As outlined in a paper by Johan Moan and Asta Juzeniene, there are beneficial effects of UV-exposure.
1. Good for your heart
”UV generates nitric oxide (NO), which may reduce blood pressure and generally improve cardiovascular health. UVA induced NO may also have antimicrobial effects and furthermore, act as a neurotransmitter.”
This means that UV light (including UVA and UVB) is good for your heart and overall cardiovascular health. However, this is not an entirely new idea. In ancient Indian writings (the Bhagavad Gita) you can read about the positive effects that the ‘green light’ in sunshine can have on the heart. Scientists have since discovered that it is not the green wavelength but the UVA-rays that improve the cardiovascular system.
This is good news for indoor tanners as sunbed lamps emit both UVA and UVB rays. Sunbeds, when used safely and responsibly, can produce both vitamin D (through UVB) and release nitric oxide – which is linked to the reduction of the most common killers today. The authors also acknowledge the benefits of sunbeds (if not over-done) in their ability to help us build up a natural sunscreen:
“Cosmetic tanning (immediate pigment darkening, persistent pigment darkening and delayed tanning). UVB-induced, delayed tanning (increases melanin in skin after several days), acts as a sunscreen.”
2. Healthy skin
Another observation the authors notice suggests that regular and moderate UV-exposure is actually good for the skin. This is assuming that you tan safely and responsibly (not burning yourself) and look after your skin with high quality, nourishing, tanning lotions and moisturisers. This is what the authors wrote:
“Skin exposed to UVB and UVA is more resistant to primary irritants, which may indicate the improvement of skin barrier functions. Such an improvement is not due to epidermal hyperplasia, which does not appear after UVA exposure, and neither is it due to increase in lipids in the stratum corneum as has been believed earlier.”
They then continue to dig deeper into several human skin diseases that can be treated with solar or UV radiation. This included psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and localized scleroderma. They also comment on multiple sclerosis:
“UV exposure can suppress the clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis independently of vitamin D synthesis.”
3. Increased energy and elevated moods
Last but not least, the authors also comment on the mood elevations that tanners often experience after UV-exposure.
“UV exposure may improve mood through the release of endorphins.”