Being born with naturally golden or brown skin can be a blessing and a curse. Flaunting that beautiful color in the summer is tempting. But in speaking with women that have olive and darker skin in general ,one will noitice a very nonchalant attitude about using sun protection. As if the natural melanin is enough. Not true. Last year at the L’Oreal Advanced Suncare Summit with a number of skincare experts including Dr Gervaise (NY dermatologist and L’Oreal board of dermatologist) the panel confirmed that darker skin needs just as much protection as our fair skin friends.
New Jersey is home to some of the states best dermatologists and skincare experts. Dr. Dimitry Rabkin, founder and Medical Director of Esthetica MD . in Englewood , NJ was available to answer questions on the best ways to protect olive and brown skin from sun damage.
Regarding deeper skin tones and sun care
“We all know about the importance of sun protection due to the damage caused to the skin by solar radiation. However,for individuals with darker skin, exposure to sun creates different types of challenges” says Dr Rabkin
“Darker pigment in the dermis protects the cells better against UVA radiation, which leads to aging and DNA related changes. That would explain a lower incidence of basal cell and melanoma skin cancers in people of color, However, this should not give you a false sense of security, because skin’s ability to produce melanin easily also leads to a higher risk of pigmentation when exposed to the sun, particularly post acne. That is why we often see dark patches that occur post-inflammation in a higher Fitzpatrick.
This means that you should use sunscreen regularly, particularly when planning to be in the sun for an extended period of time. Look for formulas with micro-sponge or micro-incapsulated technology when choosing a physical sunscreen. This would prevent a purplish tint or ashiness that many physical sunscreens containing Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide give to darker skin
Another important factor to protect a skin with higher Fitzpatrick is to feed it with gentle form of Vitamin A (beta-carotene or retinyl palmitate) and Vitamin C plus anti-oxidants. Nothing approaches Vitamin A ability to protect the skin. Look for moisturizers containing good quality of Vitamins A & C.”
What about tinted SPF’s?
Dr Rabkin says. “Cosmetics with built-in SPF alone aren’t enough to do the job (and are bound leave you with plenty of unprotected spots, unless you’re into the kabuki look). Treat makeup as an added layer of protection, not your main source.”
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to rethink your suncare routine . Here are some product suggestions to get started.
- For the body
- Coola Mineral and Organic SPF lotions and Sprays
- Natures Gate (Organic)
- For optimal face protection
- Collagenesis Daily Defense Serum Suncreen Serum by Skinn
- L’Oreal Silky Sheer 50+ (endorsed by Dermatologist)
- Coola SPF facial creams
- Hydro Peptide Solar Serum SPF
- Tinted Options
- Urban Decay Body Balm SPF 20 (Vegan and skin tightening)
- Miracle Skin Transformers Tinted Body Balm SPF 20
- Bliss Fat Girl Slim body spray Tint SPF (slimming effects)
- In general the average adult should apply between 2.5 and 3 ounces (about a shot glass full) for adequate protection.