Take Those Sunglasses Off for a Better Tan

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Oakley Flak Jacket Ice

Okay, lets all admit it, summer this year has been pretty crappy.  In fact, it feels like winter still!  So how do you make the most of the sun on those occasional toasty days?  How are you going to work on that desperately needed tan?  The answer is this:  TAKE OFF THOSE SUNGLASSES!

You must think I’m crazy right? How can taking off your sunglasses give you a better tan?

Well believe it or not, it’s true! This is how it works:

First thing you need to know is that the pituitary gland gets information from your optic nerve. So when the optic nerve senses the UV from the sun (which wearing glasses prevents) it tells the pituitary gland to kick start the melanocytes into overdrive. Melanocytes are the cells that help produce “color” in not just your skin, but also your hair, eyes etc. People who have fairer skin have the same number of melanocytes as people with darker skin, but it produces less melanin (there are also two types of melanin which I won’t get into). The increased melanocyte activity = better tan. 

Okay so summary:
Sunlight hits eye’s optic nerve = signals pituitary gland to kick start melanocytes to work harder = increase tan.

****Be warned though! I’m not saying that LONG time exposure to UV rays is good for your eyes or skin for that matter, just possibly assist with the tan 😉

(Facts from Survival of the Sickest  by Dr. Sharon Moalem.  Excellent book, a recommended read.)


4 thoughts on “Take Those Sunglasses Off for a Better Tan

  1. Thanks for rubbing in the fact that I should be studying for cs200, but instead am out enjoying the sun (sunglasses on for the record) 😛

    1. Lol anytime 😛 It’s nice outside, worth a break from studying. Now after time in the sun, time for the hockey game!! 😀

  2. The best reason to take them off is that patients more easily trust you, if you are trustworthy. Really, keep shades off around patients, for that matter the hospital workers too – no matter on unbelievably cool they look.

  3. Important to note that ANY tan is skin damage and should not be encouraged, no matter how good it looks at the time. The amount of tan you end up with from the sun can be directly linked to the amount of skin damage that begins to show up five years later.

    Also, re sunglasses, interesting to note how important it is to check that you have good UV protection in the glass. Wearing dark glasses causes the pupils to dilate, of course, and if you have cheap glasses on, with no UV protection, that’s actually worse for your eyes than wearing no glasses at all.

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