Unfortunately, a lamp that will make everyone happy has not yet been created! The rate and level at which each person tans is based on their individual skin type. Some people develop a dark brown tone and some may experience a golden brown result – this is a function of a person’s physiology and skin makeup. As per the chart below, a person with Skin Type V would tan much faster, get much darker, and be less likely to burn than someone with Skin Type II.
Every tanning lamp needs just enough UVB to stimulate the melanin, and copious UVA to oxidize it and turn it brown. Typically the higher the amounts of UVB, the shorter the exposure schedule and the more reddening that occurs, unless sessions are severely shortened. If you use the lamp originally recommended for use in the equipment or an FDA-compatible replacement lamp, then little reddening should occur if you follow the recommended exposure schedule. It’s when you replace the original lamp with a higher UVB lamp or non-compatible lamp that erythema may occur.
There are different UV wavelengths, which are measured in nanometers (one-billionth of a meter): UVB rays are in the light range from 280-320 nanometers, UVA2 from 320-340 and UVA1 from 340-400nm. UVB stimulates melanin production and can burn the skin if overexposed; UVA2 acts a lot like UVB, with melanin production and some pigment darkening; it is also closely associated with elastosis (photoaging, wrinkles). UVA1 penetrates deeper past the surface of the skin and is primarily responsible for pigment darkening. In general, the shorter the wavelength (280 shorter than 400), the less the penetration past the surface of the skin.
So, getting back to the original question: “Which lamp is your darkening or bronzing lamp?” The answer would be any Wolff System lamp if used correctly. All of our lamps have just enough UVB and lots of UVA for darkening. Our newer models focus on providing enough UVB to stimulate the melanin and aid in production of vitamin D, plenty of UVA1, and less of UVA2.
has been with Wolff System since 1998. Her duties include training salon professionals on sunlamp products. She specializes in breaking down technical info into layman terms, so her lamp training is both informative and FUN! Questions or comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.959.6533, X112.
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