Sunscreen is an important part of staying safe and healthy. Whether you’re a beauty guru or you’ve never even attempted to apply makeup, you probably know that sunscreen plays an important part in keeping your skin looking great all year round. Unfortunately, there’s a recurring myth that if you have darker skin, you don’t need sunscreen because your skin protects itself against UV rays. The problem is, that’s not at all true. Darker skin tones still need UV protection. If you’re not convinced, here are a few key things to remember.
Melanin Protects, But Not Entirely
It’s true that melanin, which is what gives skin its color, absorbs some UV rays. That’s why even among fair-skinned people, extremely light-skinned individuals burn more quickly than those with slightly darker skin. But it doesn’t protect entirely. Even people with the darkest skin tones can burn. You might not be able to see the red tint that shows on lighter skin, but your skin can feel hot, tight and itchy, all of which indicate a sunburn.
Even Small Amounts of UV Rays Can Increase Cancer Risk
It’s important to remember that anyone can develop skin cancer from UV rays. Even if your skin does absorb most of the UV rays that reach it, “most” isn’t enough. You need to use sunscreen to absorb the rest of them. Plus, this myth actually leads to higher rates of mortality in people with darker skin who do develop skin cancer. People with darker skin just don’t pay attention to the warning signs because of a mistaken belief that skin cancer can’t impact them. If you’re willing to put on sunscreen every day just in case, you’ll keep yourself much safer.
Sun Exposure Causes Aging in All Skin Tones
You might not see it when you look at your skin on a day-to-day basis, but sun exposure does cause aging in all skin tones, even dark ones. When it comes to keeping yourself looking fresh every single day, you need to prioritize UV avoidance. Not only can UV exposure cause your skin to sag and develop wrinkles, but it may also cause irregular skin tone and liver spots, which may be difficult or even impossible to fix.
You Can Find a Sunscreen for Any Skin Tone
One of the main reasons dark-skinned people shy away from sunscreen is that many sunscreens leave an ashy or pale residue on the skin. Fair-skinned people might not notice this residue, but if your skin is much darker, it can definitely make a difference. But some sunscreen manufacturers have noticed this issue and have adapted to change that. You can find a variety of sunscreens for any skin tones, including some targeted directly toward individuals with darker skin. That means you can stay protected from the sun whether you have light or dark skin.
Sunscreen is an essential part of anyone’s regimen, regardless of the color of their skin. From extremely fair-skinned people who burn within minutes of going outside to extremely dark-skinned people who haven’t ever gotten a sunburn, sunscreen protects your skin from a variety of problems. That means you need to find a sunscreen that works for you. If this talk about sunscreen has awoken your interest in skin care for underserved populations, you might want to consider the esthetics program from Ogle School. This program will help you succeed in creative and scientific skin care so you can pass on your knowledge to others like you.