Why SPF Is Essential In A Black Person’s Routine

Why SPF Is Essential In A Black Person’s Routine
Since melanin provides a natural SPF between three and 13, depending on how deep the skin tone, it’s long been a misconception that darker complexions can go sans sun protection. Undeniably, its most well-documented property is to protect our skin from burning, but there are a handful of other reasons it’s a must-have in your skincare line-up...

1. It Provides Much-Needed Protection

The melanin in dark skin protects against some UVB rays, but not nearly as well as it does UVA rays, which are what damage the skin and cause us to tan. Those rays penetrate the deepest layers, with the shorter wavelengths causing sunburn. With 30 being the universally recommended SPF and 13 being the maximum natural defence, darker skin still falls short here, so an SPF is vital. Speaking of which...

2. It’s Effective At Preventing Wrinkles

It’s long been said that prevention is better than cure, so instead of going unprotected by day then applying retinoids and acids later down the line, think about swapping in an everyday SPF now. It’s a fact that it fends off UV damage which is the single biggest cause of wrinkles and premature aging, so by adding it to your routine, you’re creating a base for great skin in the long term.

3. It Stops Hyperpigmentation In Its Tracks

Hyperpigmentation - where inflammation or scarring causes darker patches or spots - affects everyone, but it’s more common in people of colour as there’s an increased melanin presence in the skin naturally. It’s worsened by sun exposure as skin responds to UV light by producing even more melanin as a natural protection - thus making the pesky dark spots even darker. By using an SPF to do that job instead, you’ll maintain an even skin tone and prevent hyperpigmentation altogether.

4. The New Generation Of SPFs Is Excellent

Ask any person of colour who’s dabbled in SPF and they’ll likely have a story about ghastly white casts. It’s been notoriously tricky to track down clear-casting options, but the new influx of SPF does exactly that. It’s one of the reasons Ultra Violette’s infamous SPF range has been such a hit: the new brand has outsold Space NK’s entire SPF category five-fold since the site launched it.

Space NK’s suncare buyer, Charlotte Giddeon-Powell, recommends its Ultra Violette Queen Screen Luminising Sun Serum SPF 50+, £36.00 for darker skin. It’s enriched with hydrating properties, won’t leave a white cast, and protects from the full spectrum of solar rays. Check, check, check. As well as this, Charlotte recommends Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel, £30.00 and (which goes over the top of makeup) for deeper skin tones.

Posted: Friday, 20 August 2021

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