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Why do we get Tanned?

Biology | 7-14 yrs | Animation, Video

The sun is a life-giving force. Trees use light from the sun as a power source to process food and it heats up the earth so that it doesn’t get too cold to live. However too much sun can also be harmful to humans and plants alike.

What is a suntan?

The brown colour in your skin is caused by the presence of a pigment called melanin. It serves as a protective layer in your skin to prevent it from getting damaged by the sun. When our skin is exposed to the sun it begins to produce melanin to protect itself. Over a long period of time, the accumulation of this pigment under your skin is known as a tan. The body does not produce melanin immediately.

What causes skin to burn?

If your skin is exposed to very harsh sunlight, your body may not be able to produce enough melanin in time to prevent your top layer of skin from getting severely damaged. This is why we get sunburned. The layer of skin that gets burned will automatically peel off to reveal a new layer of skin underneath.

But it is not healthy to allow this to happen. So if you know you’re going to go out in the sun, put on suncreen if you’re at the beach; or cover up with some cool cotton clothing.

Most sunscreens has different SPFs. Can you find out what that stands for and what it means?