Still hankering after that golden glow? Sorry to tell you, but all tans are not created equal. Human skin has two main types of pigment – eumelanin and pheomelanin. Under the sun, fair skin generates more pheomelanin – a reddish, yellow-brown tone, while dark skin makes mainly eumelanin, a black-brown melanin – the best quality for natural UV-protection. Pheomelanin is less stable and breaks down when exposed to UVB rays, generating free radicals in the skin.
So instead of protecting against the sun, pheomelanin actively contributes to UV-induced skin damage – the reason why fair, freckly skin types are at most risk of sun damage. Scientific studies have shown that not only sunburn is a sign of skin damage – in fair skins, tanning is too.
For this vulnerable skin type, sun protection equals skin preservation. The best way to protect fair skin is to avoid the sun wherever possible – especially between 10am and 4pm on holiday. Back in the real world, this isn’t always possible, so a good sun protection cream is the next best thing especially for your face, hands and chest.
Remember ultraviolet A (UVA) rays are the most ageing in the sun’s spectrum and can penetrate clouds and glass. To keep your face and décolletage skin young, you need to apply sun protection every single day, all year around. I recommend a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF20-50 sunscreen cream instead of a morning moisturiser. When you choose the right texture for your skin type to prevent breakouts and blocked pores, you can regard it as your No.1 anti-ageing skin-saver.