People still speak today of a ‘healthy tan’ and getting a feeling of wellbeing and confidence from a tan. Are we just vain or is there more to it than that?
Harvard Medical School has just completed some pioneering research which looked at whether there could be a biochemical reason for the popularity of sun tanning. The research, which used mice, suggests exposure to UV light increases the skins production of beta endorphins. These are opioids which occur naturally in the body, and are the hormones associated with creating feelings of pleasure.
The study involved shaving mice and exposing them to UV light for 5 days a week for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks researchers found that the mice had developed withdrawal symptoms and increased tolerance to morphine injections. The research was repeated with mice genetically engineered so they could not produce beta endorphins. This second group of mice did not display the same withdrawal symptoms.
This research is limited of course by the use of mice but it does suggest we may react the same way. The desirability of a tan is of course partly cultural, but if it produces a chemical reaction in the body, it may well have an addictive quality.
Regardless of the level of SPF product you use, it’s important to achieve 100% coverage. Ask a friend to apply your lotion on your back, neck and other hard to reach places. Keep one of our BackBliss Sun Lotion Applicators to hand. These have been ergonomically designed to allow you to reach all parts of your back. Each one comes with a handle, pad back and two pads. The pads can be washed at 40 degrees and are non-absorbent, ensuring your sun tan lotion will go further.