Test Your Knowledge
Test your knowledge of some basic scientific principles:
Which object is lighter in colour – the orange or the pink square below?
Depending on the colour of an object, it will reflect a different amount of light:
*white objects reflect the most light
*black objects reflect the least
Just because one object appears to be paler than another to the naked eye, it does not follow that it reflects more light than the other object and is lighter eg. in comparing orange and pink. It must be tested scientifically by measuring the amount of light being scattered by each object.
White light can be broken into the following colours like a rainbow ranging from light to dark:
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet
These colours are called the spectrum. Each colour emits a different wavelength of light, which can be measured. The relative position of each colour in the spectrum is an indicator of how an object might be reflecting light, but it is not an absolute measure because many things are not strictly one colour. For example, human skin is not one uniform colour or even monochromatic because it varies in colour and shade all over the body due to the uneven distribution of coloured pigment under its surface.
[The right answer is: the uniform pink square is lighter in colour than the orange one based on its wavelength]
How do I know how much melanin there is in my skin?
Everyone (except albinos who have white hair, pink eyes, and pink skin) has some melanin in their hair and skin. It is the body’s natural protection against harmful UV rays from the sun. Human melanin is a coloured pigment that occurs in four different colours: yellow, red, brown, and black. Many people have a combination of these different types. Therefore, people tan differently according to their melanin pigments.
The only direct method available is to measure melanin content in the skin. However, the methodology required may be invasive (a biopsy) and access to a laboratory is needed.
*If you are a person who tans and never burns, the sun protection will help to reduce UV-related signs of skin deterioration and ageing.
*If you tan a reddish or yellowish colour, you may need some extra sun protection especially in hot climates.
*If you are a person who routinely burns, you should always wear sun protection.
*If you are not sure, it is good to remember that too much of the safe sun protection provided by Moondust Natural Suncare Products will not hurt anyone.
Here is a quick reference about the relationship between melanin content in the skin and ability to tan: The more melanin you have in your skin, the more easily you are likely to tan and the less likely you are to experience sunburn. This is because the melanin in your skin deflects the harmful UV rays in sunlight. So, it is roughly a direct relationship.
Here is a quick reference about the relationship between melanin content in the skin and risk of sunburn and skin cancer: The less melanin you have in your skin, the more likely you are to get sunburn. This is because the lack of melanin causes your skin to absorb the harmful UV rays in sunlight, which can physically burn and kill cells. If you get sunburn easily (turning red and peeling), you may be more susceptible to skin cancer. So, this would be an inverse relationship.