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Sunlight, UVA and Nitric Oxide. Another Answer to Covid?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021


Sunlight is indeed another answer to profoundly reducing the risk of Covid. By Marc Sorenson, EdD. Sunlight is associated, with lower illness and death from the Covid-19 virus. So says new research from the British Journal of Dermatology. I opine that this research is of epochal importance, and it is something I postulated a year ago. At that time, certain people mocked and belittled me. It seems like the “experts” of the world had a laser focus on producing a vaccine. Thus, they denigrated anything or anyone who did not follow their dictatorial rules. Consequently, I was gratified when this research appeared. 


First of all, for the purposes of the Journal research into sunlight, the investigators assessed deaths from covid-19 at the county level across the USA. They then replicated the measurements in England and Italy. The researchers then measured the amount of sunlight in each county in Kilojoules, a unit of heat equal to .239 calories. Furthermore, after measuring the sunlight and death from Covid-19, they adjusted their data for demographic, socioeconomic and environmental variables. 


This part of the sunlight research is especially relevant: “Only areas where UVB was too low to be inducing significant cutaneous vitamin D3 synthesis were modelled.” This took vitamin D out of the equation. UVB light stimulates vitamin D production when it makes contact with the skin. Therefore, ensuring no vitamin D production (by eliminating UVB light), they eliminated a potential misconception. There was no way vitamin D could be the mechanism of action to decrease Covid-19. Thus, one might say that this was a pure sunlight study, and the idea to eliminate vitamin D was pure genius. 


Too many people believe that if sunlight exposure has a positive effect, the mechanism must be through vitamin D. This research corrects that theory. So what is the mechanism, if it is not vitamin D? The answer is nitric oxide (NO). Sunlight exposure also produces NO in the skin. Yet, NO occurs in skin after exposure to UVA rays, not the vitamin D-producing UVB. In addition, NO has the ability to stop the replication of the Covid virus. One of the beauties of this system is that UVA rays and NO are available at any season when the sun is shining. This indicates that this healing action of sunlight is also available year-around. 


The results: The mortality risk ratio (death risk ratio) due to Covid-19, over the three countries, estimated a decline of 32% for each increase in 100 kilojoules per meter. Thus, as sunlight intensity increased, death from Covid-19 decreased concomitantly. It seems like a great idea to increase exposure to non-burning sunlight among all areas where Covid-19 exists. Certainly, the lockdown was a great detriment to human health. For more information on sunlight and health, visit and read the book, Embrace the Sun



Tanning & UV: Nitric oxide – Miracle molecule of sunlight on skin


Nitric oxide is colourless gas that produced by the stimulation of ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation to the skin. The raw materials for this gas are pre-formed stores of nitrates and nitrites. It is a potent vasodilator, and when released into the arteries, it causes increased blood flow in vessels. This lowers blood pressure, and as we have previously written, helps solve the problem of erectile dysfunction.  



The Cheapest COVID 19 Therapy in the World

Thursday, May 7th, 2020




Doctors and Researchers Detail UV’s Effect on COVID-19, and Other Benefits, in In-Depth Article
Wednesday, May 20th, 2020


Among the many articles we’ve seen on the links between UV light, vitamin D, and reduced risk of contracting or suffering severe complications from COVID-19, one published by online health and wellness publication Elemental last week is perhaps the most in-depth and enlightening. Along with outlining previously reported research, the article explains a mechanism by which UV itself – outside of vitamin D – may diminish the novel coronavirus, notes additional benefits of UV and vitamin D, and ties it all together with some perspective on why sunshine being beneficial for overall health just makes sense.


It starts with the seemingly obvious – that “For thousands of years, humans have recognized that the seasons play a role in the emergence and transmission of certain illnesses, including viruses.” The common cold, influenza, the first SARS outbreak in 2002 and COVID-19 are all examples of that, cited in a recent review paper from Yale University School of Medicine. Researchers from the University of Connecticut also predict that seasonality will impact the spread of COVID-19, notably due to the influence of sun exposure.


“As we were reading the literature on other viruses – particularly SARS, the earlier coronavirus – there were indications that UV light could at least inactivate the virus on surfaces and could also either decrease the risk of getting the virus or reduce symptoms,” Mark Urban, PhD, director of the Center of Biological Risk at the University of Connecticut, is quoted as saying. “Our best model predicts that COVID-19 risk will decrease this summer in the U.S., largely due to the increase in UV light as days become longer.”


But, perhaps the most striking discussion point in the article comes from Dr. Richard Weller, whom we’re familiar with from his groundbreaking research on UV and nitric oxide production, which has been shown to be good for cardiovascular health. Weller explains a connection that goes beyond what vitamin D supplements can accomplish. Research on the first SARS outbreak found that nitric oxide – produced in the body when skin is exposed to UV light – deters the virus. Since COVID-19 is quite similar to SARS, Weller believes the same mechanism could apply to the current pandemic.


“COVID-19 gets into the body by binding to the same receptor as the SARS virus,” Weller says. “And this [Swedish] group found that nitric oxide stops SARS from doing damage because it stops it from binding to this receptor.”


As has been more widely noted, vitamin D does also seem to be highly beneficial in regards to COVID-19 and similar illnesses. This article outlines some of the previously reported research on the subject, and also proposes some possible mechanisms by which vitamin D would make a difference. Petre Cristian Ilie, PhD, co-author of a study on COVID-19 and vitamin D and a research director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the U.K., notes that vitamin D has “multiple roles” in the immune system that might come into play, including “preventing inflammation from running amok,” preventing impairment of  “development of white blood cells that eat invading pathogens, including viruses,” and enhancing the expression of an enzyme, ACE2, that “has demonstrated the ability to protect against acute lung injury.”


With all this evidence displaying the potential benefits of UV exposure, the validity of the all too common medical advise to avoid sun exposure is also brought more into question. The article notes that, today, even some dermatologists are proposing that skin cancer risk arises primarily from sunburns, and moderate exposure has a net benefit to human health.


“I think the benefits of [non-burning] sun exposure may outweigh the skin cancer risks,” says Matthew Zirwas, MD, an Ohio-based dermatologist who has published research on UV light and skin disease.


Another M.D. who has studied the interactions between sunlight and human health also embraces the common sense basis for believing that sun exposure is beneficial to human health.


“Making people phobic about being outdoors in the sun is just so counter to our evolutionary basis – it just doesn’t make sense,” says James O’Keefe, MD, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City. “We’re not moles […] I think there are a lot of potential mechanisms by which sunlight could benefit health.”


Click here to read the entire article from Elemental. news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning. Contact your Smart Tan representative to find out more about what you can and can’t say in your tanning salon business.


© 2020 International Smart Tan Network. All rights reserved.



Vitamin D May Boost Coronavirus Immunity: WSJ article
Friday, April 17th, 2020


Vitamin D may be protective against COVID-19 and deficiency could partially explain why black Americans are dying from the virus at a higher rate, according to an article written by Dr. Vatsal G. Thakkar and published Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.


Dr. Thakkar cites a recent research article, “The Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm in COVID-19 Patients and Associated Mortality,” as well as other evidence showing the various health benefits of Vitamin D, risks of deficiency, and impacts of supplementation for African Americans in particular. The recently published data found that Italy, Spain and France, the countries with the highest mortality rates from coronavirus, also had the lowest average vitamin D levels.


“Vitamin D is produced by a reaction in the skin to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight,” Dr. Thakker wrote. “Many Americans are low in vitamin D, but those with darker skin are at a particular disadvantage because melanin inhibits the vitamin’s production. As an Indian-American, my skin type is Fitzpatrick IV, or “moderate brown.” Compared with my white friends, I need double or triple the sun exposure to synthesize the same amount of vitamin D, so I supplement with 5,000 international units of vitamin D3 daily, which maintains my level in the normal range. Most African-Americans are Fitzpatrick type V or VI, so they would need even more.


“Black Americans are also twice as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as whites. Here, too, we find an immune connection. Insulin resistance, the harbinger of Type 2 diabetes, appears linked to high levels of circulating cytokines, the same pro-inflammatory proteins implicated in Covid-19 mortality.”


Click here to find the article from the Wall Street Journal (paywall). news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning.



UV Critics Sizzling Over Bacon?
Wednesday, March 20th, 2019


There’s a new million-dollar question in the science of indoor tanning and it has nothing to do with anything you’d ever find in a sunbed salon – look no further than your kitchen.


In 2016, the World Health Organization shocked many in the public health community by adding processed meat, such as bacon, to its list of substances it considers carcinogenic to humans. Bacon now joins tobacco, plutonium and arsenic in that often misunderstood category – a category that has also included UV exposure from the sun or a sunbed since 2009.


The consumer has no idea what the list actually means, because common items such as birth control pills, red wine and some artificial sweeteners have all graced that list before. In short, being called a carcinogen does not mean a substance is carcinogenic in everyday doses or exposure. Even the U.S. government includes this information in its definition of ‘carcinogen,’ but no one ever talks about it.


So when UV was added to WHO’s list in 2009, no one was talking about that all-important caveat. And no one was talking about the fact that, among Group 1 Carcinogens, only one is something you absolutely need in order to live – we’d all be dead without UV exposure.


But when the WHO added bacon – a dietary staple in North America that, depending on whose stats you believe, more than half of us consume – WHO felt it necessary to issue a four-page Q&A on the carcinogenity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. In that document was the following explanation:


Q: Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Tobacco smoking and asbestos are also both classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Does it mean that consumption of processed meat is as carcinogenic as tobacco smoking and asbestos.


A: No, processed meat has been classified in the same category as causes of cancer such as tobacco smoking and asbestos (IARC Group 1, carcinogenic to humans), but this does NOT mean that they are all equally dangerous. The IARC classifications describe the strength of the scientific evidence about an agent being a cause of cancer, rather than assessing the level of risk.


Let’s be clear: You don’t need bacon to live; however, you absolutely do need sunlight and UV exposure. Unfortunately, no such explainer was ever issued for sunlight or UV exposure by anyone and when Smart Tan and the American Suntanning Association have discussed that distinction, we’ve been largely ignored. Instead, public health groups continue to compare UV to tobacco and plutonium.


For bacon, the WHO was careful to acknowledge, “Eating meat has known health benefits” but made no such statement about UV exposure. Even National Public Radio came to the defense of bacon. “We should note, we’re talking relative risk here, and the chances of developing colorectal cancer are fairly low to begin with.”


What are the chances? It gets even more interesting when you go all the way to the details: WHO said the reason bacon and processed meat were added to the list is that eating 1.8 ounces of it daily increases your risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.


Compare that to sunbeds: Eating bacon has a greater statistical connection (18 percent vs. 16 percent) for a greater number of people (more than half of the population, verses less than 10 percent) to get a cancer that is more deadly and kills more people than skin cancer. Not to mention that you don’t need bacon to survive, opposed to UV and sunlight.


So that double standard is out there now for everyone to see, and it can’t be explained away. Bacon is riskier, if you believe the statistics, but is being defended with caveats that only make our case for responsible UV exposure stronger.

Now that’s a story with sizzle. news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning. Contact your Smart Tan representative to find out more about what you can and can’t say in your tanning salon business.


© 2019 International Smart Tan Network. All rights reserved.



Sun Exposure and Athletic Performance
Thursday, February 7th, 2019


Almost no one realizes the dramatic improvement that sun exposure can make on athletic performance. I helped Dr. John Cannell obtain translations of many esoteric and decades-old studies that had been forgotten, probably due to the fact that sun lamps were used to create some of the improvements in athletics, and have fallen out of favor due to the sunscare movement. I co-authored a paper with Cannell, called Athletic Performance and Vitamin D.[i]That paper is the source of much of the material covered here, and it demonstrates the remarkable, positive effect of sun or other ultraviolet (UV) exposure on human performance. I would also strongly suggest that the readers avail themselves of Dr. Cannell's book on the subject, called The Athlete's Edge, which discusses in far greater detail the materials introduced here.


One of the salient studies on UV exposure took place in 1957 and assessed the influence of sun exposure on strength and performance over a two-year period. During that time six subjects were able to increase athletic performance and muscle trainability through systematic UV exposure. But when vitamin D3 was used, it not only did not work, it inhibited the performance-enhancing effect of the UV. I sometimes fear the public is beginning to believe that if sun exposure is proven to enhance human health, one needs only to take a vitamin D pill. Don’t get pulled into that idea. Sun exposure will always be more important than any of the photoproducts whose production it stimulates.


Here are some of the other salient studies on sun exposure and performance. In 1938, Russian researchers demonstrated that a series of four UV treatments improved speed in the 100-meter dash compared to four non-irradiated students, when both groups were undergoing daily physical training. The times improved from 13.51 seconds to 13.28 seconds in the non-irradiated group and from 13.63 to 12.62 seconds in the irradiated group. In other words, the UV-treated group improved by three-fourths of a second more than the non-UV group. That may seem like a relatively small improvement, but three-fourths of a second better time in a 100-meter dash could be the difference between first and last place!


German research from 1944 showed that the exposure of 32 medical students to UV, twice weekly during for six weeks, associated with a 13% improvement in endurance, whereas performance of a control group was unchanged.


Other German research shows that the ability of a muscle to gain strength (trainability) is much better in summer than winter, and peaks in September. In fact the trainability was 2½ higher that the average monthly trainability for the entire year.


Reaction time has also been shown to improve significantly in the sunnier months.

When we consider reaction time, muscle and bone strength, speed and endurance, we should realize that these measurements are not only important for athletes; they are important for all aspects of living for all people. Everyone wants to be stronger, quicker, and faster, as well as have more endurance in daily activities. So embrace the sun, but do it safely and do not burn.


Click here to view this post, with citations, and more from the Sunlight Institute.


By Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute



Vitamin D deficiency linked to greater risk of diabetes
Thursday, April 19th, 2018


An epidemiological study conducted by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Seoul National University suggests that persons deficient in vitamin D may be at much greater risk of developing diabetes.


The findings are reported in the April 19, 2018 online issue of PLOS One.

The scientists studied a cohort of 903 healthy adults (mean age: 74) with no indications of either pre-diabetes or diabetes during clinic visits from 1997 to 1999, and then followed the participants through 2009. Vitamin D levels in blood were measured during these visits, along with fasting plasma glucose and oral glucose tolerance.


Over the course of time, there were 47 new cases of diabetes and 337 new cases of pre-diabetes, in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be categorized as type 2 diabetes.


For the study, the researchers identified the minimum healthy level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in blood plasma to be 30 nanograms per milliliter. This is 10 ng/ml above the level recommended in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine, now part of The National Academies, a health advisory group to the federal government. Many groups, however, have argued for higher blood serum levels of vitamin D, as much as 50 ng/ml. The matter remains hotly debated.


"We found that participants with blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D that were above 30 ng/ml had one-third of the risk of diabetes and those with levels above 50 ng/ml had one-fifth of the risk of developing diabetes," said first author Sue K. Park, MD, in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea.


Study co-author Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, adjunct professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, said persons with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml were considered vitamin D deficient. These persons, the researchers found, were up to five times at greater risk for developing diabetes than people with levels above 50 ng/ml.


Garland, who has previously investigated connections between vitamin D levels and various types of cancer, said the study builds upon previous epidemiological research linking vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk of diabetes. Epidemiological studies analyze the distribution and determinants of health and disease conditions. They do not necessarily prove cause-and-effect.


"Further research is needed on whether high 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels might prevent type 2 diabetes or the transition from pre-diabetes to diabetes," said Garland. "But this paper and past research indicate there is a strong association."


Garland and others have long advocated the health benefits of vitamin D. In 1980, he and his late brother Frank C. Garland, also an epidemiologist, published an influential paper that posited vitamin D (produced by the body through exposure to sunshine) and calcium (which vitamin D helps the body absorb) together reduced the risk of colon cancer. The Garlands and colleagues subsequently found associations with breast, lung and bladder cancers.


To reach 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of 30 ng/ml, Garland said would require dietary supplements of 3,000 to 5,000 international units (IU) per day, less with the addition of moderate daily sun exposure with minimal clothing (approximately 10-15 minutes per day outdoors at noon).


The current recommended average daily amount of vitamin D is 400 IU for children up to 1 year; 600 IU for ages 1 to 70 years (less for pregnant or breastfeeding women) and 800 IU for persons over 70, according to the National Institutes of Health. Higher daily amounts of vitamin D are generally considered safe, but blood serum levels exceeding 125 ng/ml have been linked to adverse side effects, such as nausea, constipation, weight loss, heart rhythm problems and kidney damage.


By Scott Lafee, University of California - San Diego

Cedric Garland, Dr.PH, UC San Diego School of Medicine. Credit: UC San Diego Health



ESA Press Release – New study finds sunbeds to be effective in raising vitamin D levels
Tuesday, November 21st, 2017


Brussels, 21 November 2017 – Sunbeds with a UVB component similar to solar summer sunshine may provide an effective alternate vitamin D source during winter months, according to a new Canadian study just published in the journal Dermato Endocrinology.


People who use tanning salons, specifically sunbeds that have UVB during the winter reach physiological blood levels (>100 nmol/L) of vitamin D, the study reported. It found that participants who used typical sunbeds emitting UVB rays in the range equivalent to outdoor summer sunshine increased their vitamin D blood levels on average by 42 nmol/L. This was achieved using standard tanning exposure schedules on salon sunbeds.


“Sunbeds enable exposure to nearly 100% of skin in a controlled manner which amplifies their effectiveness for vitamin D production,” said Dr. Samantha Kimball, lead author and research director at Pure North S’Energy Foundation in Calgary, AB. “We found that you can effectively raise your vitamin D levels into the desired range without burning and following Health Canada’s recommendations. But there are risks to any type of UV exposure, whether from the sun or sunbed.”


Researchers used sunbeds located in professional sunbed salons in Canada. Previous studies showing that sunbeds trigger vitamin D production in the skin used the same kind of sunbeds, but they were conducted in laboratories. Most sunbeds emit both UVB and UVA light – similar to summer sunlight in Canada. The UV portion of summer sunshine at noon in most of Canada is about 95% UVA and 5% UVB.


Ultraviolet-B (UVB) sun exposure in summer converts cholesterol in your skin to pre-vitamin D. Wintertime sun exposure at northern latitudes in Canada (above 44⁰N) does not contain sufficient UVB to stimulate vitamin D synthesis because of the angle of the sun. “This is exactly the same challenge faced by most people living in Central and Northern Europe from the end of the summer until spring” highlighted Frank Harbusch, Secretary General of the European Sunlight Association (ESA).


Why consider UV exposure when supplements are an option? Kimball points out that some people cannot absorb vitamin D through the gut with diet or supplements, and must rely on UV exposure entirely. These include those with malabsorption issues such as Crohn’s disease or kidney disease.


You can find further information on the recent findings here. The full press release can be downloaded here.



Why you should get a tan this summer
Friday, September 29th, 2017

Lifestyle Contraints vs Vitamin D Production

With summer fast approaching, the most relevant beauty tip right now lies solely on improving skin appearance and showcasing that magnificent glow. A healthy-looking skin gives off an appearance that signifies proper skin care. Getting rid of that pastiness requires tanning sessions that will give you that warm glow and enrich the skin with vitamin D. The benefits of indoor tanning cannot be overemphasized. Suitable for people who are looking to get a more natural skin tone and eliminate that paleness entirely, indoor tanning provides you with convenience and privacy while providing various health benefits. Among the list of health benefits from tanning are, enhanced mood, improved metabolism due to a stimulation of the thyroid gland and an increase in Vitamin D levels.


For this reason, you can rest assured that caring for your skin and having it appear absolutely stunning while you’re at it is always the best bet.  A lot of times, it is common for people to be so swamped with work and caught up in their day to day lives that they forget to spend any reasonable amount of time in the sun. The ozone layer depletion occurring globally makes it potentially harmful to spend too much time in the sun due to the ever-present risk of over exposure. How then can you maintain a tan, but stay in control of your exposure?

Tan cans are are also the perfect solution for being in control of your UV exposure. Striking the perfect balance between safety, nourishment and ease of use, indoor tanning caters to all individuals. As is standard with skin care, the importance of using an indoor tanning product prior to tanning as well as rehydrating your skin with the use of suitable moisturisers must be stressed. This not only provides your skin with the moisture it needs to stay healthy, it also enables it to maintain that self-made external glow, for more info or to view the products please go to So, while preparing to have a swell time this summer, check out of the many Solarscape tan cans across South Africa and be sure to book a tanning session and get that magnificent healthy looking glow.


NB: If you are tanning for the first time, or have not been tanning regularly, it is essential that you first determine your skin type by referring to the relevant table (Quiz) on our website with the approximate exposure times for your skin type.

Please consult a Doctor prior to tanning if you are pregnant, suffer from hypertension, are very sensitive to sunlight, have allergies, skin ailments or unexplained symptoms, This also applies if you're taking medicines, especially those that will increase your sensitivity to the sun or light.

Warning - Exposure to UV light (artificial or natural) may increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Always use compliant protective eyewear while tanning (goggles are available on loan at reception).



Don’t let your lifestyle constraints get in the way of your vitamin D production!
Friday, August 18th, 2017

Lifestyle Contraints vs Vitamin D Production

It has become the norm to get to work before the sun goes up, and leave after it goes down. And, with 67% of office workers eating lunch at their desks it’s no wonder that reports are emerging that there is a steady increase in the amount of people who are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D, otherwise known as cholecalciferol, is a vitamin that the body requires in order to maintain a healthy immune system and to absorb calcium, keeping the bones strong and healthy.

The natural way that the body produces vitamin D is through sunlight and it accounts for 90% of the body’s vitamin D production. Many people lean towards taking vitamin D orally to counteract their deficiency of vitamin D, however, Ultraviolet (UV) rays, predominantly UVB rays (ultraviolet b rays), are the only effective sources of vitamin D as nature never intended for vitamin D to be taken through diet or supplements. Lack of exposure to sunlight is the main reason why people lack vitamin D.

UVB rays have been linked to production of vitamin D in the body. Medical benefits such as protection against chronic diseases might be provided by Tanning Beds that emit vitamin D-producing UVB rays. It has been proven that people who tan frequently have a higher concentration of vitamin D than those who don’t. So, it is not all doom and gloom for those whose schedules don’t allow for long periods of frolicking in the sun!

Due to lifestyle constraints, many people are not able to spend enough time in the sun to gain any benefit. In addition to this, much has been said about how harmful sunlight is in certain parts of the world due to depleted ozone layers. Many people run the risk of harmful burning and so they cover-up entirely and or apply sunblock thus, defeating the object of natural sunlight. Fair skinned people also have to be careful as they burn easily. Tan cans are advantageous as the amount and intensity of UVB rays is controlled.

Solarscape’s tan cans, emit UVB rays thus ensuring vitamin D production. The UVB rays emitted from the Tan Can imitate what natural sunlight does – they infiltrate the skin enough to reach the vitamin D receptors which are located in the skin-cells. Natural sunlight aids T cells (a type of white blood cell which enables other cells to fight against infection,). Sunlight makes T cells more effective in fighting infections and it increases the T cells speed of action thus allowing the human body to resist infections.  An effective way to ensure that the UVB rays infiltrate the skin cells is to moisturise after your Tan Can session. This stimulates the cells ensuring that the vitamin D produced is sent to the liver where it can be converted into the nutrients required and it is distributed across the body.


Getting and maintaining that perfect bronze tan is many people’s dream. What better way to do that, than by booking a session in a tan can. Not only will it colour your skin, at the same time it will improve overall vitamin D levels.

NB. Before embarking on any tanning programme it is essential that you determine your skin type and follow the recommended exposure times (see quiz on website).

Always wear compliant protective eyewear while tanning.

Warning: Exposure to UV light (artificial or natural) may increase your risk of developing skin cancer.



5 Myths and Misconceptions About Tanning
Monday, July 10th, 2017
5 Myths & Misconceptions About TTanning


Regardless of how often you use a tanning bed, you should know that certain information you hear about indoor tanning is nothing but a myth. Myths, half-truths and misconceptions about tanning come around because people don't understand indoor tanning or the tanning process. We've made a list of five common misconceptions about indoor tanning below;


MYTH 1: Can a sunbed "fry" your internal organs?
We've started with the craziest myth of them all. This urban legend has been around for many years and usually follows the lines of a young woman using the indoor tanning machines repeatedly before a matric dance. We can confirm that this is not true. The UV rays emitted by a Tan Can lack the energy to penetrate past the top layers of skin – so your internal organs are safe!


MYTH 2: Indoor Tanning is unhealthy
The most common concern with indoor tanning is cancer. When it comes to this, moderation and your skin type is key(for example a person with a skin type 1 should not be tanning indoors or outdoors) – also if you do as instructed – i.e. the recommended frequency, tanning according to your skin type and not abusing your skin – you will reduce the risk of getting skin ailments. The biggest cause of Skin Cancer is burning that is caused by overexposure to tanning beds or the sun. If you follow the recommended tanning times that can be found displayed in the Solarscape Tan Can cubicles or our website, you will reduce your risk.

Having said the above the following warning always applies: Exposure to UV light (artificial or natural) may increase your risk of getting skin cancer.


MYTH 3: Indoor tanning accelerates skin aging
The answer to this myth is that if you have the correct skin type and follow advice by not tanning excessively, it is unlikely that skin aging will be accelerated. Also, if you use tanning lotions before and after your Tan Can session you can help prevent your skin from aging because certain ingredients can stimulate the production of collagen and thoroughly moisturize your skin.


MYTH 4: Indoor tanning is the main cause of increasingly higher rates of melanoma in young women.
Dermatologists may also claim that melanoma is on the rise in women age 24-29 due to indoor tanning. It is important to note that the latency period (time it takes to develop) for skin cancer is typically 10-20 years. The stats of melanoma being on the rise, whilst worrisome, cannot be blamed wholly on indoor tanning because the majority of the female population that are indoor tanning do not start at the age of four. Genetics and moles are some the key factors to the incidence of melanoma. While some dermatologists link sunbed exposures to melanoma, more research is needed to make the delineation between indoor (controlled) vs. lifetime outdoor (uncontrolled) exposure.

MYTH 5: Indoor tanning is stronger than natural sunlight.
This statement is used quite often when trying to describe the difference between output of the sun vs. sunbeds. As mentioned above, the benefit of a Tan Can is that the UV exposure is controlled, whereas being outdoors in the sun is largely uncontrolled. The intensity of the sun is dependent on such factors as; time of day, time of year, proximity to the equator, the ozone layer and reflective surfaces such as sand, water, and snow. Sunlight has no standard transmission level. So again, this myth is untrue because being out in the sun at midday on Umhlanga's beaches poses a greater a risk than a couple of minutes in a tan can.


Indoor Tanning lotions: which one suits you best?
Monday, June 19th, 2017
Solarscape Tancan

It being the middle of winter is no excuse not to keep a golden glow with various tanning accelerators available to us nowadays.


Tanning lotions have been designed to maximise your time and to decrease the amount of time it takes to achieve that sun-kissed look. Using the right lotion can make the world of difference when it comes to the colour of your tan as well as the longevity of it. There are so many different types of tanning lotions out there that you might be asking yourself what kind should you be using? We've compiled a short list to help you choose the right product for you. The first thing you need to do is to establish what type of tanner you are. Are you a beginner or an advanced tanner? Another question to consider is what type of skin you have (to establish this see our quiz here.)


1. Accelerator lotions
There are certain accelerator lotions that are also perfect for beginner tanners or tanners that have pale or sensitive skin. This is because the accelerator lotion helps you tan to your own natural abilities and is therefore ideal for creating a base tan. Accelerator lotions contain fantastic anti-aging elements such as CoQ-10 and have no bronzer or tingle elements them. These are great products to use during the winter months as they help produce a more natural glow and the added silicone is perfect for softening your rough winter skin.


2. Bronzer lotions
Bronzer lotions come in two types; immediate or delayed. Bronzers are great because they combine DHA and active ingredients like black walnut and other extracts to give instant dark results that continue to develop after tanning, making your tan long-lasting. The trick to bronzing lotions is to make sure that your tan is even; we suggest you apply it in circular motions and to wash your hands straight after you've applied the lotion!


3. Tingle lotions
Tingle lotions are the perfect lotions for advanced tanners. Regular tanners know that if you've been tanning for a while, there is a possibility that you may reach a tanning plateau. This is because your skin becomes accustomed to the products and builds up resistance to them. This is where tingle lotions come in. Tingle lotions accelerate results by stimulating the skin, causing blood to be raised to the surface of the skin to boost the effV rays have. As a result, your skin reddens and becomes irritated – almost like a sunburn. The redness only lasts for roughly an hour but should fade quickly after that. It is one of the only ways to break through the tanning plateau for advanced tanners. ect that U


It is not recommended that beginners or tanners with sensitive skin use tingle lotions as they are likely to feel uncomfortable from the reddening and heating effects. Prior to using for the first time test on inner arm. Do not apply to sensitive body areas or the face.


Always buy your tanning lotion from reputable stockists to ensure good quality; see our stock here. Check out our new and exciting locations where our Tan Cans are available so that you can keep that lovely glow going all through winter!


Warning – Exposure to UV light (artificial or natural) may increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Always wear compliant protective eyewear while tanning.



How to get the most out of your tan
Monday, May 8th, 2017
Solarscape Tancan

With the winter chill now in the air, lying in the sun in your bikini / costume just doesn’t seem that appealing. Consider indoor tanning as a solution to keeping that summer glow all through the winter! We’ve come up with some do’s and don’ts to get the most out of your indoor tanning;


Do Exfoliate
It is important to exfoliate your skin before you tan so that your tan will last longer! When you tan, you only tan the top layer of skin, so if you are tanning with dry / flaky / almost-ready-to-go skin your tan will only last as long as the dry skin.


Do use tanning lotion
This is one of the most crucial tips to getting the most out of your tan. Tanning lotions designed specifically for indoor tanning can improve your tan by approx. 30%. Quality tanning lotions are well worth it – not only do they enhance your glow, but they also make your skin softer and smoother! Apply your tanning lotion within 15 minutes of your appointment to get the maximum benefit, you should also always use a moisturiser after tanning, showering, bathing or swimming so as to keep your skin hydrated! Keep a look out for our next post to see which tanning lotion will suit you best!


Don’t burn
Be responsible about your tanning and only tan in moderation. Burning damages your skin, so it is very important that you do not stay in the tan can / sun bed longer than you should. Prior to tanning, it is crucial to determine your skin type and then to follow the recommended exposure times for your skin type (see our Skin Type Questionnaire Quiz). It is also important to wait at least 48 hours between tanning sessions to give your skin a break and also to avoid overexposure not to tan outdoors on the same day that you use a tan can / sun bed. Once you have reached your tanning goal you can drop your sessions down to once or twice a week to maintain your tan.


Do wear goggles
Just like you can damage your eyes in the sun if you don’t wear sunglasses, you can damage them in the tan can / sun bed. Your eyes can be permanently damaged if you do not wear the correct eye wear / goggles whilst tanning.



Natural Vitamin D Levels 46 ng/ml: Study
Wednesday, March 18th, 2015


A first-of-its-kind study of vitamin D levels among those whose outdoor lifestyles give us the best clues of what is natural for humans supports the contention that regular tanners have natural vitamin D levels and non-tanners are falling far short.

Published in the British Journal of Nutrition by Dr. Martine F. Luxwolda and a group of colleagues from The Netherlands, the study looked at Vitamin D blood levels in those who live natural outdoor lifestyles.

"People with traditional lifestyles, living in the cradle of mankind, have a mean circulating 25(OH)D concentration of 115 nmol/l (46 ng/ml)," the group wrote. "Evolutionary medicine tells us that our genes have been selected in an environment in which we successfully exploited hunting and gathering strategies for survival and procreation. Since the agricultural (about 10,000 years ago) and industrial (100–200 years ago) revolutions, we have, however, drastically changed our conditions of existence and continue to do so with still increasing pace. These changes cause a conflict with our slowly adapting genome that basically still resides in the Paleolithic era."

In other words, our body's genes haven't caught up to the recent phenomena of working indoors behind a desk.

"The ensuing lack of exposure to direct sunlight negatively affects our vitamin D status, and thereby adds to the current state of homeostatic imbalance," the research team wrote. "Cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D by exposure to UVB is our principal source of vitamin D, which in reality is a pro-hormone with both rapid and slow effects and which also controls the expression of about 3 percent of our genes."

And, as it turns out, the amount of vitamin D you need for that function of vitamin D is above 40 ng/ml, according to independent research – although Luxwolda and her colleagues shied away from making that conclusion, which they believe needs further research. The group did acknowledge that "the current low vitamin D status of populations living in affluent countries is implicated in many diseases that are related to the calcaemic and non-calcaemic functions of vitamin D, including rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, CHD (hypertension), cancer (colorectal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer), infectious diseases (tuberculosis, influenza and HIV) and autoimmune diseases (type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis).

The North American vitamin D average today is about 23 ng/ml. Indoor tanning clients average close to 46 ng/ml, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


The world's leading vitamin D researchers have embraced 40-60 ng/ml as the target range for everyone.

To review the new study from The Netherlands click here.



UV Suppresses MS Independent of Vitamin D: Study
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

A recent animal study indicates that UV light itself, not vitamin D, is responsible for suppression of Multiple Sclerosis, the Vitamin D Council reports. The fact that MS is less common closer to the equator is well established, but has typically been attributed to increased vitamin D production. However, the new research from University of Wisconsin, also backed by other recent studies, suggests otherwise.

UV researchers examined the effect of different UV wavelengths on mice induced with an MS-like state. They found that narrow band UVB, which did not significantly increase vitamin D levels, suppressed the MS-model equally to the broad band UV, which did significantly increase vitamin D levels. Therefore, the researchers concluded that the 300 to 315 nm range of UV light suppressed the MS-model independent of vitamin D and that it 's reasonable to assume that humans are positively affected in a manner similar to the mice.


"These findings force a re-examination of the idea that vitamin D production mediates the relationship between UV light and MS," the researchers noted.

Click here to read the abstract of the study


Canadian Article: Skin Cancers Overdiagnosed
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

A recent Canadian newspaper article presents the case that melanoma incidence is not actually increasing, as critics of indoor tanning have claimed, but rather that diagnosis of the disease has become more aggressive and is skewing the numbers.
"There is less an epidemic of melanoma than an epidemic of diagnosis," Dr. Gilbert Welch, a professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Institute for Health is quoted as writing in his book Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health. "Many diagnosed melanomas don't need treatment in the first place."

In addition to more evidence from Dr. Welch's book, the article cites several studies that have reached the same conclusion. One study, Melanoma Epidemic: True or False, published in the International Journal of Dermatology "concluded that melanoma incidence have increased dramatically over the past few decades as a result of increased diagnosis of early melanomas."

A review of medical literature published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings came to a similar conclusion — that "while there has been a significant increase in the diagnosis of thin melanomas, there has been no change in advanced tumors or subsequent mortality."

Click here to read the article from The Star Phoenix


Weather Channel Article Discusses Risks of Sun Avoidance
Friday, August 23rd, 2013


An article this week on The Weather Channel's website detailed the various benefits of moderate sun exposure and the dangers of total sun avoidance.

"When absorbed in moderation, sunlight offers us many health benefits – not to mention life itself – that outweigh the risks," the article says.

Benefits from Vitamin D, as well as those independent of the sunshine vitamin are mentioned, including the result research out of Ireland that found that sun exposure decrease blood pressure, resulting in lessened risk of heart attack and stroke.

Sunlight's positive impact on psoriasis symptoms are also noted. "The sun is one of the best treatments for psoriasis, so in summer I encourage my patients to sit out on the deck and give their affected areas a good sun bath," said Julie Moore, MD, dermatologist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health is quoted as saying in a recent press release. "Twenty to thirty minutes is adequate to improve the skin; you do not need to sit out for hours, and you do not want to burn."

Other benefits involving arthritis, sleep, SAD, depression and diabetes are also mentioned.

Click here to read the article

New Research on Sun Exposure and Breast Cancer Risk

A first of its kind study suggests a connection between sun exposure, lower breast density, and thus reduced breast cancer risk, the Vitamin D Council reports. High breast density is recognized as a strong risk factor for breast cancer


Read more



Could Sunlight prevent Cancer?


Science strongly supports regular, non-burning sun exposure.


How often we have seen it - public health policies over-reacting to a trend, and then - after the science sorts things out, doing an about-face & returning to a moderate, common-sense position.

If you've been following the sunshine-vitamin D story closely in the past five years, you're seeing it again. Sunshine - vilified by a downright zealous dermatology & sun screen community for 20 solid years - suddenly appears to be the key ingredient in what could be the biggest cancer prevention policy change in modern times.


Read more



The Gillie Report sums it up


".... the most comprehensive, balanced review of UV science and policy written to date."


A41 - PAGE BRITISH REPORT has called into question public health policy that only considers positive effects of ultraviolet light.


Olivier Gillie a London-based medical editor and writer whose doctorate degrees in genetics and developmental biology from Edinburgh University give him a unique angle in humanity's need for sunlight - spent several years creating "Sunlight Robbery: Health benefits of sunlight are denied by current public health policy in the UK."


The report is the latest blow to the anti-tanning lobby's tired case and is the most comprehensive, balanced review of UV science and policy written to date, compiling a modern look at all the science about UV radiation.


Read more






Press Releases

Article 1
Re: Hype about Sunbeds - what the Media omitted to say

Scientists surprised about the classification of UV radiation and solariums into cancer risk category one.


Results of studies, on which the International Agency for Research on Cancer have based their decision, face serious criticism from experts...Read more


Article 2

Re: Hype about Sunbeds - what the Media omitted to say



IARC Report Declaring UV "Carcinogenic to Humans" ignored conflicting information

JACKSON, Mich. (July 29) - The International Agency for Research on Cancer ignored conflicting information in its classification of ultraviolet light as 'carcinogenic to humans' - a one-dimensional conclusion that benefits the $35 billion sunscreen industry, which has strong financial ties to most of the dermatology community today...Read more

Talking Points for Salon Owners

Your customers may have seen recent news stories claiming that scientists say tanning beds are "as dangerous as arsenic," or comparing indoor tanning to smoking tobacco. These stories are inaccurate and misleading, and are based on a misunderstanding of the actual research. We have prepared a brief guide for you, to help you answer any questions and concerns your clients may have...Read more

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