bye, Brit. You'll be missed for sure by everyone here at KW. You take the time out of your hectic life to spend time with your friends on here and create a friendly atmosphere. You've been a great friend to all of us and we'll miss having you around. I'll never forget you. Good luck with your future aspirations and career prospects. - Jay x
reply about 1 hour