While we’ve all heard of tanning beds, there is a growing trend stemming from Korea that is a little more unusual. It’s been dubbed ‘white-tanning’ – the name itself is a little contradictory. Names aside though, we thought we’d better look further into the concept as the Korean skincare market is getting global attention for good reason!
White-tanning beds consist of standing/laying in a contraption that looks much the same as a normal tanning bed. Unlike regular tanning beds, though, which use UV rays to stimulate melanin production resulting in a tan, white-tanning utilises infrared rays which are not harmful.
Let’s get one thing straight; there is no tanning involved in the process. In fact, the recipient doesn’t really have their skin considerably lightened either. What it is most beneficial for is its ability to even skin tone.
There is a science behind it – the technology was actually developed by NASA as a way to treat injuries in space. Infrared rays, with a long wavelength, are able to penetrate deeply into the skin (up to 2-3 inches). When absorbed, the light energy of the ray is transformed into heat energy. This process’ effects trigger healing processes within the body.
For this reason, the same technology is also used by doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists to treat pain, muscle stiffness and ligament injuries, as infrared rays are capable of speeding up the healing process.
Infrared can work to boost collagen and elastin production by stimulating fibroblasts. This promises more benefits than just fixing uneven skin tone. The treatment can work on fine lines and wrinkles, acne and more on a full body scale, rather than focusing only on the face, as other available light therapies can do.
The procedure generally lasts for roughly 10 minutes and is not painful. The recipient will need to undergo around 5 sessions before collagen is stimulated and 10 sessions before they start seeing the results.
While it’s consider quite safe (our body emits its own amount of infrared radiation naturally), there are some instances where clients should exercise caution before proceeding with treatment. There is little evidence gathered around its effects on pregnancy. It’s also important to be wary if you have a cancerous lesion. On these occasions, it’s essential to use the treatment on your physician’s advice alone.
Some may experience pain (a burning sensation) if they have tattoos or very dark skin as the energy is transformed into heat and the pigment of the dye or your skin literally heats up.
On the whole though, white-tanning is considered a very effective and beneficial treatment to the whole body.
Have you heard about this new trend in skin therapy?