Okay, Let’s Just Get One Beauty Myth Out of the Way!
One sports day I remember my best friend’s grandmother slathering sun cream all over my friend’s skin, and me being the curious 7 year old I was I asked if I could use some. ‘You don’t need it’ my friend’s grandmother said as she continued applying generous amounts. I didn’t understand what she meant at the time but as I grew up I came to believe that black skin and SPF did not go together. Or so I thought..
There’s a myth out there that if you have darker skin you don’t need products designed to protect your skin against the sun, which is as true as pigs having wings and being able to fly. Melanin is a pigment within the skin and the more melanin one has, the darker the skin. With melanin acting as a protector against harmful sun rays it’s a given that the darker your skin the more protected you are, but while this may indeed be true it’s arguably not enough to rely on your skin alone to fend off these cancer causing rays. I used to believe that the colour of my skin made me immune from needing to use SPF, but my belief was challenged some years ago when a loved one had a skin cancer scare and from that point onwards I’ve been diligent about protecting my skin.
The saying ‘black don’t crack‘ most definitely has truth to it and the women in my family are proof of that (hopefully this foretells my own fate), but genetics alone won’t allow me to take risks so I’m a fully fledged member of the SPF club. Lately I’ve been dabbling in SPF’s and I’ve found two that have done well performing under the sweltering suns of Cairo and Saudi Arabia where I’m currently staying. Temperature in Saudi Arabia is known to reach 50 degrees Celsius so if an SPF can make it here then it can most definitely make it anywhere!
First we have the La Roche-Posay Anthelios AC Matte Extreme Fluid SPF30* which shows its worth when your skin is looking super oily and greasy enough to fry an egg. It’s mattifying so you won’t have that greasy film that SPF’s usually leave, but one concern I have is that it does give my skin the dreaded purple look so I usually mix a couple of drops into my moisturiser to longer have that issue however that’s overridden by the fact it protects the skin against UVA and UVB rays – so many SPF’s on the market don’t protect against both. But when I need something a little stronger especially during the sunnier days I’ve been reaching for Estée Lauder’s newly released DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50* which I have no complaints about apart from the really long name. For such a moisturising product it’s quite surprising that there’s none of that purple film business so wearing it alone is totally fine regardless of how dark your skin is. And not only does it fight those evil UV rays, but free radicals too with its Super Anti-Oxidant Complex which Estée Lauder have found to be more effective than other widely used antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, Q10 and kinetin.
And there you have it – a super lengthy myth busting post. Wear your SPF ladies!