What is melanin? What does Melanin have to do with Tanning?
Melanin is a pigment naturally produced in our bodies which is responsible for giving colour to our skin, eyes and hair. In simple terms, this is main reason why some people are naturally darker than others.
Now you might be thinking why is a Suncare/Tanning Brand talking about melanin! Melanin is absolutely crucial within the tanning process; it is the reason why we tan and it is also produced in our skin as a protective mechanism. It even has a number of other awesome benefits which we touch on a bit later in the blog!
As we tan our bodies produce more melanin, darkening our skin and giving us that glow we all know and love. Our bodies produce more melanin as a protective mechanism from the sun, making our skin darker which is what we know as “tan”. When we have higher levels of melanin, our skin can better block UV from damaging our skin.
Generally, people with lower levels of melanin may struggle to tan, and may even get burnt easily. Conversely, people with higher levels of melanin may find it easier to tan, and will generally burn less.
However, this may not always be the case, some darker individuals may still get burnt easily. This is why sunscreen or SPF, is always recommended.
Does having more melanin protect you from UV exposure?
In one of our other blog posts, we mentioned the Fitzpatrick skin chart. In 1972, Thomas B Fitzpatrick came up with a chart with skin phototypes (colours), which helped determine how someone's skin colour related to their tendency to burn or tan whilst being exposed to sun light. Individuals with skin type I or II face the highest risks of skin damage or developing skin cancer, while types V and VI have the lowest risks of sunburn & skin cancer.
Another way to look at the Fitzpatrick’s chart is an individuals baseline level of melanin – going from lower to higher from I to VI. This helps us conclude that higher levels of melanin help us burn less and tan more.
However, it is important to note that even darker skin types (high levels of melanin) can still get sun damage and skin cancer. So although melanin is a natural protectant against the sun, it is important to practice sun protection. Exposing your skin to extended periods of sun exposure without adequate protection can cause skin damage, skin cancers and premature aging. We recommend the use of an SPF product whilst you tan.
And did we mention, Brunae is currently in development for an SPF product (shhh).
Does Brunae help with melanin production?
By now hopefully you understand the importance and the different benefits to increasing melanin levels. But how does Brunae Fit into all of this?
Our way that may help increase melanin levels would of course be to use Brunae Body products. Our products use new technology and are formulated with a range of natural oils which are known to help with melanin production.
The higher levels of melanin help you tan faster without prolonged UV exposure. With years spent on formulation from leading skin experts, our products have also been tested on a range of different skin types, with results from paler skin all the way to dark olive skin (all the way through the Fitzpatrick Skin Chart!).
Don’t believe us?
Have a look at the results from our amazing community!
What are the benefits of melanin?
Apart from giving you an amazing glow melanin has a range of other benefits. We have listed some below.
- The obvious benefit as above is enhanced sun protection. Did you know melanin is acts us a natural sunscreen? This may help you prevent skin damage and even help reduce the effects of skin cancer (of course with other sun protective measures).
- Maintenance of skin and hair colour. Helping you keep that luscious flowing hair or amazing brown eyes
- Wound healing may also be enhanced. Melanin may help promote tissue regeneration and decrease inflammation
- Immune system regulation: May help protect against infections and other immune related issues
How can I help increase my melanin levels?
We may be able to increase our melanin levels in a number of ways.
One of the most obvious way is to enjoy short bursts of sunlight, ensuring that you aren’t spending prolonged periods in sun, and that you are practicing sun protection.
Another way is through your diet. Although this is not fully proven, research suggests that consuming foods rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A (especially those which contain beta carotene) is the most likely way to do this. Some of these foods might include carrots, sweet potato, spinach, dark chocolate and dark berries!
Thanks for reading another one of Brunae’s Blogs. We hope that this post was informative, and that you have learnt some new information about melanin.
Feel free to let us know what topics you want explored next!
Disclaimer: We recommend to do always your own research before tanning or getting sun exposure. Please note that that any advice given by Brunae Body is general advice only, as the information/advice does not take into account your specific situation. Therefore, you need to consider the appropriateness of your decisions before you act further.