Working as a beauty consultant and makeup artist both behind the counter and otherwise for more than a decade, gave me the opportunity to interact with countless women of all races varying in shades spanning both ends of the spectrum, and with various skin care needs and concerns. Over the years it started to become clear to me that the idea of sunscreen was/is like the holy-grail to some (my fair-skinned peers) while to others, it seemed like a waste of time and money, and a product that one could live without. Sadly, this self-manufactured notion has to a degree been prompted by the idea that our naturally dark complexion is in itself “sun block.”
While having darker skin does come with the benefit of protecting the skin from the sun, no matter how you dice it, skin is skin for which the harsh sun-rays have no distinction and certainly no bias. So, although darker skin has its own “built-in barrier” , I will be the bearer of bad news and debunk the belief that because of our naturally dark complexions we are automatically protected from the sun’s deadly UV rays………..We too should, MUST lather up my ebony-skinned sisters. While the damaging effects of unprotected sun exposure may take longer to develop,depending on the amount of melanin, they will overtime become telling. This is not to give the sun a bad wrap, as it is one of the main sources of vitamin D, nor is it to scare you straight, but rather to build an awareness that unfortunately continues to get brushed off and looked at as “The Sunscreen Myth”.
My favorite go to sun screen is Neutrogena’s Sun and Beach defense (water & sun) SPF 30.