Why wearing sunscreen is important as a melanin woman

Yes sis, it’s true that our melanin (dark brown to black pigment responsible for giving hair and eyes its color when exposed to sunlight) infused skin protects from the sun’s UV rays. However, it’s still important that we implement sunscreen in our daily beauty routines as it doesn’t protect from all of the sun’s UV rays. There’s been a misconception that our melanin infused skin alone is enough protection thus eliminating the need to wear sunscreen.

As for me, I always grew up thinking this way. I thought it was just for caucasian skin tones.  In fact, the use of sunscreen is just as important for our melanin infused skin. Many damages can occur to our skin as a result of not using sunscreen at all. Here are four reasons you need to start incorporating sunscreen in your daily beauty regimens.

Protection Against Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays

The most common reason to wear sunscreen is to protect our skin from exposure to ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun. There are two forms of UV rays: UVA (ultraviolet radiation) and UVB. UVA is more intense due to its longer wavelength in light. As a result, this particular radiation penetrates more deeply into our skin and can cause premature aging and wrinkles. UVB radiation is known as invisible rays and the energy they produce is from the sun. UVB causes sunburn and dark spots. It’s also known to play a contributing factor in skin cancer development. While UVA remains intense throughout all four seasons, UVB varies by season, location, and time. It’s important to wear sunscreen all year long even on a cloudy winter day as UV rays do pass through clouds.

Slows Down Premature Aging and Wrinkles

We heard the saying all our lives that “black don’t crack”.  The darker pigment color in our skin acts as an initial sun protection against ultraviolet radiation. Instead of our skin turning red, as with people who lack melanin when exposed to the sun, our skin turns darker. However, an extended period of time outdoors in the intense UVA radiation can cause premature aging and wrinkles over time. Melanin skin protects our skin but does not prevent aging and wrinkles. If we want our “black to not crack”, then we should always wear sunscreen.

Reduce/Fade Dark Marks and Hyperpigmentation

I’m not sure when I  started experiencing hyperpigmentation which is when one area of your skin becomes a darker shade than the rest of your skin, but my goal for a while has been to even out my skin tone to one shade. Dark marks and hyperpigmentation can result from acne scars but it can also be a result of sun damage and severe sun exposure. Since I never had severe acne, I point to my lack of SPF as the leading contributor in my skin’s hyperpigmentation. The use of SPF helps to prevent energetic UV light from interacting with the skin thus preventing and helping to aid in hyperpigmentation. In addition to wearing sunscreen, I use rosehip oil which is known to help improve scarring and hyperpigmentation as it has skin lightening properties.

LIVE. LAUGH. WEAR SUNSCREEN. 🌞🌞 . . . #sunscreen #uva #skincare #like4like #beauty #quotes #blogger #bblogger #beautiful class=

Skin Cancer

One of the most important reasons to wear sunscreen is to prevent skin cancer. Although skin cancer rates are higher in Caucasians than in African Americans, low risk doesn’t mean no risk. Even more, African Americans don’t always develop the same kind of cancer as Caucasians. Contrary to Caucasians, African Americans develop skin cancer in the most uncommon place such as:  Their feet, hands, and fingernails. Staying educated and abreast of the various forms of skin cancer and where they can occur is essential as you begin to incorporate sunscreen in your daily beauty regimens. 

In conclusion, all ethnicities need to wear sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun’s UV rays, reduce and fade dark marks and hyperpigmentation, prevent skin cancer and to slow down premature aging and wrinkles. Start today by incorporating sunscreen in your beauty regimens. Your skin will never regret it.  I personally recommend called: Black Girl Sunscreen. Packed with an SPF of 30, Black Girl Sunscreen is a brand specifically made for women of color. Its cruelty -free, fragrance -free, paraben-free, and moisturizing without any harmful ingredients such as: oxybenzone and octinoxate found in other sunscreens.  

@blackgirlsunscreen

What I love most about using this sunscreen is that it doesn’t leave my skin looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost like other sunscreens that aren’t made for women of color.  You know that off white residue look? That one sis! It’s also super moisturizing as they describe; leaving my skin with a nice natural glow. I feel confident and extra beautiful stepping out into the sun knowing my skin is protected and well moisturized. Umbrella where? Not this way!

Have you tried Black Girl Sunscreen? If not, what sunscreen do you use or recommend?

Links used for research:

https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/ask-the-experts/can-darker-skinned-people-get-skin-cancer

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