Would a base tan be best?

24 May 2009

Question

Well wouldn’t just a basal tan, with a basal level of melanin be the best way forward?

Answer

Nina - A basal level of tanning is a bit problematical because it costs a lot (in terms of your body) to make melanin. Melanin is a big pigment and where you need it. For instance, if you live in equatorial Africa you really need it. It's worth the expense. If you live outside of the tropics where there isn't a lot of sun then it doesn't pay off and so that's why in some populations you have the ability to tan but in very northern, Eurasian populations you don't have the ability to tan at all. There's so little UV. Basically, the body economises.

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