Top 5 Sunscreen tips for African American Men

Summer is coming to an end but sunscreen is still vital year-round. Are you applying sunscreen properly and choosing an SPF that is appropriate for your skin? Lets go into more detail on how to protect your skin from UV rays throughout the year.

 

Don’t waste money on SPF above 50

A high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) will often trick your mind into thinking that you can stay in the sun longer. This is not always recommended because sunscreen is still washed off due to water, sweat, clothing and towels. SPF 15 has been found to block 94% of UV rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% of rays and SPF 45 blocks 98% of rays. None offer 100% protection. For fair skin tones, an SPF of 30 is usually sufficient. For darker skintones, SPF 15 is usually enough to stay protected.

 

Apply before going outside

Sunscreen takes about 15 minutes to absorb into the skin. Waiting until you’ve already felt your skin heating up is already leading to skin damage. Apply 30 minutes before you plan to venture out into the sun.

 

Use enough sunscreen

Don’t forget your ears, neck, and face when applying sunscreen. Ask a friend to help you reach your back or use a spray sunscreen. Use a lip balm containing SPF to prevent damaged lips as well. Sunglasses are also useful in protecting eyes.

 

Reapply your sunscreen throughout the day

Regardless of your SPF factor, sunscreen needs to be reapplied throughout the day and during time spent outdoors. As mentioned before, sunscreen can easily be washed off if you are spending a day in the water or playing sports involving sweating. Even water-resistant sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours to guarantee protection.

 

Enjoy the outdoors at the right times

UV rays peak during midday. Try to limit your outdoor activities to morning and afternoon hours. Sunscreen will still be needed but the UV rays are less powerful at these times.

 

In 2009, twice as many American men died from melanoma than women. This could be attributed to women’s use of several beauty products and makeup that sometimes already contain sunscreen. Also the beauty industry often targets women more than men giving women constant reminders of skin health. Don’t be apart of the 66% of men that don’t wear sunscreen daily! This number is even further increased when speaking of African American men, as there is the perception that UV rays do not harm black skin. This could not be further from the truth. Black skin may not burn but it is still damaged in the form of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Always wear sunscreen to prevent signs of aging and possible skin cancer!

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