How Does Tanning Work?
When most people think of our body's organs, we think of the heart, liver or kidneys. The truth is that your body's largest, most active organ is your skin. It's a complex organ made up of the epidermis, (outer layer) and the dermis (the inner layer). The dermis is where the roots of your body hair follicles start, as well as your sweat glands and nerve endings. Tanning takes place in the skin’s epidermis, within special cells called melanocytes.
When you start to notice your skin tanning, what is actually happening is a natural reaction. When exposed to UV B light, melanocytes produce the pigment melanin. At first, this pigment appears pinkish. But that’s where the UV A light rays come into play. These particular light rays oxidize the melanin, and turn it dark in color. This is what creates the “Tanning” affect, and this is also your skin’s natural way of protecting itself from possible damage from too much UV light.