Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sunscreen - It's for YOU, too!

I was sitting on the beach with a good friend of mine and started pulling out my sunscreen stash to re-apply. She asked me why I used it since I am obviously brown skinned and have natural sunscreen “built in” to my skin. She didn’t seem to buy it when I told her that dark-skinned people need sunscreen too. Thinking back to my childhood, I don’t think my parents ever applied sunscreen to us despite the hours spent outside in the hot North Carolina summer sun. However, that doesn’t mean they were right.

People with darker skin have more melanin, which actually does absorb more UV rays thus providing a bit more natural sunscreen. However, individuals with dark skin should still wear a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection because we can still get sunburn. Very dark, black skin has a natural SPF of about 13 and filters twice as much UV radiation as white skin, for example. However, the recommendation is that individuals wear at least SPF 15 for daily sun exposure.

Failure to use sunscreen can results in sunburn, premature aging, and in the worst cases – skin cancer. By the way, skin cancer tends to have higher mortality rates in darker skinned individuals because it usually goes undetected until it is fairly advanced.

So…..please be smart in the sun this summer (and throughout the year). One of my favorite bloggers, Savvy Brown, recently posted an article on natural sunscreen that is definitely worth checking out.

No comments:

Post a Comment