The skin is made to have a tan or a deeper color than it usually has using a method called skin tanning. A natural way of tanning is to expose oneself to the ultraviolet radiation found in sunlight or to use of the many artificial products which allow for a type of tanning called sunless tanning. People have started to prefer tanning that is not connected to sunlight when scientists discovered the inherent link of UV radiation to some forms of skin cancer.
One method of tanning skin from ultraviolet radiation is by basking in sunlight, in a leisure activity called sunbathing. This is most common and arguably most convenient way to get skin tanned. The effectiveness and speed of suntan can be enhanced by another phenomenon called windburn. Windburn is a process where wind removes a layer of skin that filters out UV rays leading to a more pronounced tanning.
UV radiation is also emitted by a piece of equipment called a sunbed which can be used to make skin get tanned as though it were exposed to sunlight. Sunbeds, also called tanning beds, produce artificial UV rays like those in sunlight through phosphor-laced lamps. The bulk of the rays produced by sunbeds are UV A rays but a few are UV B rays. The device is like an artificial way of sunbathing.
A skin can also be tanned without the sun or any UV radiation. Techniques of getting skin tanned without sunlight are called fake tanning or UV-free tanning. This method will involve use of chemicals either orally or topically to cause the skin to tan as though it was exposed to UV radiation.
Beta-carotene is a very useful mineral for making tanning products because the effect it delivers is more permanent and it guards skin against harmful UV rays. UV rays can cause sunburn which is unevenness in the tone of skin because of over-exposure. This mineral gets skin tanned better and safeguards against skin cancer caused by UV radiation.
There are other different compounds besides beta-carotene that are used to manufacture UV-free tanning products. Pills or products based on beta-carotene remain the most popular choice for getting a tan, though. Also, some people have started to use temporary tanning solutions like creams and powders that come off when cleaned with water.
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