Just because you are a Black beauty doesn’t mean your skin is protected from the sun. Yes, melanin is amazing, but it is not enough to prevent damage.
Just because you may not see a sunburn doesn’t mean your skin is damage-free. Casual sun exposure, like driving a car, running, walking or gardening, can be the most damaging because it occurs on a daily basis over a long period of time. It can have a cumulative effect, showing up as deep wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, leathery skin, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer.
Protection is a Must
While skin cancer is more prevalent in white people, late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more common in Hispanic and Black patients than in non-Hispanic white patients and therefore have a worse prognosis. There is a 67% estimated five-year survival rate for African American patients verses 92% for white patients. By using sunscreen you can decrease your chances of getting melanoma, so start protecting your skin and your family at a young age—and if you don’t usually wear sunscreen, now is a great time to start.
Applying SPF is great way to protect your skin, even if you are only going out for a short period of time—add it as the last step to your daily skincare routine so it becomes a habit.
And don’t skip it because it can leave a dull, white cast on your skin, finding one that works for dark skin types is too important—and totally possible. Neutrogena®Invisible Daily™ Defense is developed with UVA/UVB protection and invisible on all skin tones, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth with no white cast. Apply liberally and reapply at least every 2 hours—click here for tips on the best way to apply sunscreen so you get great coverage.
And don’t forget about your eyes and lips. Wear UV-protective sunglasses in your favorite style when outdoors to prevent dark circles and sun damage around your eyes. And there are many lip products available that contain full-spectrum protection, so choose one with an SPF of 30 or more. In addition to preventing sunburn and sun damage, sunscreen can also help fade lip discoloration, so it’s a win-win.
Early Detection is Everything
The rate of skin cancer is rising in the U.S. and it can affect people of any race, sex, or age. But when detected early, survival rates can be almost 100%. There are ways you can weave preventative practices into your own skincare routine. Checking for skin cancer sounds overwhelming, but the truth is, it’s an easy add-on and self-checking can save your life.
Take just a few moments each month to prioritize your skin. You could uncover skin cancer before it becomes a bigger problem. Click here for the Neutrogena® guide to a full body skin cancer check. Simply follow the steps, and in less than 10 minutes, you’ll be done and onto the rest of your day. Just keep in mind that melanoma tends to show up in hard-to-find areas on darker skin, like under hands and feet, inside the nose and mouth, and under fingernails and toenails. Set an appointment in your phone to remind yourself to do it every month.
If you want to learn more about sun damage, click here to read the Neutrogena® ABCs to detecting skin cancer.