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BN Beauty: Keep your Skin Safe & Healthy! 10 Sunscreen Facts you Should Know

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What You Should Knwo About Suscreen - BellaNaija - June2013It’s still the early days of a new month and as happy as we are that it’s finally time for us to enjoy October we still have to remember that we have to remain extra careful of the elements; especially the sun. The sun has an intense effect on our skin. Now, a lot of dark skinned people have the belief that sunscreen is just for light skinned people or people of Caucasian decent but this isn’t true. Black people need sunscreen just as much as other people do. Both your skins are made of the same things and therefore are prone to the same elements.

So the big question is how do you spend as much time as you want outside without your skin being damaged? The answer is Sunscreen.

Sunscreen is basically any cream or lotion that is rubbed on the skin to protect it from the harsh effects of the sun. Sounds rehearsed right? But it’s true. The sun can cause a number of harm to come to your skin and body like Melanoma i.e: a tumour of melanin-forming cells that is associated with cancer; and fast ageing of the skin. I know you must have heard the saying “always wear sunscreen” a thousand and one times but something you may not know is how. You might also have been missing some of the most fundamental truths about sunscreen without knowing it. But do not fear… BN Beauty is here.

1. The first thing you want to note is that for the best result you should buy sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide. These are the key ingredients that protect your skin from UVB rays.

2. If you have sensitive skin, it is advisable for you to buy sunscreen products recommended for children. They have tender skin as do you and this would be better suited for your skin. Also ensure the lotion does not have any added fragrance; they usually do not mention what chemical has been used to make it and this might be harmful.

3. Sunscreen should be applied before any other type of lotion. The sunscreen needs adequate freedom and time to absorb into the skin and applying other lotions before it could hinder its effectiveness.

4. There are both spray-on and lotion sunscreens. The spray on sunscreen is better when it comes to easy application and doesn’t leave a build up after it has been applied. However, using a spray on sunscreen might make it difficult to trace where you have sprayed and haven’t and could be difficult to wash off. It is also not advisable for people with sensitive skin as it usually contains alcohol and this could irritate the skin.

5. The skin must be clean before application. The best time to apply sunscreen is right after a post-shower dry; your skin is still fresh and your pores open which allows for full absorption.

6. When buying sunscreen be sure to try it on a small patch of skin to check for irritation. After it has been tried and tested be sure not to ignore the back of your hand; it gets burnt easily.

7. You should apply a generous amount of sunscreen to your body; at least an ounce (a shot glass full) to the totality of your body.

8. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before you step out into the sun. This is because the skin needs this amount of time to properly absorb the lotion and when heading for the pool or beach re-apply every 3 hours to keep your skin safe.

9. If you are only applying the lotion to your face, be sure to include your neck and chest. This is because years down the line you could end up with sun damaged neck or chest.

10. There are different grades of sunscreen Sun Protection Factors (SPF); SPF50, SPF30, SPF15 etc. The higher the number does not necessarily mean the better it will protect your skin. You should take into consideration the intensity of the sun. SPF 50 only blocks about 1.3% more UVB than SPF15. To be safe think of it this way; short periods of time spent outside = SPF15; longer periods= SPF50.

Like my mama always says God, good food, lots of water, exercise and sunscreen; that’s the remedy for a great life. Got any sunscreen ideas or reviews? Don’t forget to share them.

Photo Credit: Allure.com

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of BellaNaija.com. Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at)bellanaija.com or style(at)bellanaija.com | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle

14 Comments

  1. elleven45

    October 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

    It’s good to know, no knowledge is a waste, but do Our sun affect the skin that we need sunglasses? And I mean who wants to stand under the sun for that long,.

    Meanwhile we’re back on
    elleven45.blogspot.com

  2. DocDeola

    October 9, 2013 at 11:33 am

    It is important to balance out the sides of the arguement. Black people don’t need extensive amounts of sunscreen – as they produce more melanin than their lighter skinned counterparts.
    As a result of melanin protection – resulting in darker skin colour, we don’t absorb vitamin D as easily as our lighter skinned counterparts. Lack of vit D results in Rickets, depression, amongst a range of other plethora of illnesses.
    If you are in Africa, sunscreen might be acceptable as there is a lot of intense sunshine, and perhaps covering the face and neck is acceptable, and living some other surface area un-sunblocked.
    Furthermore, if you are a muslim woman wearing a niqab/burka, you may be sun/vit D deficient and need supplements
    Also if you live in the UK or country with little or no sunshine, beware, excessive sun blocking may leave you deficient of vitamin D – a key nutrient.
    On the whole black people don’t tend to get melanoma and when they do like Bob Marley, it’s usually on the acral surface (hands and feet/nails), which really can’t have sunscreen applied anyway. Thanks

  3. Anonymissie

    October 9, 2013 at 11:41 am

    i’m soo waiting for comments to start rolling in. For me, i
    manage to use body cream (Lubriderm) getting a SPF is like a big
    deal cuz i’M not a cream freak. Wot are natural ways to keep my
    skin glowing and healthy?

  4. myHairmyBeautyNigeria.com

    October 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Actually regardless of your race and color you NEED sunscreen.
    90% of skin damage is a direct result of the sun.
    Also the only FDA approved level of SPF is 30, spf that go higher don’t necessarily provide more coverage, and they contain MORE chemicals.
    Buy a good spf 30 that has the consistency that does not leave your skin white and be sure to reapply when you know you’ll be out in the sun.
    Vitamin C serum also makes your sunscreen more potent.

    myHairmyBeautyNigeria.com

  5. Bee

    October 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    @DocDeola…I would assume sunscreen blocks just the UV rays and not the Vit D. Even SPF 200 (if it exists) would not block out Vit D and the sun is not the only source of vit D anyway. And i know this cos I am a Dr too.
    I believe sunscreen as the name implies only prevents the skin from sun damage.
    The only part that worries me is using an ounce all over your body…that is 30mls? It will finish now. I do just face and exposed parts cos the good sunscreens that do not leave a grey residue are expensive.

    • DocDeola

      October 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Lol, vit D is mostly available in the body as its precursor form and needs uv rays to produce the active metabolite through skin synthesis – melanin, which darker skinned people have in abundance inhibits this procedure. Sorry to lecture, it’s all in the ff link: uptodate.com/contents/metabolism-of-vitamin-d

  6. Chic

    October 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Coconut oil and shea butter also have a level of protection and can be used as sunscreen

    • Aanu

      October 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      I adopted coconut oil as my sunscreen and so far, I believe
      it’s working. It also moisturizes your skin without being very
      greasy and heavy.

  7. Glow

    October 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Very informative article.
    ….Like my mama always says God, good food, lots of water, exercise and sunscreen; that’s the remedy for a great life.
    You forgot good sleep ( rest) 🙂

  8. Mimi

    October 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide is a physical block sunscreen and should be applied after your moisturiser or serum, a chemical sunscreen is what should be applied before your moisturiser.

  9. lola

    October 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil etc. red raspberry seed oil blocks both uv rays and the other kind. i forgot the name now.

  10. Bee

    October 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Ok seen the link…I know that but what i’m saying is the amount of sunscreen u wear wont be enough to completely block out the rays. Remember we are different shades of ‘dark’…not forgetting the people who bleached. I always assumed oil will fry your skin but been using oils lately and its great.
    @annonymissie …any homemade scrub will make ur skin glow…sugar, any of the oils mentioned and fresh lemon juice or honey…but if you use lemon, u need sunscreen.

  11. Anonymissie

    October 10, 2013 at 10:54 am

    thanks bee

  12. Obagoblogcom

    March 21, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Been using shea butter… Is it okay? Check latest phone review and price here>> obagoblog.com

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