Sunscreen, the Fall, and African Americans.

Written by Ebony Clay


Posted on January 18 2021

As fall and winter arrive, there vanish the need for sunscreen – or so we thought so.

Sunscreens hold immense importance for the skin in all seasons. This is because they are to protect against sunrays, and the sun is present all year long. Even if the sun stays hid behind clouds, know it is there, to adversely affect your skin unless you plan to stop it.


Sunrays and their Harm

The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays, with 2 of them reaching the earth: UVA and UVB. Easily distinguished, the UVB rays affect the surface of the skin, causing sunburns. Whilst the UVA rays are the dangerous ones – penetrating within the skin to cause aging, wrinkles, and skin-cancer in extreme cases.

SPF Factor and the Sunscreen Dilemma

To protect oneself against these harmful rays, deciding what sunscreen to use is always a dilemma. The ‘Sun Protection Factor (SPF)’ of a sunscreen determines how strongly it is bound to protect the skin against harmful rays, with a higher factor representing greater protection. For instance, an SPF 30 would allow 3% of the rays through to your skin, whilst an SPF 50 would mean only 2% penetrate.


The SPF factor you choose depends upon your skin, its color and sensitivity, however it is recommended to use a minimum of SPF 30 for all-around protection. The sunscreen could be in the form of sprays, gels, or creams (good for face). When making choice of sunscreen, it is imperative to ensure it is UVA and UVB protected, whilst also being water–resistant. This is because water, snow, and sand, all reflect the sunrays, multiplying the effect on the skin – also why sunscreen is important to be used in winter.

CBD sunscreens are the newest trend in the market. Containing Cannabidiol, they promote wellness of the body, and are known to provide a ‘natural layer’ of SPF on the skin. With these products taking the market by storm, many famous brands include SunnyDaze, Wink, Divios, and more.


Protection in Fall/Winter

Since snow reflects sunrays, it is important to establish a skin-care routine for such dry weathers.

• Sunscreen must be worn. An SPF 30, or above works wonders.

• Provide greater coverage for your skin by wearing clothes which aren’t too sheer for sunrays to pass through. An easier feat in winter since all of us must be donning gloves, and jackets, etc.

• Keep your lips hydrated; a lip balm with high SPF works wonders for dry skin.

• Have vitamin-rich foods; A balanced diet is important, especially with Vitamin-C-rich fruits. Such have anti-oxidants bound to fight against harm of the sunrays.

• For women, purchasing cosmetic products with SPF is an efficient way of skin protection.


Debunking Myth; African-Americans do not need sunscreen.

Melanin is a pigment in the skin which gives makes it darker. Naturally, African-Americans have high Melanin in their body, which is why it is thought that they have a natural sunscreen, and thus do not need any protection. This is certainly not the case, because albeit having high Melanin, it only works as strong as perhaps and SPF 13 sunscreen – which is way below the protection level a regular individual, requires (SPF 30). Due to the myth, many African-Americans do not apply sunscreen, resulting in adverse effects on their skin – especially making them prone to skin cancer.

Equipped with all this knowledge on the sun and its doings – now is the time to protect your melanin, for the upcoming season.