What skin type am I?

There’s no denying that we are not all equal with regards to the sun. But at least, if we know what skin type (level of sensitivity of skin to the sun) we are, then we know how to protect our skin.

Experts identify six different skin types based on hair and eye colour, skin tone, freckles and what happens to your skin in strong sun. Fair skin needs more protection because it is more vulnerable to the sun, and therefore more prone to skin cancer.

Read the following list then refer to the chart at the end to know what SPF protection you should be using.

Type I :

  • very white or milky skin,
  • blond or red hair,
  • green, blue or light brown eyes,
  • many freckles,
  • often gets sunburn
  • doesn’t tan

Type II :

  • very fair skin,
  • blond to brown hair,
  • light coloured eyes,
  • many freckles,
  • often gets sunburn,
  • doesn’t tan easily,
  • can get a light tan.

Type III :

  • light to medium skin,
  • blond to brown hair,
  • brown eyes,
  • some freckles appear after exposure to the sun,
  • sometimes gets sunburn,
  • tans progressively (medium tan).

Type IV :

  • Rather dark skin,
  • brown to black hair,
  • dark coloured eyes,
  • no freckles,
  • rarely gets sunburn,
  • always tans (dark tan).

Type V :

  • Dark to black-brown skin,
  • black hair,
  • dark eyes,
  • no freckles,
  • rarely gets sunburn,
  • always tans (very dark tan).

Type VI :

  • black-brown skin,
  • black hair,
  • black eyes,
  • no freckles,
  • never gets sunburn.

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UVA, UVB, SPF, what?

Have you ever wondered what the little number on your sun cream bottle referred to?

After explaining how important it is to protect yourself from the sun in our last post, here is another one to understand a bit better how sun cream works.

Most of us more or less second-guess which sun cream lotion we should use, but in fact there is a logic to SPFs (sun protection factors), and we should really be choosing our cream based on our age, the type of exposure our skin will be undergoing and our skin type. Stay tuned through our Facebook page because an article about recognizing phototypes (level of sensivity of skin to the sun) is coming up really soon!

The mystery of SPFs

So : if your age, skin type, and the conditions you are in would allow you to stay exposed to the sun for 10 minutes without getting sunburned without cream; then an SPF 15 sun cream would allow you to stay exposed for 150 minutes without burning AS LONG AS YOU REAPPLY REGULARLY.
However, health authorities agree in advising to use cream with an SPF 30 or more. Do also try to pick out cream that offers UVA as well as UVB protection.

Application tips

If you think that layering an SPF 10 cream over an SPF 15 will offer you SPF 25 protection, think again! Layering does not increase protection, though it does at least ensure that all parts are covered.
On your face, you should apply a quantity of cream equivalent to an almond. Whereas on your body, you should rub on the equivalent of a shot glass of suncream.  But remember : that means “bottoms up” every hour! Indeed, be it on your face or body, the key is to reapply regularly. Most especially if you swim, sweat or that your skin is rubbing against clothes or a towel.

Finally, if your cream doesn’t indicate any expiration date, the average suncream lasts 3 years. Beyond that period, it is less effective. So think of renewing your solar products every now and then. It’s a small investment that’s well worth it.

Help us make the sun safer by sharing these precious tips with your friends and family.

Tips on protecting yourself from the Sun

As promised, on this website, we won’t just be giving you updates from the Tour. We’re also going to be posting many useful tips to stay healthy and reduce your risk of having cancer. (Did you know that in the UK one in three of us will have cancer at some point in life ?). This month, as it is officially summer, we will be focusing on ways to protect yourself from the sun.

We all like a bit of sunbathing and what with the weather getting grayer, when  the Sun does show its’ face all we really want to do is spread out and bathe in its rays for hours on end as if we were cold blooded. But that’s when the Sun is most dangerous ! Sunlight is good for you and even necessary to life AS LONG AS you enjoy it wisely. Here are a few precious tips that will allow you to do just that.

1 – Go steady

You may have noticed that you are more prone to sunburn in the first days of your holiday. That’s normal: skin gets used to the Sun. Therefore, on the first days, you should not expose yourself more than 10 minutes a day, most especially if you have rather fair skin. Also, avoid direct sunlight during peak UV risk which is from 11am to 3pm in the UK and from midday to 4pm in France. By doing this, you will acquire a longer lasting glow, even if it takes more time to appear.

SLIP, SLAP, SLOP! 2 – Wear protection

Even when  your skin will have developed a tan, you should still protect it. You should wear sun cream with an SPF that is adapted to your skin tone, but most especially you should complete the protection with sunglasses, a hat and even a tee-shirt. These are by far the most effective ways of protecting yourself from the Sun because cream is easily rubbed off or diluted by water or sweat.

3 – Especially kids !

Whatever their skin tone is, kids are a lot more vulnerable to the Suns’ rays. Indeed, before the age of 15, our cells are not able to defend themselves as well as when we are adults. Therefore,  sunburn which, already, is dangerous for adults, is even more so to children, and increases their risk of developing melanoma. As Max the Mouse, our kids club mascot, would put it : SLIP, SLAP, SLOP. What does that mean ?! Slip on a tee-shirt, slap on a hat and slop on some suncream ! Babies, as for them, should never be exposed to the Sun.

4 – Beware of the conditions

All light or reflective surfaces (water, sand, snow, and even cement) reflect the Suns’ rays which means on the one hand, that you are even more exposed to the dangers of the Sun in these conditions and, on the other hand, that at the beach, you are exposed even if you are under a parasol. Also, altitude duplicates UV risk. And whatever you do, don’t let yourself be fooled by a cloudy sky or windy conditions : they don’t protect you from UV rays, you must protect yourself as much as if you were sweltering under a blue sky.

Every child that is born in the UK today has a 1 in 55 risk of developing skin cancer over his lifetime. That is huge. And this figure has been getting worse since the 70s and still is right now. The main cause is unreasonable exposure to the Sun. So this summer, please make the Sun safe. Thank you.