We’re here to set the record straight on sunscreen and darker skin tones. Unless you live in an opaque bubble, it’s essential to incorporate sunscreen into your beauty routine. In addition to natural protection from melanin, sunscreen provides another level of protection that can slow down the affects of aging.
SPF should be worn daily by everyone and there are three reasons why:
First, everyone is susceptible to wrinkles— despite the whole “black don’t crack theory”. When it comes to fine lines, sun exposure is public enemy No.1. “People who are a four or above have more melanin in their skin, which protects them from the sun,” says Columbia University dermatologist Monica Halem, MD. “A black African with skin type VI, for example, doesn’t feel the aging effects of the sun as much as a blond-haired, blue-eyed, light-skinned person of Scandinavian descent at a level one,” Halem says.
While wrinkles take longer to develop in darker skin tones due to generous amounts melanin, sun exposure speeds up the aging process and if not careful, you could look 50 going on 27. The wrinkles will come! Likewise, sun exposure causes unsightly age spots. Varying in shape, size, and color, age spots are telltale signs of aging and usually found on the face, hands, shoulders, and arms—areas exposed most to the sun. To slow down the aging process and keep wrinkles and leathery skin at bay, you’ll want to wear sunscreen.
Second, sunscreen wards off skin cancer. While the risk of African Americans developing the disease is lower than all other racial groups, fatality rates are higher. Sun exposure without U/V protection puts anyone at risk —that means women with deeper skin tones too. The best way to reduce the risk of skin cancer is to wear sunscreen daily. For women of color, a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is recommended.
Third, sunscreen is essential for effective treatment of hyperpigmentation which is a common problem among women of color. Skipping out on sunscreen could be the very reason why nothing seems to work when it comes to evening out your skin and clearing up those dark marks. Because U/V light stimulates melanin production, sun exposure can actually make your dark spots darker. Did we just blow your socks off? It not that your vitamin C and your Retinol A aren’t doing the job for clearing up your skin. The problem is that you need to use those products in conjunction with sunscreen for best results.
We’re sorry no one ever told you.
Perhaps your’re rethinking the use of sunscreen at this point and are even planning to cop some at your local drugstore. If so, allow us to make a recommendation. Actually we have several, right here.
Your skin will thank us later. In approximately 30 years from now to be exact.