Summer Suncare and Protection for Darker Skin
Questions have come in to Dr. Moondust about Skin Protector Plus (SPP) and suncare for darker skin, especially in our hotter summer months. As a biologist and cancer researcher, her answers lead back to the reason Moondust Cosmetics® was founded. The SPF scale on suncare products served many skin tones, so her efforts went to fairer skinned people, and those who get easily sunburnt and are at greatest risk of skin cancer. The truly protective product she formulated was for the sun sensitive and those with skin cancer concerns –vulnerable themselves as it was in the family or recovering from skin cancer and so cautious.
APF the apoptosis protection factor addressed that and the now famous Human Sunburn Cycle.
APF is highly effective and a measurement of protection. Moondust’s signature product, SPP, is aimed at fairer skin, wherever it is on the black to white spectrum. SPF according to Dr. Moondust, is OK for darker skinned people, but people with the least melanin in their skin require APF in their suncare products for reliable protection.’ Fairer skin gets easily sunburnt, and is most vulnerable to be a victim of skin cancer.
Skin Care for Darker Skin
It is a common misconception, even amongst up to 60% of black Americans in a Skin Cancer Foundation survey, who said they have never used sunscreen that dark skin does not burn. All skin should be cared for well and protected and many products on the market address the particular needs of people of colour. It’s not just for colour matching the creams to apply. Healthy appearing, feeling, glowing and smooth skin is desired by all.
Dr. Moondust has this to share on the topic of suncare for darker skin:
Melanin can make skin more sensitive to irritation, which leads to inflammation which can result not only in discomfort but hyper-pigmentation – a concern for skin care and aesthetics for people of colour.
There are at least four different types of melanin that people produce when they tan – red, yellow, brown, and black and if you are in this category, then SPF will help to protect your skin from sun damage. You will require an increasingly higher SPF value from black to red depending on the colour of melanin your body manufactures.
A minority of people do not tan, they only burn in the sun (sunburn cycle diagram) which involves cell death and peeling. Again, SPF, no matter how high the values, is not effective for such people since it does not prevent cell death (or apoptosis) and they require suncare products with APF (apoptosis protection factor) since such individuals are the most susceptible to skin cancer.
Moondust’s SPP is pleasant to apply and to reapply. It moisturizes, protects, is friendly to the environment, even reef safe at the beach and safe to use to the human body due to its formulation.
Types of suncare
Sunscreens you will find in your marketplace are of two kinds: chemical or mineral.
Moondust is a mineral based suncare product. That is, it has a physical barrier that is visible as you apply it, due to its zinc oxide content.
This can be a little bit tricky on darker skin as traditionally mineral sunscreens leave you with a white cast that is not as desirable, but Moondust’s SPP does absorb well and the physical shield you apply is highly protective for those concerned about cancer or burning.
Mineral sunscreens are particularly helpful for dark skin because they use zinc oxide to deflect heat, while also blocking UVB and UVA sun rays. It keeps the skin from overheating which leads to inflammation and melanin-rich skin is then prone to hyperpigmentation.
More on the myth of protection
SPF is ok for darker people, but people with the least melanin in their skin require APF in their suncare products for real protection. Light or dark skinned should be concerned with sun exposure and especially sun-damaged skin. It makes you look older earlier and you could also get skin cancer.
The melanin in dark skin may offer some protection from the sun’s rays, but not always enough to avoid skin cancer. True the rate of skin cancer in people of color is lower than in those with fair skin, but it is deadlier as the assumption of safety means the early signs are missed.
Lavish love on your skin and take care of it and all of the rest of you this summer. If Skin Protector Plus (SPP) is right for you or someone you love, visit Moondust’s website to find out more.
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