Why are we 🅿️ushing SPF?

My demographic of clientele is far and wide filled with beautiful people and pigments. Yet, one of the most common skin types I deal with are African American people. Although the basic makeup of our skin is no different than any other race, there is a misconception that the extra melanin is saving the skin from the sun. In short? BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO WEAR SUNSCREEN TOO! Even though that statement was clear and concise, I would be foolish to believe that an explanation was not expected to be provided.

Sunscreen is of course designed to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays, this is done by the sunscreen reflecting the rays in a form of absorption. Now, global warming is real and is becoming increasingly worse at a rapid rate, as a result, there are holes in the ozone layer. The ozone layer is designed to work as a barrier for things such as... you guessed it, UV rays. Therefore, although your grandmother also needed sunscreen, she was in far less harm than we are now with our current ecosystem. And yes, although melanin is designed to aid in protecting the skin from burning, it does not protect against the dangerous effects of long-term exposure to UV rays, such as myeloma or more commonly known as skin cancer.


 

Okay so now that we know WHY we should wear sunscreen, I'll now explain HOW to properly wear sunscreen. SPF numbers simply tell how long it would take UV rays to burn or redden the skin. Therefore, if someone has on SPF 50, it would take the skin 50 times longer to burn than if one was not wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen is typically only effective for 2 hours and therefore should be applied throughout the day and more frequently depending on activity and exposure to the sun. (If you wear makeup, setting spray with SPF is a thing and should be used throughout the day after applying traditional sunscreen under your base ;)) The two-finger method uses the index finger and the middle finger to measure out two fingers worth or about 2 teaspoons worth of sunscreen. This should then be applied to the face, neck, and ears. Although this may seem excessive, it takes a lot of sunscreen to effectively protect the skin.


Need to know what sunscreen to try? Look out for my next post for details on my top recommendations!

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