If you have darker skin, you are probably less prone to sunburn than your pale-skinned friends. After all, the purpose of melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin its color, is to protect your skin from the sun. The more melanin you have, the more natural protection you have against sunshine. However, this does not mean you can just shove sun protection to the wayside. Excessive sun exposure still increases your risk of skin cancer, and even dark skin can burn in the right conditions. Here are three sun protection tips for people with dark skin.
Invest in a Good Sunscreen
Darker-skinned people sometimes shy away from sunscreen, because it can leave a powdery, white sheen on the skin. If you have a sunscreen that does not cause this problem, you're more likely to use it. Many pharmacies carry sunscreens made specifically for darker-skinned people. You may also want to explore options through cosmetic brands that specialize in products for dark skin. Look for a product with zinc or titanium dioxide as an active ingredient. SPF 15 should be good for daily use, though you'll want SPF 30 if you're planning a day on the beach.
Take Skin Soreness Seriously
Someone with paler skin may notice that they are starting to get a little pink, and take that as a signal to get out of the sun, before they burn more seriously. As someone with darker skin, pink tinges are harder to notice. So, you'll need to rely on how your skin feels to warn you of impending sunburn. If your skin ever feels sore to the touch or a bit warm, you're on your way to a sunburn. Seek shelter and re-apply your sunscreen.
Wear Your Sunglasses
It's not just your skin that is prone to sun damage! Exposure to UV rays also increases your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye ailments. As someone with darker skin, more of the light may focus on your lighter eyes. The sensitive skin around your eyes is also prone to developing skin cancer, and most people don't apply sunscreen to their eyelids. So, invest in a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Wear them when you are driving and when you venture outside.
With the tips above, you will stay safe from sun-related skin damage. Do not make the mistake of assuming you're immune just because you have darker skin.
For more information, talk to companies like Black Girl Sunscreen LLC.