What Exactly am I Screening from the Sun? My already Dark Skin?
I can imagine the thoughts going through the heads of some of you right now, reading the title of this post, and the looks on your faces. It’s most likely the same sort of looks I get whenever I ask patients if they use sunscreen daily. These looks are usually characterized by rolled eyes and raised eyebrows, accompanied with a “Hello doctor, I am dark skinned…what on earth do I need sunscreen for?!” Well, contrary to popular belief, black skin does crack! The bare truth is that dark-skinned people do need sunscreen and I will tell you why.
Melanin On Fleek
It has been established that the amount of melanin present in the skin determines the amount of sun damage a person can acquire. In fact, it is said that the melanin present in dark skin provides a sun protection factor (SPF) approximately equal to 13.4, compared to 3-4 in white skin making people with white skin more susceptible to developing skin cancer. However, dark skin sometimes scars more than other skin types making them more prone to hyperpigmentation. Regardless of your skin type, the sun’s energy penetrates deeply into the skin and damages the DNA of skin cells which may ultimately lead to skin cancer including melanoma which although very rare, tends to have a worse prognosis in dark-skinned people. Excessive sun exposure can also accelerate the aging process making wrinkles and sagging skin more prominent; causing people to look less healthy and way older than their years. It also causes uneven skin tone which a lot of women hate and just can’t stand.
Here are a few tips to help protect us from the damaging effects of excessive exposure to the sun: Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun especially between 10am to 4pm. Use water-resistant physical sunscreen daily! A sunscreen with SPF 30-50 would be adequate. Oil-free/matte sunscreens are also available for people with acne-prone skin. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and remember to reapply every 2-3 hours (this might not be feasible, hence tip 1 is key!) Wear UV-blocking sunglasses to help protect the skin around the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Wear wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing as much as possible.
The IMAGE daily matte moisturizer with SPF 32 is my all-time favorite sunscreen because it gives a matte, shine-free finish after application. It’s also a great primer for my makeup. The effects of excessive exposure to the sun are very real. You will be amazed at the anti-aging effects wearing sunscreen can provide. Why don’t you try it out today? Got sun-damaged skin? For more information on how to treat and care, contact: