Suncreen and Dark Skin
1. We always get told that people with darker skins don’t have to worry about
sunscreen because their pigment is so much darker, but is this statement true at all?
Everyone under the sun should use sunscreen. Melanin offers some natural protection against UVB radiation.
Dark skin is said to have a natural SPF of 13.4, whereas light skin is said to have a natural
SPF of only 3.4. This means people with darker skin tones have a natural SPF of 13” —but when it comes to the sun’s damaging effects, the power of melanin is hugely
2. Can you get sunburnt if you have darker skin?
While darker-skinned individuals, those with Fitzpatrick phototype V and VI, can stay
safely in the sun for longer than lighter-skinned individuals, sunburn isn’t out of the
Sometimes a sunburn on dark skin does not appear red, but rather tight, painful, or hot to
the touch. When dark skin is exposed to too much sunlight, black people can suffer from
3. Why do you think there is this misconception that you don’t need sunscreen
if you are dark of complexion?
This comes out because people with dark complexion are often left out of clinical trials
and treatments, therefore there is little research available about sun damage on darkskinned people and skin cancer.
All we know is dark skinned individuals can stay safely in the sun for longer than lighterskinned individuals, but we do not know long term effects of that and what damages occur
4. What are the necessary precautions you then need to take to protect
Regardless of skin tone, everyone should wear a sunscreen because, “anyone can get
skin cancer, regardless of age, gender or race.
Wear protective clothes, wear a large brim heat and stay under the shade.
5. Do you require a higher or lower SPF, how would all of that work?
SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”, that indicates how effectively a sunscreen
protects against harmful UVB rays. If you have dark skin, you have a natural SPF of 13.
For example, SPF 15 (offering more protection than naturally dark skin) blocks out only
93% of sunburn-causing UVB rays, SPF of 30 blocks 96.7% of UVB rays while an SPF
of 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays.
6. If you are dark of complexion are you also prone to wrinkles and sagging?
Would this process begin much later than sooner for you?
The sun emits two types of ultraviolet radiation that pose a threat to our skin:
UVA and UVB rays.
The main culprits behind sunburn are UVB rays. UVA rays are responsible for premature
aging. Ageing happens latter in dark skin; it’s delayed due to genetics.
7. Any final advice or tips you would like to share?
Regardless of skin tone, everyone should wear a sunscreen because, “sunscreen is an
important part of a complete sun protection strategy.
Make sure you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect
your skin from UV rays. Find a sunscreen that’s easy to apply and gets rubbed in easy
on your skin on www.dermisboutique.co.za.
Sunscreen helps to keep the melanin magical and the skin healthy.