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I’ve always known about sunscreens. As a little girl, I just knew it as a product that could block sun rays from the skin. But I never really saw it as something essential or important. I only thought of it as a product white people needed to avoid sunburn. So I, a dark skinned girl who had lots of melanin to protect her, needed none of that.
Fast forward to my late teenage years, when I began to notice the glaring difference in my skin tone between when I was in school, constantly walking under the sun and during the holidays when I was mostly indoors. That was when I started to rethink the whole “melanin protection” idea. Don’t get me wrong, melanin actually helps. But is it enough? Not at all! After all my findings, I still didn’t see purchasing a sunscreen as something important up until recently, when I noticed there was a lot of hype surrounding sunscreens, especially from very reliable skincare and beauty influencers. So I finally purchased one.
When I got my first sunscreen, I used it only when I was going under the sun, literally. So on cloudy days, I would just skip. If you do this or you’re about to do this or maybe you’ve been thinking about it, just keep it in mind that a whole 80% of the UV rays you’re trying to avoid pass through the clouds so you better put that thing on!
I’ve been using my sunscreen properly and consistently for a while now and it has been 100% worth it. So I decided to answer the three questions I get asked the most about sunscreens!
What is a sunscreen?
Like I said earlier, a sunscreen is any product that absorbs or reflects some of the ultra violet rays from the sun.
The sun’s UV rays are harmful and can cause a lot of skin care problems ranging from sunburn, premature aging, wrinkling, skin discoloration to a more serious condition, skin cancer.
What sunscreen should I purchase?
When you are purchasing a sunscreen, look out for the broad spectrum ones. They provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays. I would also advice that you get one with an spf value of 30 and above for maximum protection.
Personally, I use missha essence, spf 45 for my kinda sensitive skin and so far it has been great with no form of irritation. You can purchase it here. If you want to know your skin type before making a purchase, you can check out my article on skin types.
How do I apply a sunscreen?
- Apply a reasonable amount of the sunscreen on the exposed parts of your body about 15 minutes before you step out
- It should be the last step of your skincare routine i.e after your moisturizer
- Always reapply sunscreen after 2 hours of sun exposure or after contact with water
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