What level of self-protection does my skin type have?

Some people can spend long periods in the sun without getting sunburn. Others begin experiencing the typical symptoms after just a few minutes. But what causes this?

The body's natural sun protection

Our skin has certain mechanisms to protect it from UV radiation. The pigment melanin, which protects the deeper layers of the skin, is an important protective factor. Our skin also develops hyperkeratosis over an extended period of time. Less UV rays are able to penetrate through this.

There is no general formula for calculating the period of natural protection from the sun. The skin's own protection mechanisms differ vastly from one person to the next. How sensitive you are to UV radiation depends on how much sun you are used to and on your skin pigmentation.

The different skin types

In order to roughly assess your skin's self-protection, you can determine your specific skin type. This indicates how much melanin your skin can produce in order to protect you.

People with skin type 1 generally have very pale skin, light-coloured eyes and blonde, red or reddish-blonde hair. This skin type gets sunburn very quickly and has the lowest period of self-protection. Therefore, people with this skin type should take extra care to protect themselves from UV radiation.

Skin type 2 is also characterised by light skin and hair. People with this skin type often have blue or green eyes. Their period of self-protection is slightly longer than that of people with skin type 1. The skin tans slowly and is prone to sunburn.

People with skin type 3 tan a little bit faster. Sunburn is less common than in people with skin type 1 or 2. People who fit into this group have medium-light skin and light-coloured or brown eyes and hair.

People with skin type 4 tan relatively quickly and barely have any problems with sunburn. They have brown skin and eyes and dark brown to black hair. Of course, people with this skin type should still use sun protection.

People with skin type 5 rarely get sunburn and tan very quickly. This skin type is characterised by dark brown skin and black hair and eyes. The self-protection period of this skin type is relatively high.

The skin of people with skin type 6 has the highest period of self-protection. They are characterised by dark brown to black skin and black hair and eyes.

External factors influence the power of solar radiation on the skin.

The degree of protection from solar radiation required is also dependent on other factors that influence the intensity of the sunrays on the skin.

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