Getting out in the sun makes us all feel happier and healthier.  But what is a suntan? And what are its benefits? What can we do to ensure a safe, healthy tan? And how is collagen the secret weapon for anyone who wants to enjoy a healthier summer?

What is a suntan?

A suntan is the body’s defence mechanism in response to ultraviolet light. Moderate and safe exposure to the sun brings health benefits, including a much-needed mood boost and optimum Vitamin D levels.

The benefits of sun exposure

Getting sunburnt can be bad for us. However, a healthy suntan and moderate exposure to the sun bring many benefits. Here are some of the positives of healthy, responsible suntanning:

Vitamin D

Sunbathing boosts our vitamin D levels. Higher vitamin D levels help us to stay healthy during flu season, give us extra protection from Covid-19, and are essential for our muscles, bones and joints. Vitamin D helps boost gut health.

Serotonin boost

Exposure to sunlight leads to the brain releasing more serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate our mood and focus. Spending time outdoors in the summer sun makes us feel happier.

Stronger immune system

Plants and animals benefit from sunlight exposure. And it is no different for us. Anybody suffering from an overactive immune system can benefit from sun exposure because it helps suppress this overactivity.

Improved brain function

Nerve cell production increases with sun exposure, while an individual’s cognitive function reduces when Vitamin D levels drop. Any reduction in nerve cell production is especially problematic for the over 70s and might partly explain the higher dementia levels in regions where the population receives minimal Vitamin D exposure at certain times of the year.

Helps tackle depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder has become big news in recent years. It is common in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter and is a big problem for many office-based workers who receive almost no natural sunlight. Sun exposure can help those suffering from depression to fight it.

Better bone health

Sun exposure helps an individual to have better bones, which is particularly important as we age. Vitamin D3 is created during Vitamin D production.


With a healthy suntan, we look and feel better. By feeling good about our appearance, we experience a boost in our self-esteem and overall sense of happiness and well-being. This positive energy leads to improvements in our overall health which is the exact opposite of what happens to us when we are in a negative state of stress.

How the sun can damage our skin and health

Every day we are exposed to many external factors that threaten our health. These include pollution, harmful chemicals in our food and drink, and overexposure to the sun.

Regular ultraviolet exposure negatively affects both the structure and function of the skin. Ultraviolet light has three categories according to wavelength: UV-A (400–315 nm), UV-B (315–280 nm) and UV-C (<280 nm). This Ultraviolet radiation leads to damaged skin and causes premature ageing. Overexposure to ultraviolet light from natural sunlight or through artificial sources (such as tanning lamps) is the main reason for severe skin dehydration and photo-ageing. These negative consequences lead to wrinkle formation, rough or loose skin, and irregular pigmentation.

What is the safest way to tan?

Despite all the horror stories we constantly hear about overexposure to the sun and its dire consequences, it is possible to tan safely and get the most out of summer. Here are nine tips on how to do it:

High-quality suntan lotion with high UVA, UVB and IR protection

Infrared rays damage our DNA and destroy the collagen vital to our skin. Choose a high-quality sun cream with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that suits your skin.

Sunbathe in the morning or evening

It is better to sunbathe in the morning or the evening when the sun is weaker. It is not wise to spend a lot of time sunbathing during those hours when the sun is strongest.

Take your time!

One of the keys to healthy tanning is doing it at the correct pace. Melanin in our cells helps protect us from the sun. It is produced slowly and can’t fully protect us if we sit in 30-degree sun for eight hours. The secret is to enable our skin to accumulate the melanin it needs. One way to do this is by limiting how much time we expose ourselves to the sun, especially in the early days of summer or during our summer break.

Skin prep

Exfoliate your skin to remove unwanted dead cells and harmful impurities. Skin exfoliation is a healthy approach which also helps promote a better tan.

Moisturise post-tan

Slap on the aftersun or moisturiser to ensure you soothe your skin after sun exposure. Moisturising (with a good moisturiser, free of unnecessary perfumes and additives) your skin after sunbathing will also mean your tan lasts longer.

Cover up at the right time

Once you've exposed your body to enough direct sunlight, cover up by wearing long sleeves and a hat to protect you from overexposure.

Be a shady person

We want to enjoy the sun rather than find ourselves stuck indoors. The simple solution is to sit in the shade once you’ve spent enough time suntanning.

Correct nutrition

Eating a healthy balanced diet is the ideal preparation for all we face in life. Diet is also an important consideration when it comes to sun exposure. Adding collagen to our diets regularly is one aspect of nutrition we should consider. Besides, adding collagen, such as Col Du Marine collagen peptides to our daily routine is easy and brings numerous health benefits.

Prepare for the summer with Collagen

Begin preparing for the summer at least 6-12 weeks in advance with collagen supplements! This is the time needed for fish collagen peptides to work their full magic inside our bodies; our secret weapon when preparing for the summer!

Why is collagen the secret weapon when preparing for the summer?

Collagen supplements

Collagen Peptides are your secret weapon to look fantastic and be healthier during the summer.

Hydrolyzed collagen is composed of low molecular weight peptides. It makes collagen an easily digestible and bioavailable dietary supplement, successfully absorbed and circulated in the human body. The increased popularity of collagen supplements is understandable when we see the visible benefits in the skin condition of those who use them as part of their daily life.

How does collagen boost our summer health?

Numerous in-vitro and in-vivo studies prove the beneficial properties of collagen peptides (CP) oral administration. Regular and sufficient collagen intake before and during the sunny summer season is proven to moisturise, nourish and prepare our skin for UV-light exposure.

CP intake helps protect against photo ageing (also known as dermatoheliosis), which is the deterioration of the skin due to UVA and UVB overexposure. Collagen peptides minimise the harmful effects of transepidermal water loss, which causes the appearance of new wrinkles. Furthermore, consuming collagen supplements for three months or more helps your skin look radiant and youthful.

Studies prove collagen intake helps protect us from UV radiation

There is a lot of science to back up the fact that collagen intake helps protect us from UV radiation. The efficacy of peptides is proven by several studies, evidencing the ability of CP to target fibroblasts and activate collagen biosynthesis even when skin is exposed to UV rays. Collagen peptides increase the density of collagen fibres, which also expands the diameter of the dermis. Regular and sustained intake of collagen peptides stimulates the endogenous synthesis of hyaluronic acid, important for retaining water. Hydrolyzed collagen ingestion leads to the proliferation and motility of fibroblasts and activates our body’s protection against ultraviolet radiation.

Collagen ingestion stops the water loss that occurs when our skin becomes tanned. Our skin remains hydrated and retains elasticity. These natural mechanisms protect the skin against drying and sunburn. Regular intake of 5g/day of collagen peptides starting at least 6 to 12 weeks before any prolonged exposure to UV radiation will support the natural moisturisation of an individual’s skin and enable them to tan healthily.

Reversing hyperpigmentation

One of the most visible signs of UV radiation skin problems is the presence of post-solar hyperpigmentation and UV spots. Studies show a visible decrease in the area of UV spots eight weeks after beginning Collagen Peptides ingestion. There was not the same improvement in the placebo groups.

Start preparing now for the summer with collagen peptides!

It is simple: you can have a healthy tan with all the benefits that come with it, or you can choose to ignore all of the correct decisions needed to stay healthy and burn your skin instead.

Contrary to the negative narrative we hear in the press, safe exposure to sunshine and having a healthy suntan are two things we should seek out rather than try to avoid.

The benefits of healthy sun exposure include better mental health, a more robust immune system, and a greater sense of happiness.

And, as we have discussed in this article, there are several steps we should all take to ensure we get just the right amount of sun exposure. From using high-quality sunscreen to being sensible about how much time we spend lying in the sun, it is clear that we can all enjoy the beach or garden sunchair and be happier and healthier.

And the fantastic news is that in recent years we have discovered a ‘new secret weapon’ to help us prepare for the summer months - collagen peptides supplements. By consuming collagen peptides starting at least six to twelve weeks before the summer kicks off, we can prepare our body and skin to be in prime condition for the hot, sunny days we are all dreaming of!

Our Col Du Marine collagen peptides have no taste or smell and are the perfect choice when preparing your body for the summer and the rest of the year. Start your tomorrow in a better way with Col Du Marine!

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