Examining skin’s coloration indicates how much or little melanin is present. Most of the differences that exist in various shades of skin is linked to melanin content. Not only does melanin determine the color of skin, but it controls the person’s ability to resist sun damage and recover from inflammatory responses, like visible irritation.
Melanin acts like an umbrella that absorbs ultraviolet rays. After as little as 5 minutes in direct sunlight, free radicals release arachidonic acid, leading to the destructive cascade of inflammation.
As Dr. Perricone explains in his Theory of Inflammation (The Wrinkle Cure): cellular inflammation = visible signs of aging and systemic diseases.
Dermatologists rank skin’s photo sensitivity on a color scale from 1-6. The fairest complexions which never tan, and only burn, are ranked as a 1, whereas people with dark brown skin that can resist sun damage longer than these types are ranked a 6.
How does your skin behave in the sun?