To Tan Or Not To Tan?

With colder mornings creeping in, many of us are making any excuse to catch some last minute rays before they migrate to the northern hemisphere for the winter. However, before you ditch your sunscreen for the tanning oil, it may be worth taking a look at this skin guide inspired by the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale…

To Tan or not to tan- breakfastwith audrey beauty and fashion blog



The ‘Fitzpatrick Skin Scale’ was developed by a Harvard dermatologist and is a measure of how different skin types react to UV light.  Unfortunately for those fair skinned maidens out there, your tanning efforts may be going nowhere except damaging your skin, producing freckles and quickening the ageing process.

The amount of melanin genetically available in your skin is not something you can change by spending more hours under the sun.  Darker skinned beauties should still stay protected also.  Even though you have more melanin for protection, your skin will still age with over exposure to the sun and your risk of hyper pigmentation is higher than those with fair skin.

Skin Type 1 – Pale, porcelain or ivory (ie Emma Stone)

Skin burns very easily and doesn’t tan

Verdict: Don’t even go there.  Tanning will turn you lobster red every time.  Your ivory skin will look best with as little imperfections as possible.  Minimise your sun exposure and be vigilant with at least an SPF 30+ everyday, even when it’s cloudy.

Just as some of you may crave that caramel tan, there are just as many people who are in awe of your alabaster skin.  Work on brightening your other features such as your amazing red or blonde locks to put a punch into your summer look.




Skin Type 2 – Fair, beige or cream (ie Drew Barrymore)

Skin usually burns in the sun and has difficulty tanning

Verdict: Like skin type 1 you should always stay protected with at least SPF 30+ everyday.  Although you may develop a little colour, the more time you spend in the sun the more your freckles will develop.  The contrast between your features and creamy complexion is what turns heads, so instead of trying to turn your skin caramel, work on a dewy glow with a serum rich skin care regime.


Skin Type 3 – Light brown, golden or olive (ie Demi Moore)

Skin will sometimes burn and will tan gradually

Verdict:  Slow and steady is the key with Skin Type 3.  You should also apply SPF 30+ everyday and keep your summer sun exposure regulated so that you avoid burning.  By the end of the summer you should develop a summer kiss to your skin, but don’t go trying to overdo it.  Pigmentation could start to pop up as well as a few new sunspots.



Read on for the skin types of Jessica Alba, Beyonce and Lupita!



  • deannamay
    Reply deannamay Friday 15th May, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I wish I could stop using fake tan all the time, but ever since I’ve started using St Tropez I feel like my tan looks so much more natural and it even smells nice when applying.

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Friday 17th April, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Not to tan for me!

  • Reply BellaB Wednesday 1st April, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I would think most people should avoid tanning, given the risk of skin damage.

  • Reply Whatthe Saturday 28th March, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I think I have the skin colour of Demi but definitely not anything like her personality.

  • Reply Jane Friday 27th March, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I have caramel skin AND freckles. I tan in like 1 second BUT am definitely very susceptible to sun damage.

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