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Do You Even Tan, Girl? You Probably Didn't Know This About Tan Lines

Written by Vineeta S


Summer is bittersweet for me. As much as there is to love about this season - from the summer dresses to the beachy vacations - there is enough to hate about it, too. Let’s start with the excessive sweating, the super uncomfortable return of the mosquito bites and well, the deadliest – tan lines!

But that is not quite the case with some people as I have come to find out. In a recent conversation with my editor, I learnt that her skin is not prone to tanning... at all. That’s right;  she can spend hours in the sun but it won’t turn her pale skin into a crisp shade of brown. If that is not a superpower, I don’t know what is. After struggling with a lot of envy, and pity for myself, I finally came to terms with the fact that I, for one, do not have those magical skin genes. But also intrigued by this, I decided this sorcery was worth a little more probing.

Facts about Tanlines

So, I did my share of research to find out if at all there are certain skin-types that are prone to tanning, while others are not. Tanning, as a process, has to do with the chemical called ‘melanin.’  It is the same pigment that turns your skin to a shade of brown. Melanin is also further responsible for protecting the skin from burning. Genetically speaking, people with a higher tendency to produce Melanin turn darker in comparison to others. Melanin also varies in producing itself in different shades, and is produced in different amounts for different people,, depending on a person's genetic makeup, ethnicity and inheritance; the same factors that are the basis of categorizing people as Indians, Albanians, and of other races.

Even though there is absolutely nothing I can do about the genes my parents gave me, and considering I thoroughly enjoy being my dusky self, what I don’t like is turning into an uneven shade that resembles a bark of a tree. Also, if you’re anything like me and struggle with playing peek-a-boo in the sun, lest you want to turn three shades darker in just one outing, you may want to consider doing something about that.

Also read: If You Have Acne-Prone Skin, AVOID These 5 Beauty Ingredients

That something is your summer skin-care routine. Since it is sun exposure that stimulates the body to produce more melanin to protect its skin cells, which further leads to darker pigmentation, it is always advisable to limit your rendezvous with the sun. We understand that is not entirely possible, which is why using a sunscreen when stepping out should be a must.

There are two kinds of UV rays from the sun that can harm your skin, UVA and UVB. A sunscreen with a broader spectrum or a full spectrum would be the kind that protects your skin against both, and is what is recommended for you to pick. Look for SPF 30 or higher.  


For those who still don’t feel would be protected, can always fall back on the trend of wearing fancy and fashionable hats, that don’t just add that extra layer of protection, but amp up the entire ensemble.In either case, sunscreen must stand as non-negotiable.  

Beating the heat can be tricky, but once you realise what works best for your kind of skin, it can be a cakewalk to maintain an even tone.



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