Why people with dark skin still need to wear sunscreen
30 May 2017
It finally feels like summer here in The Netherlands and, of course, I’m taking full advantage of it. 🙂 The other day I was last minute shopping for sunscreen. I went into a (never been before) drugstore and because I didn’t want to waste time looking around, I asked a sales associate where in the store I could find it. Before answering my question, she looked me up and down and I could almost hear her think: ‘why would she need sunscreen?’. That brings me to this post.
Just because I have dark skin, that doesn’t mean I don’t need sunscreen! Of the many sunscreen myths out there, one of the biggest is that people with dark skin don’t need to use it. I told you why this is false in this post years ago, but I don’t mind telling you again! Keep reading.
Ok ok, it is true that the more melanin (pigment) skin has, the more it is naturally protected from damage from the sun’s UV rays. Also, skin cancer isn’t very common among people of color. BUT this does NOT mean people with dark skin can skip sunscreen!
Any darkening of your regular skin tone is just a sign that your skin is defending itself against the sun and attempting to prevent further damage. Everyone is vulnerable to the kind of sun damage that can cause skin cancer and signs of aging.
What’s also good to know is that when people of color develop skin cancer, it’s much more deadly! The reason is that it’s usually detected at an advanced stage, when it’s more difficult to treat.
The sun also causes pigment problems, like spots and blotchiness that make people look older than what they really are. These issues are trickier to resolve in people with dark skin, mainly because some remedies can cause inflammation that triggers even more discoloration.
So yes people of (every) color, wear sunscreen!