Tanning works differently for different skin types. These differences can be considerable, are hereditary and cannot be changed by outside influences. People with a very sensitive skin will burn easily and will tan only with difficulty while the more dark skinned individuals (skin type III and IV) will have few problems with sunburn and will tan easily. The individuals natural ability to produce melanin (pigmentation) determines their skin type. Skin type is classified into the following skin groups:
- TYPE I: always burns easily and severely. then peels - never tans, very fair skin, red or blond hair and freckles (unexposed skin is white)
- TYPE II: burns easily, tans minimally or lightly and peels, usually fair skinned (unexposed skin is white)
- TYPE III: burns moderately, tans eventually (unexposed skin is white)
- TYPE IV: burns minimally, always tans well (unexposed skin is white)
- TYPE V: rarely burns. always tans readily (unexposed skin is brown)
- TYPE VI: never burns, tans profusely (unexposed skin is black)
Please note that while tanning may make your skin appear darker, it does not and cannot change your original skin type. If your skin type is Type III, it will remain Type III no matter if or how much you tan. Individuals with skin Type I are not good candidates for tanning, indoors or outdoors.