People with fair skin know to be vigilant with their sun protection, since the signs of sun damage show up more visibly on their skin: wrinkles, sunburns, tanning, and dark spots, like freckles.
However, the important question is: should people with darker skin be wary too? One of the most pervasive beliefs in skincare is that people with darker skin don’t need sun protective measures like sunblock, as their naturally melanin-rich, or darker-toned, skin offers them all the protection they need from the sun.
But is this true?
Experts from The Pond’s Institute tell us that while darker skin rarely burns, but it does tan easily. This means that those with darker complexions need protection from the sun too as tanning is an indication of sun damage. Plus, with excessive exposure to the sun, darker skin types are still prone to sun spots and developing an uneven skin tone.
The dark truth about melanin
Firstly, it’s important to understand that sun damage affects everyone. Regardless of skin type, color or age. It is also important to understand that sun damage isn’t just about a short-term sunburn, but also long-term effects like sun or age spots.
While melanin is our body’s way of reducing the effects of harmful UV rays from the sun, a tan or sun spots, is a sign of sun damage. Stepping out into the sun without basic sun protection measures, like sunscreen, will increase the risk of long-term damage and weakened skin over time. This could potentially have disastrous consequences, like skin cancer.
Never forget your sunblock before heading outdoors
A good sunblock contains active ingredients like titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. These actively reflect the sun’s rays away from skin.
It’s also important to keep your skin moisturized, as well-hydrated skin is strong and has a natural protective barrier.
If you do notice that dark spots are increasing, choose brightening skincare with ingredients like niacinamide and 12-HSA to lighten those spots.