Redheads are typically blessed with fair, alabaster skin and a large amount of freckles. Some redheads have purely fair skin without any freckles, while others have every inch of their skin covered in freckles and dark spots. Redheads, whose hair colors range from dark auburn to light strawberry blond, need to take special care of their skin to avoid sunburns and to help prevent skin cancer. Fair skin burns easily and turns pink or red after just a few minutes in the sun.
Apply sunscreen to all exposed body parts, 30 minutes before going out into the sun: This includes your face, ears and lips. Choose a sunscreen with UV protection and an SPF of 30, at least. Use sunscreen even when the sun isn't out. According to an article from CBS News, "Redheads' Skin Cancer Risk," redheads have the highest skin cancer rates due to the amount of melanosomes in their hair and skin, which are easily affected by UV radiation. Therefore protecting skin from the sun can help reduce the risk of sunburn and future skin cancer.
Apply sunscreen once every few hours while tanning. Spread it evenly over all exposed body parts. Also apply after a swim in the water, or after sweating heavily such as after playing sports.
Wear sunglasses which offer UV protection. Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from radiation, but they also protect the delicate skin around the eyes. When you squint from the sun, you speed up the process of crow's feet and wrinkles.
Cover your head with a hat, cap or headscarf. A redhead's scalp is especially delicate and may turn red from the sun. As an alternative, you can also tan while keeping your face and head in the shade.
Tan at times other than 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. which are the hours of highest UV radiation. You should avoid direct sun exposure at this time, according to CBS News. Stay in the shade, or if you insist, tan for just a few minutes in the sun, but with the proper protection; sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. According to Raising-Redheads, redheads need just 10 to 15 minutes twice or three times a week without protection, for skin to produce vitamin D. With protection, tanning is slowed down, and you can stay longer in the sun.