Who else grew up believing that as a girl with beautiful melanin rich skin, sunscreen was not yours to use.
Well I did and I carried this notion along with me throughout my journey until I discovered that Sunscreen is equally important and although I have some good amount of melanin produced by my body the sunscreen step is one I shouldn’t miss.
Coming to the realization that my skin tone is not reason enough to conclude that I needed no sun protection, it got me really curious because in my mind my skin had it all figured out when it came to sun exposure.
Exposure of my skin to the sun especially in the early hours of the day meant one thing for me, Vitamin D. Oh how good I felt about this!!
And as I got to understand my skin, I also got to understand why certain formulated skincare products were important and Sunscreen was definitely one of them.
The Sun despite all the good things we naturally benefit from it like Vitamin D, Photosynthesis, and getting our clothes dry…hehe., there can also be some damaging effects we tend to derive from the UV rays as produced by the sun.
I discovered that the damaging UV rays knows no borders when it came to penetrating the skin. These UV rays can be damaging to all skin types and dark skin is not an exception.
What are UVA / UVB rays ?
The UVA & UVB rays are basically two harmful rays produced by the sun.
UVA rays are said to penetrate the thickest layer of the skin and UVB rays burn the surface of the skin which results in sunburns or most likely skin cancer.
Despite the fact that both UVA and UVB are harmful to the skin the UVA rays appear to be more harmful considering that a much larger amount of it reaches the earth’s surface. UVA’s are usually tagged as the sun’s silent killer because you will hardly feel the effect of the UVA rays damaging your skin as you would the UVB rays.
It is also found to penetrate further into the skin than UVB rays which results in the destruction of the skin’s firmness and elasticity.
UVB rays on the other hand are responsible for the sunburns and discoloration that tend to appear on our skin. They also stick around with us all year round but are more prevalent in very sunny areas and Africa is definitely on this list.
Adding some SPF to your regimen will go a long way to help protect you from these harmful rays and guess what the protection would not only be for health purposes but it also in my experience has sort of solved my hyperpigmentation.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and basically it measures sunscreen protection from UVB rays.
Experts recommend that you use a minimum SPF sunscreen of 15. However sunscreens with significantly high SPFs do not necessarily give you a significantly greater protection as compared to low SPFs like 30 SPF.
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays , SPF 30 blocks 97% & SPF 50 blocks 98%. So if you have sunscreen with SPF 15 it is still getting the job done.
I use the Eucerine Sun Protection PhotoAging Control which has 50+ SPF and the Bioré UV Water Essence which also has 50+ SPF.
Sunscreens usually tend to leave white casts on dark skin which is why I love the Bioré UV Water Essence which is water based and lightweight on application.
On your first squirt it feels like the product is heavy but once you rub it in it feels really lightweight and leaves no cast on your skin.
For my body I have just tried one type of sunscreen and that’s the Garnier Sensitive Advanced Nourishing Protective oil which is hypoallergenic which means it less likely to cause to your skin an allergic reaction and has SPF 50+.
Black Girl Sunscreen is also a great choice for dark skinned people who want to effectively protect their skin without leaving behind a white cast.
Incorporating sunscreen in my routine has been one of the best decisions I have made! And that’s the tea on sunscreen and me!
Written by Kalira Tanlogo for Adi and Bolga