If you want to see yourself tanned in the summer, you don’t need to be in the sun every day.
What’s more, sunbathing every day can work against you.
On the other hand, if you sunbathe every other day , your skin will acquire a better tan , according to a new study led by researchers from Tel Aviv University, in Israel, published in the specialized journal Molecular Cell.
Alternate day sun exposure not only results in a better tan but also helps reduce UV damage to DNA and premature skin aging.
48 hour cycles
Although the body needs sunlight to make vitamin D, the sun contains ultraviolet rays that can cause damage.
By building up over time, this can lead to skin cancer.
To protect itself from this radiation, the body produces melanin , a dark pigment that acts as a kind of natural protection against the sun’s rays.
The production of melanin begins a few hours after we expose ourselves to the sun.
What the researchers found is that this process that occurs in skin cells takes 48 hours to complete.
And, if we expose ourselves to the sun again before it ends, it does not complete and the skin takes longer to tan.
That is, the skin produces more melanin if it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation every 48 hours than if it is exposed every 24.
Carmit Levy, a professor at Tel Aviv University and co-author of the study, explains that the case is similar to what happens in the gym.
It is known that if the goal is to increase muscle mass, you have to leave a day of rest between sessions so that the muscle has time to recover.
The experts came to this conclusion after exposing mice to the sun for different periods and intervals for 60 days.
Thus, they observed that skin cells required 48-hour intervals to generate maximum protection.
They then repeated the experiment on human skin samples and got the same results.
Researchers at the moment do not know why the cycle develops over two days and not one, although they suspect that it may be linked to the production of vitamin D , which remains high in the blood for 48 hours.