We all love a little bit of sun on our faces, especially while lounging at the beach with our pals, sipping on cool and refreshing mojitos, ready to jump into the icy water to let off some summer heat. However, little do we realize that just a bit of negligence on our part regarding our skin, can make the whole day’s enjoyment, nothing but regretful. Yes, I’m talking about getting a sunburn because you forgot (or worse, opted not) to wear sunscreen.
If you have dark skin, you’re probably thinking all this doesn’t apply to you and it’s only something your friends with lighter skin need to worry about. But that is far from the truth. Your skincare routine must include sunscreen regardless of your skin colour because it is as important for black skin as it is for people with a lighter skin tone.
There is a misconception which dermatologists repeatedly try to clear up that people with dark skin are not at risk of getting a sunburn or getting skin cancer, because they are! It is true that dark skin offers more natural protection against the sun's rays than light skin does, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need SPF just as much.
Therefore, today we’re going to be discussing why it’s just as important (if not more) for people with black and darker skin tone to wear sunscreen at all times.
So let’s get into it, shall we?
Why is sunscreen important for black skin?
People with dark skin including Africans, Asians and native Americans naturally produce a chemical called melanin which gives the skin its color. Melanin in darker skin types has a photo-protective role and provides a natural protection factor. However, the amount of sun protection is just 13 while the recommended amount is 30+ (white skin has a natural SPF of 3.4).
We discuss some reasons as to why sunscreen is important for black skin down below so keep on reading.
Likely to develop aggressive skin cancer
Skin cancer is less prevalent in the black community than in the white population but when it does occur it tends to be diagnosed on a later but more advanced stage. This means that despite being less common, the cancer once developed is more aggressive and malignant. People with black skin are also more likely to develop cancer on parts of their body that are not even exposed to the sun such as the palms of the hands or the sole of the feet. This is why it is extremely important to use sunscreen on all exposed and unexposed skin even if you're staying indoors most of the time.
Helps with sunburn
When you hit the beach with your pale skinned friends, the first thing they’ll do is put on sunscreen. However, for your friends with color, sunscreen may never make it out of their beach bag. While it is true that people with dark skin are less likely to get a sunburn than people with light skin, it doesn’t mean that they are immune to it. The burn may not be too obvious on dark skin but that doesn’t mean it is harmless. It is therefore important for everyone to take preventative measures against sunburn and to apply sunscreen regularly as part of their skincare routine.
(Note: Aloe vera works wonders in helping to soothe sunburns. The Leovard Elixir contains aloe along with several other soothing and calming ingredients, making it perfect to heal burnt skin)
Helps with anti-aging
Using sunscreen helps to keep your skin looking fresh and rejuvenated while retaining its elasticity and firmness. Direct exposure to the sun can cause moisture loss from the skin, and darker skin being the most susceptible to transepidermal water loss can dry up quicker. This can make wrinkles and fine lines more visible and also cause the skin to lose its firmness and become saggy. Using sunscreen can help to prevent water loss from the darker skin, making it look hydrated and plumped.
Evens out skin tone
Dark skin has more melanin and is also the most prone to hyperpigmentation, which occurs when the skin overproduces melanin, resulting in dark spots. Hyperpigmentation is caused by a number of factors including sun exposure. By routinely applying sunscreen, the occurrence of hyperpigmentation on black skin can be reduced, helping to even out skin tone and even lend brightening to the skin.
Summing up, black skin, just like any other skin type, requires sun protection, making sunscreen an imperative part of any skincare routine. So do away with misguided notions, and stock up on essential sun protective products. We recommend the Leovard Elixir and the Lip Luster. You won’t be disappointed!