News has emerged this week that redheads are the most likely people to use sunbeds in a desperate attempt to add colour to their naturally pale complexions despite the fact that, according to the British Association of Dermatologists, pale-skinned people are at far higher risk of skin cancer than other groups.
And dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe says people with Karen's colouring should never try to develop a tan as they have a 'phaeomelanin' profile which is much less protective than the dark 'eumelanin' profile of other skin types and hair colourings.
And it's a myth that a tan from a sunbed prepares your skin for sun exposure, he adds.
"The colour produced by UVA tanning beds does not protect the skin from sunlight and will significantly age the skin," he says. "The ageing is due to the high intensity of UVA that damages the collagen and elastin."
"Redheads must keep a cool head when it comes to protecting themselves from the sun, as they are extremely sun sensitive. I advise redheads to avoid sitting in the sun without protective clothing, as well as using an SPF with broad spectrum UVA and B protection on sun exposed skin."
But Dr Lowe issues a warning to all sun lovers – that we’re not using enough protection.
"Too thin a layer, no matter how high the factor, means you won't benefit from the protection rating on the label," he explains. Dr Lowe recommends using:
One teaspoon for the face, neck and hands
One level tablespoon for the front of the body
One level tablespoon for the back
One level tablespoon for the arms
At least the same amount for legs.
"Reapply regularly and always after swimming, towelling off or heavy perspiring and stay in the shade between 10am and 2pm when the sun is at its strongest," Dr Lowe continues.
Dr Nick Lowe skincare range contains Double Duty SPF15 Hand Cream, Supercharged SPF15 Day Cream and The Secret Is Out Lifting Cream SPF15, from larger Boots; call 08450 708090 or visit www.dr.nicklowe.com for further information.
Click here for more sun protection facts.