Summer is finally upon us (eek!) and while some of us may be trickling back into the gym, focussing on our hydration, or even just lounging out in the glorious sun – the one thing we can't ignore is our skin. And more to the point, how to protect it with this major sun exposure.
While this goes for all skin tones, this guide is focussing on how a person of colour can safely look after their skin in the sun to avoid hyper-pigmentation, dark spots, and other skin conditions forming.
Although our darker-skinned girls are more likely to catch that natural glowy tan, it doesn't mean sun protection is any less important than women with lighter skin tones.
Let's dive straight into how you can look after your skin this Summer as a brown skin queen...
People with darker skin tones could be at more risk of long-term skin issues because it can go unnoticed with the darker complexion? Lather that sunscreen, girl!
Find Your Perfect ✨ Tinted ✨ Sunscreen
We've all been in that unfortunate situation where we've lathered on the sunscreen only to find white cast all over our skin, and it's near impossible to rub in to the surface! You're then left with streaks everywhere because the cream hasn't absorbed.
Yup! It's a nightmare...
Thankfully there's a ton of brands out there now that cater to darker skin tones, even when it comes to sun protection. Tinted sunscreens are made with white cast-free formulas so they leave your skin looking radiant whilst absorbing well into the surface.
Here's some of our favourite tinted sunscreens 👇
1.Black Girl Sunscreen - $18.99
2. Fenty Beauty Fragrance-Free Sunscreen
3. Mele NO SHADE Sunscreen
SPF is for Everyone!
There's this dangerous misconception that darker skin tones can dismiss the idea of wearing SPF because 'they don't burn'. The truth is, every skin tone needs to be using SPF every single day.
Regardless of the melanin levels in your skin, everyone is at risk of getting skin cancer so regularly using SPF can help protect you from UV damage.
You also want to be applying SPF multiple times a day, whilst not forgetting to apply to your neck, hands, arms and feet!
It is a lot more common for people of colour to suffer from hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tone regardless of the time of year. However, the sun doesn't help the cause and can make these specific skin conditions appear even more.
As a South Asian woman, I've experienced first-hand how quickly dark spots can appear in the summer as well as the build up of dark patches around the mouth and eyes.
While it's tempting to buy the TikTok trending cream that says it's going to fix our all of our problems, it may not be the wisest move.
The best way to combat these skin concerns is to use a 'broad-spectrum' sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB coverage (SPF 30 or more).
Additionally, make use of items that will protect you in the sun, like an oversized hat or umbrella to remain shaded.
Reducing Dark Circles in the Summer
Dark circles any time of the year can be a huge insecurity for people – especially when you're just trying to have a fresh face day in the beaming sunlight. As the skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the face, we're more susceptible to sun damage in this area.
So, what can we do to reduce the appearance of these dark circles in the summer?
- Apply cold compresses – This will constrict the blood vessels around the eyes to reduce uneven skin tone.
- Use your shades! – As well as looking super fly, your shades will protect your eyes from sun exposure and help keep hyper-pigmentation at bay.
- Retinoid creams – Most beauty stores and brands sell retinoid creams that reduce the melanin certain areas (melanin is what gives our skin its colour). We recommend consulting a doctor before using any retinoid based products.
- Getting a good nights sleep – The majority of people's dark circles come from a lack of adequate sleep. Be sure to sleep early and start the day fresh to help alleviate some of these skin concerns. The power of sleep is real!
Knowing the Signs of Skin Cancer
While darker skinned women are less likely to be diagnosed with skin cancers according to statistics, it doesn't rule it out completely. Plus, the lack of regular skin checks means that we could end up finding out about it when it's in an advanced stage (much more frightening..).
Let's talk about how to check yourself to know when something may be up:
- Check your face for any new or unusual marks or moles – perhaps a scab that won't heal or a bump that is growing in size. Check behind the ears, nose, and mouth area.
- Check your scalp for anything new or unusual, too – if you're rocking a protective hairstyle, get your hairstylist to give your scalp the once over.
- Make an appointment if you find anything – don't delay seeing your doctor! If a face-to-face consultation isn't available immediately, get an over-the-phone appointment booked in ASAP.
Exfoliate, Sis 🌿
Glowy skin is the goal for the summer, right? Well, exfoliating skin will be your best friend.
Before you get the creams and cleansers going, you'll want to deeply exfoliate your skin to remove any dead skin cells and promote healthy regrowth.
Exfoliating also does a world of good for brightening the skin, reducing acne, and for achieving that overall feel-good surface!
☀️ Brown Girl Suncare Tips: Summary
And that's a wrap!
We've discussed some of the most vital suncare tips you'll want to hold onto this summer szn. Although, don't forget the basics – like eating a wholesome diet and drinking a ton of water.
Remember, sunscreen and SPF is just as important for darker skin tones as it is for lighter ones and sometimes we can't always see the damage that is being done by the sun so be sure to protect yourself before it's too late.
What's some of your favourite sunny skincare hacks that you love? Let us know in the comments below. 👇