Just because you have a perpetual tan as you were born with dark-colored skin doesn’t mean that you should skip applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Even the darkest skin on the face of the planet can still get sunburned although not in a way that everyone knows.
If you want to know why it’s still important for you to use sunscreen each time you are stepping foot outside your home between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, read on.
Everyone Has In-Built Sunscreen
The color of a person’s skin depends on the amount of melanin, which is a pigment. This pigment is dark in color. The more melanin is present, needless to say, the darker the color of the skin.
Melanin is produced by special types of cells in your skin as a response to exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Your skin knows that those UV rays are damaging, and that’s why it attempts to protect itself by producing melanin which is capable of offering sun protection.
In fact, skin specialists say that light skin comes integrated with an SPF of 3.4 while dark skin boasts of an SPF of 13.4.
However, that’s not really enough to entirely shield the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. As a matter of fact, sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 can only block about 93 percent of those UV rays. It’s exactly for this reason why the pros suggest using sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher.
Dark Skin Burns as Well
If you have dark skin, you may notice that staying under the sun only makes your complexion look deeper, and not bright red which is what happens to individuals with light-colored skin after baking under the sun for a few minutes. Having black skin doesn’t seem to have any reaction to exposure to the sun even after several minutes or hours of being under it.
However, the fact is sunburn may still affect people with dark or black skin. Usually, it registers in the form of tightness. And just like sunburned light-colored skin, it feels painful and hot to the touch.
The fact that these symptoms are present is proof that even dark-colored skin can get sunburned. So in other words, no one on the face of the planet is impervious to being sunburned, including those with perpetual tans. While they may stay under the sun longer than others with light skin, they can still end up with sunburn.
Choosing the Right Sunscreen
No matter the color of your skin, make sure that you regularly apply sunscreen with an SPF of not less than 30 when heading out during the day, especially in between 10 am and 4 pm where the sun is at its most intense.
A lot of individuals with dark-colored skin steer clear of using sunscreen thinking that the loads of melanin in their skin can shield them from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. But based on the pieces of information stated above, we all know that it’s rubbish.
One more reason why many of those with dark skin refrain from using sunscreen is it leaves their skin looking chalky. Well, such can be expected if the sunscreen applied is something that contains titanium oxide or zinc oxide. If you have dark-colored skin, look for sunscreen that uses oxybenzone instead. There are also tinted sunscreens available these days.