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The Sun Mousse
The Wetsuit Factory
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The Safe Sun Guide
Not everyones skin offers the same level of protection in the
sun. Thats why you need to know your skin type. The following
information has been put together by the BSF and the British
Association of Dermatologists.
Links about sun safety:
Your skin type cannot be changed and does not vary according to
how tanned you are, it is determined by your genes. It affects how
your skin will react in the sun and how likely you are to develop
skin cancer, so its really helpful you get to know it using our
Type I (very fair) have pale skin, burn very
easily and rarely tan. They generally have light coloured hair or
red hair and freckles.
Type II (fair) usually burn but may gradually
tan. They are likely to have light hair, and blue or brown eyes.
Some may have dark hair but still have fair skin.
Type III (light) burn with long exposure to the
sun but generally tan quite easily. They usually have a light olive
skin with dark hair and brown or green eyes.
Type IV (medium) burn with very lengthy
exposures but always tan easily as well. They usually have brown
eyes and dark hair.
Type V (dark) have a naturally brown skin, with
brown eyes and dark hair. They burn only with excessive exposure to
the sun and their skin further darkens easily.
Type VI (dark) have black skin with dark brown
eyes and black hair. They burn only with extreme exposure to the
sun and their skin further darkens very easily.
Types I and II are at the most risk of developing skin cancer,
so need to take particular care in the sun: in sunny weather, seek
shade between 11am and 3pm. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least
15 that also provides UVA protection, and reapply frequently. Cover
up with clothing and dont forget to wear a hat that protects your
face, neck and ears. Dont sunbathe or use sunbeds.
Never let your skin burn, whatever your skin
The science of skin colour
Black skin offers better sun protection because it produces more
melanin - the skins ultraviolet (UV) absorbing pigment produced by
its special tanning cells in response to UV exposure, as a
It is the amount of melanin produced naturally in the skin that
creates the varying depths of skin colour in people of different
ethnic backgrounds, and the darker the original colour, the more
easily the skin then increases its tan following sun exposure.
People of skin types I to IV have a significant risk of
developing skin cancer with excessive sun exposure, particularly
skin types I and II, and should therefore regularly apply sunscreen
with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor - protecting mostly against
UVB) but also offering high UVA protection. A high SPF will help to
reduce the risk of skin cancer and ageing, and the high UVA
protection is to protect against skin ageing and wrinkling, as well
as skin cancer.
People of skin types V and VI do not generally develop
sun-induced skin cancer even if not using sunscreens, but may
develop significant skin ageing with skin wrinkling, caused by both
UVB and UVA. It is therefore worth using a moderately high SPF
sunscreen also offering good UVA protection if concerned about that
If you concerned about any changes to your skin, see your
doctor. If your doctor is concerned about a mole, ask to be
referred to a Dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment. Contact
the British Association of Dermatologists (www.bad.org.uk) for more
While every effort has been made to ensure that the
information given is accurate, not every treatment will be suitable
or effective for every person. Your own doctor will be able to
advise you in greater detail. Do not treat this information as
exact it is only a rough guide.
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