• Question: Why do people tan easiler then others?

    Asked by 10rusdanc to Hannah, Ian, Jono, Mark on 26 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Hannah Brotherton

      Hannah Brotherton answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10rusdanc,
      So I am half Korean so I naturally tan easily. This is because I have more melanin in my skin……Why?
      Melanin protects us from the sun, so in other countries like Africa and Asia, we have more melanin and so darker skin because it is sunnier over there.
      That’s why in Britain where we don’t have much sun we have lighter skin.

      So people who tan easy have more melanin in their skin. 😀

    • Photo: Ian Wilson

      Ian Wilson answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10rusdanc,

      This is all down to a brown molecule called ‘melanin’. Melanin is made by cells to absorb UV light from the sun to stop the radiation from damaging the rest of the cell. UV light damages our DNA, which is why it can cause skin cancer.

      People who tan easily have skin cells that produce a lot melanin, so they look browner as they absorb more sunlight. People like me who burn, rather than tan, don’t produce much melanin so sunlight damages our skin cells more easily.



    • Photo: Jono Bone

      Jono Bone answered on 27 Jun 2013:

      Hey 10rusdanc,

      It depends on the amount of pigment and melanin the type of skin is able to produce. UVB light stimulates cells in our body to produce a molecule called “melanin”. People with darker skin tones tend to produce more at a faster rate!

      People with white skin, red hair freckles for example, tend to have a slower reacting melanin. Therefore they burn easily because the melanin doesnt have time to stimulate and the UVA cant turn it brown.

      Everyone technically can tan. Even those with slower releasing melanin it just takes a lot longer.