Bronzer en toute sécurité : tout savoir sur les rayons UV et comment s’en protéger

BIEN-ETRE Tanning safely: everything you need to know about UV rays and how to protect yourself from them


6min reading time

When summer returns and the heat hits, it's always tempting to expose yourself to the sun to show off a pretty golden complexion. And yet, like every year, sunburn, redness, lightheadedness, etc., ruin our vacations...
We rarely ask ourselves the question when we go on vacation in the sun, and yet it is essential to know the basics to effectively protect yourself from UV rays while enjoying their benefits.
So how can you enjoy the sunny days without exposing yourself to the dangers of UV rays?
Here we detail everything there is to know about UV and all our little tips, basic but essential, to preserve your sun capital and tan in a healthier and more sustainable way.

What is UV?

UV rays are electromagnetic rays coming from the sun which are necessary for our body to synthesize vitamin D or boost our morale, for example. But they can also be responsible for significant skin lesions or damage... UV rays are classified into 3 categories based on their power of penetrating the skin.

  • UVA : These UV rays penetrate the dermis slowly but deeply. They activate the melanin present in our skin which causes it to gradually tan. But they are also responsible for photo-aging, that is to say the premature aging of the skin caused by overexposure to the sun (wrinkles, loss of elasticity and firmness, spots, etc.).

  • UVB : UVB penetrates the epidermis quite quickly but does not reach the dermis. They allow the synthesis of vitamin D and are responsible for a lasting tan thanks to the formation of new melanin in the skin 2 to 3 days after exposure. They are also responsible for sunburn, this inflammatory reaction of the skin in response to too intense exposure which is often accompanied by skin dehydration, peeling and sometimes blisters.

  • UVC : Unlike the other two, UVC is entirely absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the Earth's surface (where it would make life impossible).

And what is the UV index?

We also often hear about “UV index”. It is a measure of the intensity of UV radiation which should obviously not be confused with the sun protection indices appearing on the packaging of sun protection products. The higher it is, the greater the potential for skin and eye damage, and the less time it takes for this sun exposure to be considered dangerous. The UV index reaches its maximum around the summer solstice. And it is of course at midday, when the sun is highest in the sky, that the UV index is at its maximum. UV index values ​​can be grouped into four ranges, each with specific recommendations.

Our advice to apply this summer

Don't skimp on sunscreen

Sunscreen is a tan's best friend . It protects you from the risks of skin cancer and actively fights against aging . So for all your outdoor activities, take the reflex to protect yourself! This will allow you to avoid all the inconveniences that regularly accompany overexposure (sunburn, peeling skin, spots, etc.) so that the sun remains above all a pleasure. Finally, remember that it is not enough to apply sunscreen once during the day but to reapply it approximately every 2 hours until the last day of vacation!
Beware of preconceived ideas: Contrary to what many may think, protecting yourself does not prevent you from tanning. On the contrary, you take colors more slowly, but better and longer lasting. In fact, sunscreen will play the same filter role as melanin by absorbing part of UV rays. Tanning with sunscreen helps protect the skin from sun-related risks, while allowing the skin to color.

We choose the right protection index

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a protection index that extends the time the skin is exposed before sunburn appears . The right SPF for your skin should be chosen based on your skin type and the intensity of the sun you face. When in doubt, it is always better to rely on high protection.

  • Index 50+ for phototypes 0-2 : You have fair, sensitive and reactive skin that gets sunburned easily and therefore needs to be particularly well protected from the sun.

  • Index 30 to 50 for phototypes 3-4 : You have dark skin that tans quickly, you only get sunburned from overexposure and can therefore opt for medium to high protection.

  • Index 15 to 30 for phototypes 5-6 : You have very dark skin, you hardly experience sunburn and your skin needs average protection.

 How to choose your solar product?

  • Respectful of the environment and the oceans

  • Waterproof, which will retain 70% of its effectiveness after swimming

  • With a good SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB

  • Oil or milk depending on your texture preference

Avoid making crepes during the hottest hours

The sun is most harmful between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Furthermore, it is at its highest point at 2 p.m. which means that this is when the sun is most dangerous because it is less well filtered. Applying a good sunscreen obviously does not protect us from all dangers, so we moderate our exposure at these times , otherwise we risk sunburn. Don't neglect the parasol either, which can help you with its shade ;)

We also protect our eyes from UV rays

Wrinkling the eyelids and retracting the pupils are physiological reactions which unfortunately are not enough to protect the eyes from the sun, so we opt for the perfect vacationer's equipment, namely a hat and sunglasses! Sunglasses help supplement the natural filtration provided by the eye and thus preserve eye health . Note that overexposure of the eyes to UV rays can have serious consequences: repeated conjunctivitis, early cataracts or even ophthalmia, a burn of the cornea by UV rays.

We avoid brutal exposures

Prefer gradual and limited sunbathing , your tan will be even more successful and lasting! Indeed, basking in the sun for hours is really not ideal for the skin and is especially not useful for tanning faster since the activation of melanin occurs gradually over 2 - 3 days . The risk is above all getting a severe sunburn and no longer being able to expose yourself for a few days... To find out more about the benefits and risks of the sun on your body, I invite you to consult this article: [... ]

To help your skin gradually get used to UV rays, choose short sessions in the sun spaced far enough apart so as not to harm it. You can also gently prepare your skin by opting for food supplements rich in antioxidants and beta carotene (we tell you more in the advice below).

We opt now for our solar Gummies

To help you protect your skin and prepare your tan from the inside, you can turn to our sugar-free Sun Gummies , small chewing gums with a delicious cherry flavor that accelerate tans and which will reinforce the skin's self-protection . Rich in beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, vitamins C and E, here is your new natural ally for healthy tanned skin. To optimize their effects, it is recommended to start the treatment at least three weeks before exposure to the sun , to continue it throughout the exposure then two to three weeks after exposure.

To find out everything about tanning and our tips to apply this summer, download our tanning booklet by clicking right here .

Solène Senejko

Ingénieure Alimentation & Santé