By: Shawna Davis
It may not feel like it everywhere, but warmer weather is upon us. While we’re prepping our bodies to be summertime ready, it’s important that we focus on maintaining the health of our skin as well. Sure, our melanin may be magic, but it can’t prevent the sun’s harmful rays from potentially wreaking havoc on our skin.
No matter your skin tone or whether you have oily, normal, combination or sensitive skin, we all need to wear sunscreen daily in order to protect our skin from the harsh UVA and UVB rays that can lead to unwanted skin and health conditions such as sunburn, sun-related skin cancers, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sun-related blemishes.
Melanin Skin and Sunscreen
There are plenty of options to choose from when shopping for an SPF (which stands for Sun Protection Factor), however, not all skin-protectants are created equal. If you have been a victim of appearing “ashy” due to the unattractive white residue traditional sunscreens leave behind, the challenge of searching for the right sunscreen ends here.
Thankfully, these two black-owned brands have created sunscreens with deeper-toned beauties in mind, that’ll nourish, protect and seamlessly melt into your melanin.
What’s better, both of these skin protectants are SPF 30 which means your skin should be protected from a sunburn 30 times longer than without wearing any sunscreen at all. Additionally, both sunscreens are broad-spectrum and aid in protecting the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Black Girl Sunscreen is cruelty free, vegan and is free from two toxic ingredients commonly found in sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinate, which means it’s also environmentally friendly. What’s more, this non-sticky formula doesn’t contain minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are the common factors that contribute to the "ashy" cast.
Black Girl Sunscreen is infused with natural ingredients such as sunflower oil, carrot seed oil, cacao, jojoba and avocado - all ingredients which aid in the appearance and health of your skin, while protecting it. In addition to being an SPF 30 sunscreen filled with all-natural ingredients, another benefit of Black Girl Sunscreen is that it’s not too thick or hard to apply and glides smoothly onto the skin just like lotion does.
Key Ingredients Spotlight:
- Avocado Oil - Great source of antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids that soften and hydrate the skin.
- Cocoa Seed Butter - Aids in fading dark spots and reducing inflammation.
- Carrot Seed Oil - Packed with antioxidants, carrot seed oil helps treat sun damaged skin and has skin healing properties.
How to use: Apply a thin layer of Black Girl Sunscreen to your skin at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
Another option to consider when shopping for a skin protectant this season is Unsun SPF30 - Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. UnSun is infused with a variety of fruit extracts, shea butter, Vitamin E and coconut oil. In addition to being a moisturizing and natural sunscreen with beneficial ingredients, UnSun is free from harmful ingredients including oxybenzone, parabens, glycol and formaldehyde releasers, just to name a few.
It is considered to be a lightweight broad spectrum sunscreen for the face, however, because of its rich ingredients, I’ve found that using the suggested amount located on the back of the packaging goes a long way.
Key Ingredients Spotlight:
- Shea Butter - softens the skin, reduces wrinkles and is naturally boosts collagen production in the skin.
- Coconut Oil - composed of healthy saturated fats and fatty acids, coconut oil helps skin to retain moisture, promoting healthy and smooth skin.
How to use: Apply UnSun SPF30 - Tinted Mineral Sunscreen liberally and evenly to skin 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. For continuous protection, apply regularly and reapply as needed after exercise and swimming.
Incorporate Sunscreen Into Your Daily Skincare Routine
Now that you have some options to choose from when shopping for sunscreen, here’s how to incorporate the necessary skin staple into your daily skincare routine:
- Always start with a clean canvas by washing your face with your cleanser of choice, rinsing and following up with a toner.
- Apply your sunscreen in place of or post moisturizer at least 15 to 20 minutes before going outside for the day.
- On days where you will be faced with intense sun-exposure (no pun intended!) whether you’ll be swimming at the beach or doing other outdoor activities for several hours, you may want to apply your sunscreen more often and liberally if needed at least every hour and a half to two hours, especially if you’ll be getting wet or sweating heavily.
- Keep in mind, you’ll want to make sure you protect other exposed areas of your body as well.
It’s important to remember that whether it’s sunny and breezy, raining or snowing, use sunscreen daily as the effects of the sun can still be damaging regardless of the weather. Here’s to healthy and shining skin all 2019 and beyond!
Do you use sunscreen as part of your daily skincare routine?
Let us know in the comments!