When your skin is damaged by exposure to the UVA and UVB rays of the sun, its reaction is to produce more melanin as an attempt to protect itself against further damage. Melanocytes (produce Melanin) float within the epidermis and don’t migrate to the top. Melanin is a brown colored protein that helps determine the color of our skin. The Melanin that the melanocytes make finds its way into the keratinocytes (the cells containing the keratin) as they make their way up to the surface. The melanocytes produce more melanin when we are exposed to the sun. The result of this is a tan.