[:en]Why Japanese Women Avoid getting Tanned?[:it]Perché le giapponesi non vogliono abbronzarsi?[:] | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Why do Japanese Women Avoid getting Tanned?

By Yae Mar 6, 2018

This post is also available in: Italian

When you’re thinking about summer, what is the first thing that pops up in your mind?
For those who love to get tanned, you may be surprised but most Japanese women hate to get tanned and there are certain reasons.

When you’re walking on the streets at summer in Japan, have you ever noticed that many Japanese women are using umbrellas even on a sunny day? Additionally, some women are wearing full-length gloves even if they are sweating due to the hot humid summer air.

Let’s find out why Japanese women are so obsessed with avoiding get tanned.


What’s the Risk of Getting Tanned?



Japanese women are not just frightened to get tanned but they’re trying to protect their skin because of several reasons:


1. Afraid of sun spots and freckles



People normally get sunburned or sun tanned based on the peoples’ basic skin conditions. People who have the fair skins or sensitive skins, may easily get sunburned and the skin color changes becoming red, sometimes even gets burnt due to too much “sun-bathing”. These people tend to get freckles easily after they get sunburned.

For those who get tanned, the skin affected from being exposed to UV rays and the skin color gradually change to be brown or black and the outer layer of the skin peels off. People who have yellowish skin color like Japanese people tend to get sun spots after getting tanned and generally, Japanese people have this risk from the sunlight.

Japanese women are scared of getting sun spots and freckles from UV rays.


2. Afraid of skin cancer



For those who have the fair skin or sensitive skin, are extremely weak from UV rays and usually suffer from photoaging or skin cancer. People say that about 15% of Japanese people are suffering from these diseases due to the sunburn.

Additionally, getting tanned while drinking too much alcohol makes skin cancers worse for both men and women. Drinking alcohol speeds up the skin damage so if people have any plans for BBQ or beach parties at summer time, both men and women better to be careful and use sun protection lotion.


How Japanese Women Protect Their Skin from UV Rays?


Japanese women are trying to protect themselves from several risks mentioned earlier by some effective methods.
Of course, the UV rays are not so strong in Japan compared to Hawaii, however, there still is a risk of getting those diseases by being exposed to sunlight throughout the year.
Surprisingly there are 60% of UV rays even on cloudy days in Japan and they get stronger from March.

Let’s see how Japanese women protect their skin from UV rays in addition to sunscreen.


1. Protecting skin from UV rays with an umbrella



Japanese women are quite heavy users of umbrellas, especially in summer.
Did you know that normal umbrellas have UV protection as well? All the umbrellas have water-repellent by fluorine coating and this coating chemical have the effect of UV protection.

As there is a huge demand for UV protection products in Japan, we have many kinds of umbrellas especially made for UV protection and these types of umbrellas have 5%~10% much more UV protection than normal umbrellas.

You can see umbrellas are not just protecting from getting all wet but also from the strong UV rays.


2.  Wearing special gloves for sun protection



Lately, as you could notice, many Japanese women wear special full-length gloves at summer.
Did you know that people easily get tanned not only on their faces but also hands/arms as well, while driving cars, riding bicycles, washing dishes or even just hanging up the laundry outside?


Many Japanese women wear full-length gloves in following situations:

・While driving cars
・While riding bicycles
・While going outside (work, go out for lunch, shopping, etc.)


Very effective colors to protect yourself from UV rays are black, dark blue or dark brown. However, wearing full-length black gloves looks hotter (not the sexy way, but because of black color absorbing the warmth) but many Japanese women still wear this colors since they give priority to protect themselves from sunburn or suntan rather than their look.

It may bother people to wear gloves on a hot summer in Japan but what if this helps to protect from having sun spots or freckles?
Japanese women want their hands/ arms without any freckles/burns and look young.


3. Hats and sunglasses



In addition to sunscreens, umbrellas and full-length gloves, Japanese women protect their skins from UV rays by wearing also hats or sunglasses.

Did you know that people get their hair damaged by UV rays, which may even cause a cataract?

Sun UV rays damage peoples’  hair condition, which might lead to having thinner hair or loose hair. Also, strong UV rays damage peoples’ eyes/eyesight as well, making their eyes red or in the worst case, getting a cataract.

Trying to keep their hair and eyes healthy, most Japanese women never forget to use these anti-aging techniques.




Do you understand now why Japanese women are so obsessing about the sun protection?

“Beauty will not be built in a day” is an eternal theme for Japanese women.
Everyone gets old gradually, but people can maintain their healthy condition according to certain techniques.
For those who think about getting tanned are free to enjoy their holidays and do as they wish.
However, Japanese women seem to prefer fine “normal skin condition” rather than bronzed skin.

Let’s try to protect ourselves from the UV sun rays!