Sun and your child's skin - what the experts say

Some skin types are more sensitive to the sun than other skin types

Exposure to the sun triggers the skin's natural biological defense mechanisms. The corneal layer thickens and cells known as melanocytes produce a natural pigment – melanin – which gradually colors the skin. This is tanning.

But not all skin types tan in the same way. Depending on how readily they produce melanin (and so go brown), the extent to which they are able to withstand the harmful effects of UV rays varies. There are six different phototypes:



PhototypeHairSkin toneTanSlight tanLight or dark tan
IRedPale white+++Always +Never
IIBlondFair++FrequentSlight tan
IIIBlond/ Light brownLight to dark+SometimesLight or dark tan
IVBrownDark0RarelyDark tan
VBrownDark0Almost neverDeep brown
VIBlackDark0NeverVery dark




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