Yes, it is possible to tan underwater; whether you are swimming, completing a water fitness routine, or taking a relaxing dip in a pool or lake. Many people complain that an underwater tan is different than an above water tan, which is true. It is always visually different than a tan that is received from lying out in the sun, relaxing on a raft, using a tanning bed, or receiving an artificial tan from a bottle.
These are not the only differences in the appearance of this type of tan, there are also differences in the visual appeal and look of an underwater tan that depend on the type of water that a person is swimming or relaxing in. Clear bodies of water, like a pollution free ocean or a chlorinated pool, are easier places for swimmers to tan, while murky bodies of water, like a pond or lake, are more difficult.
The tanning difference in various types of water is as a result of light absorption. The light from the sun, specifically the UVA rays, is naturally absorbed in every type of water. Studies have shown that the absorption is minimal in clear bodies of water, however. In cloudy or murky waters the absorption of light is higher, and therefore results in a weaker tan underwater for a swimmer, if any tan at all.
This is as a result of how UVA or ultra violet light works. UVA light is the type of light that is responsible for tanning the skin and enabling you to tan. This light is available naturally from the sun or artificially through the use of tanning beds. UVA light is strong and may cause a sunburn underwater instead of a tan.
Most tanning experts agree that the deeper the water, the more light that is absorbed and the fewer UVA rays that will reach the surface of a swimmer’s skin. This means that the skin is less likely to tan or burn, but water does not provide full protection from the sun. The UVA and UVB rays from the sun can still cause great harm to the skin.
To effectively reduce the sun’s effect on your skin, it is important to remember that there is no safe way to tan. While some sun exposure is healthy, a sunscreen should be warn at all times in order to protect your skin from the light of the sun.