When it comes to summer, sales of sunblock dramatically increase due to the presence of the sun; it’s the time of the year that sunblock should be worn. But, did it ever occur to you that maybe sunblock should be applied every day of the year? Although summer is supposed to be the hottest time of the year and Earth is closer to the sun, the sun still shines every day, so why not wear sunblock every day? And even when the sun doesn’t shine, there are other factors that cause damage to our skin. Therefore, it is important to use sunscreen, not just in in the summer, but every single day of the year, even when it’s cold out, because beautiful, radiant, and healthy skin depends upon it.
Why wear sunblock?
The obvious reason to wear sunblock is to prevent damaging our skin, however, there are certain myths that prevent people from applying sunblock. According to Huffington Post Dr. Wendy Roberts, a board certified dermatopathologist, states the benefits of sunblock such as:
“1. The ozone layer is depleting and your body needs shielding from harmful rays.
- Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer.
- It helps to prevent facial brown spots and skin discolorations.
- It slows down the development of wrinkled, premature aging skin.”
Although global warming is a separate issue at hand, it individually affects us because of our skin’s reaction to the extent of the ozone layer letting in more rays that may potentially cause more damage to our skin now more than ever. Therefore, wearing sunblock is essential and should be worn everyday because every season fluctuates as the ozone layer continues to diminish. Everyone should also be well aware of the permanent damage to your skin—skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.” It is more likely for someone to get skin cancer, than any other form of skin cancer, meaning the protection of our skin needs to be a priority for every single person. By being aware of the risks of skin cancer, such awareness can help save someone’s life, from possible skin cancers such as melanoma; so start applying! Another benefit from skin cancer, as mentioned from Dr. Roberts is the prevention from dark spots and discolorations. Although discolorations do not exactly harm your skin, it does take a long time for the discolorations to go away, therefore by using sunscreen, there is no need to even worry about such spots. However, according to www.newbeauty.com:
“Hyperpigmentation can affect all skin tones—but it runs rampant in those with darker skin. The reason: the darker the skin, the more active the melanocytes are because of naturally high melanin levels. ‘The cause of it doesn’t influence the severity of your discoloration but the severity of your hyperpigmentation is shaped by your skin tone,’ says Washington, D.C., dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD.”
Although every skin tone and skin type is likely to get discoloration and hyperpigmentation on the skin, dark skin is more likely to get hyperpigmentation on the skin, compared to other skin tones because of the melanin levels that dark skin tones contain. So the myth that “the darker the skin, the less you need to wear sunscreen” is false! Everyone, especially dark skin tones should be wearing sunblock. Women’s Health states, “Black skin has the equivalent of about an SPF 13.4 (compared with 3.4 for white skin).” So although the minimum SPF worn should be SPF 15, it is better safe than sorry to wear sunblock because our skin needs to be protected, and sometimes, our skin may not be enough to get the job done. Lastly, let’s not forget that sun damage creates premature aging, and although aging skin is beautiful, many would love to prolong visible signs of aging. CNN explains that “regular sunscreen use protects against photoaging: the wrinkling, spotting and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.” So again, the amount of sunscreen worn and wearing it earlier in life benefits skin from aging at a faster rate. So now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the types of sunscreen that are provided to us.
What kind of sunscreen and other sun protection should I use?
Although the face and body tends to be the number one priority for sunblock, it’s not the only part of the body that gets sun damage. Apart from applying sunblock, on the body, there should be protection from the very roots of your hair, all the way down to the toes on your feet. Although a hat would be best recommended, in the instance where a hat is not the best accessory for the outfit of the day, Essence has provided tips for protecting your hair for preventing sun damage such as:
“1. Use SPF! Use hair products with SPF in them, they will coat the cuticle in order to shield from harsh rays. Be sure to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of any build up.
- Try Shower Filters!Some of our showers have chlorine in them, try adding a shower filter for when you are washing your hair. The chlorine will strip hair of the moisture it needs to stay healthy.
- Rinse With Cold Water“After you condition or co-wash, rinse with cold water to close the cuticle, that way nothing can penetrate the cuticle to damage the hair,” says Redway.”
Although it hardly ever gets mentioned, there are actual hair products that contain SPF! However, like makeup products, the lighter the SPF the higher the amount of application is needed, so if necessary, one can never go wrong with hat. If hats are still not convincing, look into cold showers and shower filters. When it comes to the water used for showering, in most cases it contains chlorine that damage hair, therefore reducing nutrients needed to protect hair follicles fro
m the sun. A filter would then strip chlorine from the water, so just try using cold water when conditioning, and everything else will be good to go! In regards to feet, dermatologist Leslie Baumann also explains on www.youbeauty.com that “’The skin on the tops of the feet is thinner than the skin on legs,’ she explains. ’Sun damage here can range from rough texture and fine lines to pigment changes.’ If you spent most of your youth running around outside while barefoot, you can start to see premature aging as early as your 20s” Apart from other weird places to get sun damage, Baumann explains that feet can also get premature aging characteristics, which is why sunscreen is essential when wearing revealing shoes. It’s also easier to get sunburnt feet because of the skin is much thinner there, causing feet to be a lot more sensitive to the sun. Any kind of sunscreen can be used for feet, however, since it is a lot thinner skin, the higher the better! The world is seen through beautiful eyes, so protect them with sunglasses! Eyes are also at risk of eyelid cancer when not protected accordingly. Of course, many know that sunglasses are the best accessory to add to any outfit! Still not sure about what kind of sunscreen to use on your body? Check out Michelle Phan’s Guide to Sunscreen, which explains what to look for depending skin tone and skin type. However, the Skin Cancer Organization emphasizes that though darker skins tend to have that “chalky” characteristic when applying sunblock, the organization explains
“Darker-skinned people may also be wary of using physical sunscreens, especially titanium-based products, because they can look chalky and white on the skin. Newer preparations, however, tend to be micronized, which means the particles are small enough to allow them to blend in and disappear into the skin. Chemical sunscreens are also an option; look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15+.”
Therefore, when it comes down to shopping for a sunscreen, choose a product that’s uniquely crafted based off the skin tone and skin type that best fits. If still unsure, feel free to consult with a physician, or dermatologist.
When should I use it?
Again, there’s a myth that summer is the only time to use sunscreen, but in reality, it should be used 365 days a year. Every season though, winter can be cold and snowy, should have sunblock included in a beauty regime. Why? According to Vogue, dermatologist Dendy Engelman, found that “pigment cells can be stimul ated not only by the sun’s bright UV rays, but even by lower doses of ambient and infrared light, emitted by your computer screen or overhead lamp.” Construction or office job, sunscreen should be applied daily. Not only can computer rays, affect the skin, but society today relies heavily on cellphones, so people who use cellphones with a high brightness, beware—this can damage skin cells. Now it does sound silly and possibly a little extreme, but the evidence is there, being in an office environment can potentially lead to skin damage if sunscreen is not applied. Let’s not also forget the drive home, where the sun may give just the right lighting for a nice selfie, but that lighting is strong enough to create skin damage. Therefore, it is recommended to try to reduce exposure from the sun mid-afternoon, the time when it is more likely for high sun exposure.
Does Clear Essence carry SPF products?
Clear Essence works hard to help people with dark skin find products that not only have SPF 15 but also help with hyperpigmentation from sun damage. Below is a list of products that contain SPF 15 and help reduce scars from sun damage:
The inclusion of sunscreen protects and shields skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays that tends to cause problems with pigmentation and uneven darkening of dark skin tones. The Skin Beautifying Milk effectively smoothes and fades away skin discoloration.
After using Clear Essence Skin Beautifying Milk, use this all over body lotion to protect and maintain your skin tone. This specially formulated blend has added SPF 15 to prevent future discolorations and damage from harsh elements and the sun’s UV rays. This is the perfect daily moisturizer to keep your skin silky, smooth, and even-toned.