SPF - Why you need to use it daily, even in the winter!
As it gets colder outside, it's easy to push your sunscreen aside and skip that step in your daily skincare routine. It's no longer sunny so why bother, right?
Sunscreen is largely promoted in stores to encourage people to use SPF in the summer. However it isn’t promoted much in any other season. In fact, during the summertime it is on the front shelves of stores and by autumn/winter it’s moved towards a back shelf somewhere.
This can lead people to think that sunscreen isn’t as important in the winter. What normally motivates many to wear sunscreen is the risk of sun-burn or irritated skin in the heat of summer. It’s the instant and physical effects that we can see happen to our skin that causes us to use it.
There are even people who do not use SPF at all, as a woman of colour I have many friends and family who do not see the point of using SPF, especially in the winter. This is because they have more melanin in their skin so they do not experience most of the physical effects that people with less melanin (caucasian, people with fairer skin tones etc) tend to experience.
What is Melanin?
Melanin is a dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals. It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight.
However contradictory to popular belief, EVERYONE (no matter their skin tone) should wear SPF all the time! This is because sunscreen doesn’t just protect you from wrinkles or sunburn. It’s certainly not about the fear of looking older than you are in the future. SPF protects you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
What are UV rays?
UV Ray stands for Ultraviolet radiation. These are invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun which can burn the skin, and cause skin cancer.
These UV rays are always active, even on a cloudy day. Just because we cannot see the sun does not mean it isn’t there. Everyday and every time you go outside it’s important to make sure you are wearing sunscreen. Any and even little exposure to the sun (running errands, putting the bins out, driving in your car) will harm your skin in the long run.
If the fact that skin cancer can be prevented by applying sunscreen everyday doesn’t persuade you then I’m judging you, LOL.
All jokes aside, as a woman of colour I am prone to hyperpigmentation and scarring just like most people of colour. If you are trying to lighten dark marks and hyperpigmentation then you need to wear SPF. If you don’t wear SPF you are allowing your scars to get even darker and there is no point in you using any other products to help with your dark marks if your not wearing sunscreen. Besides, a lot of products that have been formulated to lighten dark marks contain ingredients that actually make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. This means your skin can become even more damaged if your not protecting it with SPF.
I hope this post has encouraged you to wear SPF if you aren’t already. If you want to protect your skin as best as possible then I recommend using SPF 30 or higher. I personally use SPF 50 all year round.
Recommended sunscreens SPF 30 or higher:
Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel SPF 50 - great for oily skin & no grey tint!
SunSense Daily Face SPF50 - invisible tint!