Sun smarts

Sun smarts

How to select the right sunscreen for your skin type.

Nivea Sun brand manager Katy Moore explains how to go about selecting the right sunscreen for your skin type.

Sun smarts

‘The Minimal Erythemal Dose (MED) – the time one can be exposed to UV rays until the first reddening of the skin sets in – can be extended through the use of sunscreen with SPF protection,’ explains Katy. ‘MED is strongly dependent on skin type, as shown in the Nivea Sun chart below.’

Skin Type Description Maximum MED unprotected Product to use Possible sun exposure for skin type
Children’s skin Thinner than adult’s skin, so UVA rays can penetrate the deeper lying skin layers. The skin’s most important UV-protection (the ability to tan) is slower and not intensively formed. ±5min SPF 50+ lotion/ spray 3 – 5 hours
Very sensitive skin Exposure to the sun will result in an over-sensitive reaction of the skin. Skin prone to allergy that manifests itself in the form of a rash and blisters, accompanied by itching. ±5min SPF 50/ 50+ lotion/ spray 3 – 5 hours
Very fair skin Burns easily, never tans.  Sensitive, very pale skin, blonde or fair, blue or grey eyes and freckles. Redness disappears with no tan remaining. ±10min SPF 50/ 50+ lotion/ spray 3 – 5 hours
Fair skin  Pale skin, blonde or dark-blonde hair, blue, green or grey eyes and tends to have freckles. The skin burns easily with little tanning.  ±15min SPF 50/ 50+ lotion/ spray  4 – 6 hours
Normal skin Lightly tanned skin, brown eyes, blonde to brunette coloured hair and no freckles. Skin burns rarely, becomes brown quickly.   ±20min SPF 30 lotion/ spray  3 – 6 hours
Dark skin and ethnic skin Brown, black or olive coloured skin and dark eyes. Become brown very fast and hardly ever get sunburnt.  ±30min SPF 30 lotion/ spray  4 – 7 hours
Very dark pre-tanned skin Non-sensitive, pre-tanned skin. For deep tanning only.  ±30min SPF 6 spray. Low protection  2 – 3 hours


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