Sunscreen 101

by Our Deep Skin

Okay so by now, you should know that we’ll talk about SPF till the cows come home . Autumn or Spring, indoors or outdoors, desert or rainforest, it’s irrelevant; we wear sunscreen every single day of the year. Many people of colour only wear sunscreen to the beach, and sometimes, not even then. We’ve been told a myth that deep skin tones don’t need SPF. False.

Skin tones are measured on the Fitzpatrick scale and they range from type I (very fair) to type VI (very dark). The darker your skin, the higher your melanin content – and thus the higher your built-in UV protection. Yes, deeper skin tones have a natural SPF of 13 — but when it comes to damaging UV rays, the power of melanin is hugely overstated. Melanin is not a magical, sun-resistant shield. Ultraviolet rays still have the potential to damage dark skin and lead to often-undiagnosed skin cancers.

Sun damage can contribute to the development of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and acne. Proper sun care is essential because of wrinkles and dangers like melanoma. Skin cancers are often diagnosed at a late stage with people of colour meaning it is harder to treat and they are more likely to die from it as a result.
There is ignorance in our community about the need for sun protection or even how we should protect our skin in the sun, but it’s down – quite significantly – to beauty brands failing to direct crucial education towards darker skin tones. Thank goodness for Our Deep Skin!

We know that most people of colour have avoided sunscreen for a long time because of the white, chalky cast it often leaves. Basically a grey tinge — and looking ashy is never cool . However, contrary to popular belief, there are many on the market that don’t make us look like ghosts.

You can use all the skin brighteners and pigmentation-busting products in the world (and we’re not talking about skin bleaching here, we do not advocate that in the slightest) but if you don’t finish off with an SPF, you are wasting your time and money. All those age spots, scarring and discolouration issues will, at best, remain unchanged and at worse, intensify.

Our favourite SPF’s for people of colour/ deep skin tones are:
– Purito comfy water sun block SPF 50+ PA ++++
– COSRX aloe soothing sun cream SPF 50+ PA +++
– Purito centella green level unscented sun SPF 50+ PA ++++
– Klairs soft airy UV essence SPF 50+ PA ++++
– Purito centella green level safe sun SPF 50+ PA ++++

With this range of clever formulations, there is no excuse for eschewing a daily SPF. Regardless of how much melanin we have in our skin, the truth is our deep skin does burn and if you don’t use an SPF, it will.

Extra tip! Look out for early signs of skin cancer!

  • Dark spot, growth, or darker patch of skin that is growing, bleeding or changing in any way

  • Sore that won’t heal—or heals and returns

  • Sore that has a hard time healing, especially if the sore appears in a scar or on skin that was injured in the past

  • Patch of skin that feels rough and dry

  • Dark line underneath or around a fingernail or toenail

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