Tanning Dark

Q: Why donít I tan dark? It takes a lot of tanning for me to tan. Could I be missing a mineral?
A: Actually, what you are missing is melanin. Melanin is the pigment produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes. When exposed to the sunís rays, particularly UV rays, the melanocytes produce melanin to protect the skin cells from becoming damaged. The more exposure to the UV rays of the sun, the darker the skin becomes. This is what we know as tanning.
Not everyone produces the same amount of melanin, which is why some people tan very easily while others seem to tan not at all. Individuals whose bodies actually produce no melanin are called Albinos. Given your description of requiring a lot of time in the sun to tan, you obviously donít produce a lot of melanin.
You may want to keep in mind that being slow to tan means that your skin is being damaged by the exposure to the sun, and that your body is producing the pigment to prevent that damage only after an increased amount of exposure.
A safer alternative for you, and one which will give you more even results, is one of the sunless tanning products available in todayís market. These products have greatly improved since they were first created, and now offer very natural-looking results.
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Photo: Tatchai Mongkolthong/Shutterstock
See also:
How tanning works
Do self-tanning creams really work?