Hey melanin queen! I know its raining cats and dogs now, but brace up because the sun will soon be out, in all its fierce and burning glory. Of course, if you are living in 2019, you already know that dark queens like us need sunscreen too. The days are long gone when we thought sun protection was for just the people that visibly burn in the sun. We are way past the time when we thought we needed sunscreen only when going down to the beach.
Fam! You need sunscreen every single time. In summer, spring, winter, when it’s cloudy, rainy…every time!
In this post, I highlight a few points to note before you repurchase your favourite brand. Or if you’re new to the gang, these tips will help you decide which ones to go for.
Broad Spectrum Protection
Always go for a broad spectrum Sunscreen protection, even though some bottles specify UVB or UVA only. Here’s how it works: UVB rays cause sunburn and contribute to the causative factors of skin cancer. UVA rays are also damaging and dangerous. They do not cause sunburn but penetrate even deeper than UVB and cause darkening and ageing. But, if your bottle of sunscreen says its SPF measures for UVA rays, they are most definitely wrong. Look for a bottle that says it offers “BROAD-SPECTRUM” protection instead to protect against both UVA and UVB. UVB rays are more common however and if you’re finding it difficult to find a broad spectrum sunscreen, please use what you find because half loaf is definitely better than none.
However, do not settle for a sunscreen that is not broad spectrum.
The SPF scale is not linear
The numbers on your bottle represent the level of SPF on the scale. However, the scale is not linear in the sense that SPF 30 does not protect twice as much as SPF 15 does. This is actually how it works: SPF 15 blocks 93% of the rays. SPF 30 blocks 97% of the rays. SPF 50 blocks 98% of the harmful rays.
Applying sunscreen isn’t one and done
Your morning routine most likely involves using lotion before you head off to work and then maybe at night after you’re back. Sunscreen requires more commitment. If your skin would normally burn in the sun after 10 minutes, applying lotion with SPF 15 will slow the process and you won’t burn for another 150 minutes.
So, it is recommended by experts to use a minimum of SPF 30 and apply your sunscreen every two to three hours.
Be generous with it
A major problem with sunscreen application is actually “under application”. Many people don’t use enough sunscreen. Quoting the experts again, you should use 2mg per cm square of sunscreen or use 30ml for your entire body in one application.
Incorporate sunscreen into your makeup routine
For some of us already using sunscreen, we sometimes skip it when we apply makeup. Sorry to break it to you ma’am, your heavy foundation layer isn’t enough sun protection.
Always remember to start your makeup with sunscreen and go further to opt for makeup that has SPF 15 or more.
A lot of Moisturisers, foundations and powders now carry SPF of at least 15. Even eye creams too. Regardless, do not forget to apply it physically first.
Now that we are all aware, these tips will give you some extra help in choosing the right one for you.
Don’t step out without your sunscreen, darling.