Sun Rays: Friend or Foe?
Okay, you’re probably shaking your head in disbelief and wondering how could I suggest that you bask in the sun to improve your health, when everything on the news says otherwise. Well let me think about it for a minute….Okay, I’m done thinking. I can recommend sunshine because contrary to what you’ve been told, sunshine is actually very good for you as long as you don’t spend too much time in the sun and/or you limit your sun exposure to the proper time of day when the rays are less harmful. You have to also be mindful of your particular skin in terms of how it reacts in the sun.
Knowing Your Skin Type is Key to Safe Sun Bathing
Before you head out, take a look at the different skin types as noted by Dr. Alan Rubin, author of “Vitamin D for Dummies.” According to Dr. Rubin, there are 6 skin types, which I have listed below:
- Type 1: People with type 1 skin usually have pale white skin and are very fair. They have blue or hazel eyes, red or blond hair, and they can also be albino. In addition, type 1s generally have a lot of freckles, find it hard to tan and tend to burn easily. As a result, they tend to have the highest risk of getting skin cancer.
- Type 2: People with type 2 skin usually are fair with blue eyes. Unlike type 1s, type 2s will tan a little; however, they do tend to burn as well. Their hair color can range from brown to blond and they tend to be of Northern European or Scandinavian decent.
- Type 3: Type 3 skin tends to be olive toned or a darker shade of white. They too are sensitive to the sun and they generally do not burn-but it can happen. Type 3s tend to have brown hair and brown eyes, and when they tan, they reach a light brown complexion.
- Type 4: Type 4s have light brown skin, brown or black eyes, and tend to be harder to burn. When sun bathing, they darken to a medium brown. This is the biggest group in terms of ethnicity and includes American Indians, Hispanics, Mediterraneans, and Asians.
- Type 5: People with type 5 skin usually don’t have a sensitivity to the sun. They have black hair and brown eyes just like their type 4 counterparts, and they too will tan to a medium or dark brown. This group consists of Hispanics, Middle Easterners, and some African Americans.
- Type 6: People with type 6 will rarely burn and generally will not be that sensitive to the sun. They tend to be very dark with black hair and brown eyes. You can also find African Americans and dark-skinned Asians and Hispanics in this group. This group has the lowest risk of skin cancer.