Skin Types Tips

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How does a tan develop?

Understanding the Tanning Process

Melanocytes are specialized cells that are responsible for producing melanin. When melanocytes are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, they react by producing more melanin, which in turn colors your skin.

Melanin absorbs UV light, so once a base melanin level develops, it provides protection from overexposure to UV.

Depending on how much light you get, your skin reacts and turns darker. If too much sun is exposed and your skin cannot handle it, your skin will burn. This is why it is so important to know your skin type and regulate how long you are in a tanning bed.

What should I know about tanning with fair skin?

Tanning Beds and Fair Skin

Tanning effects on different skin types has varied results. If you have pale or fair skin and you are thinking about using salon or home tanning beds, there are some things you need to know about tanning with fair skin:

  • Tanning effects on skin can be different, depending on skin types. They are classified into six categories, from I - VI. If you have skin type I, the lightest type of skin, you are the most prone to burns while tanning.
  • Shower before tanning. Makeup and perfume can cause your skin to be more apt to burn.
  • If you are tanning fair skin, wear a sunscreen that contains a minimum of SPF 20 to 30 to help the skin tan without burning. Tanning for fair skin can be dangerous if you don't take precautions.
  • Use salon or dealer recommended moisturizers specifically for indoor tanning, before and after tanning. They are specially formulated to keep your skin healthy with indoor tanning.
  • Indoor tanning lotion is designed for indoor beds, since they do not contain dangerous UVC rays. Do not use indoor lotions for outdoor tanning.
  • Wear UV protective lip balm to keep your lips from being overexposed.
  • Always wear protective goggles.
  • For pale skin, safe tanning involves exposing the skin for very short amounts of time initially. Depending on how your skin reacts, increase the amount of time little by little - until you get to the maximum session time. Do this over a long span of time and be patient.
  • Let 24 to 72 hours pass before tanning again. It will take time for your tan to develop - don't rush the process. Too much tanning and aging skin are closely related.
  • If you plan to tan nude, only tan your sensitive body areas for half the amount of time, for the first three or four sessions.
  • If you develop a rash, itchiness, or other skin problems after tanning, consult a physician.

Is moisturizing important to tanning?

Tanning and Moisturizing

The moisture and additives present in professional tanning lotions help reduce wrinkling, drying of the skin, premature aging of the skin, and burning caused by UV rays. In addition, tanning lotions help your skin to produce that dark tan everyone craves.

Generic brands of lotions typically do not include ingredients that will produce a quality tan or the protection from the unwanted rays that produce many unwanted side effects. Regular skin lotions to introduce moisturizers not designed for tanning should be reserved for after you have completed you tanning session. Ask a professional about recommended tanning lotions.

How many skin types are there?

About Skin Types

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Dermatology have developed six skin types. Classification into the various skin types is based on two causes: a person's sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds and the person's skin tone.

The six types are:

I - White skin, easily burns, never tans.
II - Sensitive light skin, rarely tans, burns more often
III - Light skin, tans more, burns equally
IV - Light dark skin, tans more than burns
V - Darker skin, rarely burns, tans darkly
VI - Dark skin, never burns, dark even tans

How does skin work?

About Skin

There are two layers to skin: the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin, the one you can touch and that touches everything. The dermis is the inner layer of skin below the epidermis. The difference between them is the epidermis consists of dead cells and the dermis has live cells. The dermis contains melanocytes, which are responsible for producing melanin, the pigmentation that gives your skin its color.

So when you sit in the sun or in a tanning bed, your skin reacts to the sunrays. In order to protect itself, it produces more melanin. If too much sunlight reaches the skin, it burns. You need to protect your skin and prevent burns. It is also healthy to get enough sun for a nice tan. To get a better balance, tanning beds may be helpful in controlling how much UV light you get.

What is skin type?

Understanding Skin Types

Skin type refers to the category used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The groups develop skin type classification systems based on sensitivity to ultraviolet light and skin tone.

The FDA and the AAD recommends knowing your skin type and plan exposure to ultraviolet light from either the sun or an indoor tanning bed. Plan accordingly to avoid skin damage. For example, skin type II tans in a lesser amount of time than skin type III.

How does skin type affect my indoor tanning schedule?

Skin Type & Indoor Tanning

If you want to tan indoors at a tanning salon, an attendant will ask you what your skin type is. If you don't know, the attendant will go through a process to explain what a skin type is and why it is important to know. You need to know what your skin type is before you tan. This helps pick a proper tanning time for you.

Someone with a skin type I, light white skin, will not tan and will most likely burn under the UV rays in a tanning bed if in it longer than a couple of minutes. This is just one example that shows how important it is to know your what your skin type is before you begin to tan.

What is skin type I?

About Skin Type I

Skin type I is the lightest, most burn-prone skin type according to the skin type classification system. People with skin type I burn easily, never tan, and have extremely sensitive skin.

The skin itself is very light in color. The skin may freckle when exposed to a bit of sun, instead of tanning. People with skin type I are cautioned against overexposure to ultraviolet light either from the sun or an indoor tanning bed.

How does skin type affect the tanning process?

Effect of Skin Type on Tanning

The difference between skin types is the amount of melanin produced by the melanocytes. Albinos, which would be considered skin type I, do not produce any melanin and are, consequently, at great risk for burning and suffering long-term skin damage. Thus they should not be out in the sun too long without protection.

People with darker skin tone have a skin type of either V or VI. African-Americans or those of Mediterranean descent are constantly producing a certain amount of melanin and so are less prone to burning.

Anyone in between the I and VI skin types tan at different ranges. Knowing your skin type helps to determine how long you can stay in the tanning bed.

Why do I need to know my skin type?

Know Your Skin Type

There are six different skin types according to the Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Dermatology. The most sensitive type, skin type I, is pale and does not tan, but burns under too much exposure to UV rays. Skin type VI is dark and only becomes darker under light and doesn't burn.

People between the two types may burn or tan in different ranges. This is important to know when you attempt to use tanning beds or tan outside in the sun. It will determine the difference in how long you should sit under UV rays.

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