The myth “ Black people don’t need sun screen” ends here, WE ALL NEED SUNSCREEN. It’s a huge help but for me it’s a necessity for Black American skin, it’s also our history. I know you’ve seen pictures of Africans covered in red stuff but did you know that it’s their way to protect themselves from the sun. I was apart of the no sunscreen clan as well so I don’t have much room to talk. For awhile I couldn’t find a sunscreen that didn’t leave that grayish cast, so frustrating ! I after earning my esthetician license I researched many brands that accommodates our skin without leaving a cast.
During my senior year in high school I’ve suffered from hyperpigmentation caused by acne. I noticed that in the summer my spots were more visible than they were in the winter. It wasn’t until I attended esthetician school to understand that not applying sunscreen made my spots darker and caused a lot of damage to my skin. I recently had an incident where I had a bad reaction to a cleanser I was trying. The cleanser caused my skin to peel in certain spots leaving my skin very sensitive. I would go out side for about 10 mins at a time unprotected allowing the sun to burn those exact spots where my skin was peeling. I now have dark spots in the areas where my skin was peeling, this could’ve been prevented if I applied sunscreen.
Now sunscreen isn’t something that was just made up, like I say it’s in our history. Over 260,000 years ago africans started to use Otjize to protect themselves from the sun. Otjize is a mixture of butterfat and Ochre pigment. Ochre is a red or orange natural clay mixture containing iron oxide, mudstones, sandstone, shakes and specularite. They cover their entire body with the clay mixture to protect themselves from harsh weather, insects, and other things from the environment. Over time Otjize will flake off removing dead skin and dirt. Due to lack of water this Otjize helps with hygiene as well.
Africans covered in Otjize, Picture from google.
Everyone need sunscreen, period. The sun contains damaging Ultraviolet Rays, Ultraviolet aging rays (UVA) and Ultraviolet Burning rays (UVB). UVA rays play a major part in aging and wrinkling the skin. It is used in most tanning beds and also penetrates to the second layer of your skin. UVB rays burn the top layer of your skin and can be the cause of most skin cancers. When unprotected by sunscreen you can burn literally as soon as you walk out side. UVB and UVA rays also play a huge part in hyperpigmentation. These UV rays trigger your melanocytes causing your acne scars to darken.
I truly understand why many may feel that Black people don’t need sunscreen, I do. But if you are not trying to protect your skin from nothing else at least protect your skin from Melanoma, yes SKIN CANCER and this son of a b***** doesn’t discriminate. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that attacks your melanocytes, it is identified as a brown pigment that can be mistaken as a mole. If not treated, it can become very severe. Now this may not affect you so I’m speaking to the ones that could benefit from this information. Coming from a Black esthetician that experienced LOTS of sun damage I highly suggest using sunscreen.
Skin Cancer, picture from google.
I recommend spf 40 or higher because they have more protection for your skin. I love sunscreens from Epionce, Skin Ceuticals, ColorScience & Sugargoop because they don’t leave a grey hue on your skin. In my opinion if you have a darker complexion stay away from tinted sunscreens. Sunscreen is also for children, you can start using sunscreen at the age of 6months. Sunscreen is the last product of your DAILY morning skincare routine and should be washed off at night. Depending on the manufacturers instructions some companies suggest you to re apply sunscreen every 2 hours.
If you’re not using sunscreen by now you’re canceled my love. Come back tomorrow and read this blog again.