Growing up, I too, had this crazy ridiculous idea that darker equals no need for sunscreen. I was under the impression that my skin tone was magical and would protect me no matter how bright the sun or how warm the weather.
Turns out I was pretty much wrong...
- One: My skin wasn’t and still isn’t as dark as I believe it to be.
- Two: My skin is isn’t a shield of armor that is impenetrable from UV rays.
- Three: The skin I am in is beautiful and magical, but doesn’t deflect ultraviolet radiation from the sun that happens to be damaging to all skin no matter what tone you're working with.
The fact of the matter is that all skin needs protection from the sun, some more than others. It’s true that those of us with richer skin tones do have an advantage by being blessed with melanin. Fact: Melanin provides our skin natural defenses against the UV radiation emitted from the sun, but UV damage can still occur depending on how much radiation we are exposed to.
Middle school science may have downplayed the fact that the super duper hot ball of radiation that helps hold our planet system in tact known as the sun also emits radiation riddled ultraviolet waves. Ultraviolet waves, much like chlamydia, are unseeable to the human eye. Too much radiation is just as good as getting stabbed in the eye two times with a rusted Phillips screwdriver.
It’s true you may not get sunburn right away if you are on the melanated side, but sun damage is a real live thing, as is the by product skin cancer. By using sunscreen you are protecting your skin from UV damage and decreasing the risk of skin cancer.
Bottom line: Don’t leave your skin unprotected no matter how deep your skin is.