The myth that dark skin doesn’t need sun protection is long-lived, but nevertheless false. Sunscreen is still important even for darker skin; let us explain why! Your skin gets its colour from a pigment called melanin – a darker skin tone has more melanin than lighter skin. Melanin does indeed protect you from the damage of UV rays, but only up to a point. For example, dark skin has a natural SPF of up to 15, while paler skin only has around 3. Basically, this means that with darker skin, you can stay longer in the sun without getting sunburnt. Continue reading below for our best tips on sun protection for darker skin tones.
What is the best way to protect darker skin tones from sun damage?
A higher amount of melanin means that darker skin is less vulnerable to sunburns and premature ageing. Still, it doesn’t mean that dark skin can’t be damaged. In fact, because of the wrong perceptions about dark skin, skin cancer is often only discovered in the later stages, to more difficult and less successful treatment. In any case, prevention is always the best way to stay healthy for a long time.
Choose a sunscreen that fits your needs. Do you usually spend a lot of time outside during the day? Then a sunscreen with a higher SPF, at least 30, is recommended. Remember frequent reapplication, at least once every two hours, to keep your skin moisturised and protected.
Worth knowing is that certain studies suggest that the skin’s natural melanin doesn’t protect as well against UVA as against UVB rays, as the SPF factor is not high enough to block all wavelengths. Therefore, we suggest choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, meaning it protects you from any type of radiation from the sun.
Does a sunscreen leave white streaks on your skin? Though sunscreen is effective and has its advantages, a chemical sunscreen that absorbs into the skin could be a more comfortable way of sun protection for darker skin types, as it leaves no visible white marks.
Sun protection as a long-term investment in yourself
Taking a few minutes of your day for applying sunscreen is time well spent. You’ll not only significantly lower your risk of skin cancer but also keep your skin looking fresh and young. Remember reapplying, pick a sunscreen that fits your skin type and make sure you use broad-spectrum sun protection. If you’re interested in more tips on skincare, why not follow us Facebook and Instagram!