How does the sun affect skin types differently?
The sun plays a huge role in the health of our skin. It can determine how quickly our skin ages, can cause dark spots and in certain cases can even skin cancer. There are benefits and drawbacks to the sun. It can help our bodies produce Vitamin D, which is a crucial vitamin to our health, but it can also cause long-term skin damage. Today we’re looking at the different ways the sun can impact our skin by looking at how it affects different skin tones and skin types.
How Skin Color Reacts in the Sun
Dark skin has certain advantages in the sun as there is more melanin present in this skin type. This melanin prevents skin from developing sunburn or skin cancer as quickly as fairer skin types might. However the increased level of protection does not mean that people with olive, brown or black skin should avoid putting on SPF. Darker skin types can also get skin cancer and are often diagnosed too late, unlike those with fairer skin. Also darker skin is more likely to have acne scarring and dark spots because it produces more melanin.
Fairer skin is more susceptible to sun damage and is more likely to burn in the sun. Fair skin has a shorter time span of self-protection in the sun. If you have very fair skin, moles on your skin, or a history of melanoma in your family you need to be extremely careful when in the sun.
Whether your skin is dark or fair you should always protect your skin with broad spectrum SPF every single day, rain or shine. It’s also crucial to check your skin for abnormalities such as unusually shaped moles or unhealed sores, something most people fail to do. A study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology showed that while most people suspect they may have sun damage they fail to self-inspect or seek professional help: “Despite the majority of people surveyed (58 percent) who believe they are at risk for sun damage, half of them have never checked their own skin or had a medical professional check their skin for sun-damage related skin conditions.”
How Different Skin Types are affected by the Sun
Oily skin is naturally more resistant to sun than other skin. The extra oil acts as an extra layer of protection against the sun’s rays. Your skin is less likely to burn than other skin types and in fact may tan quicker. Just don’t forget to apply a non-comedogenic and lightweight SPF so as to not clog your pores. Since your skin is oily, clogged pores can result in blackheads or breakouts if the oil becomes trapped. Also make sure to wear at least SPF 15 to protect your skin from sun exposure.
Sensitive skin can react adversely to sun exposure. In severe cases itching and rashes can occur on sensitive skin. This is more likely to happen on skin that is more sensitive because you are using products formulated with retinoids or AHAs and if you are taking certain medications. The best way to safeguard sensitive skin is by using SPF but be mindful of the type you apply. “For people with extremely sensitive skin (or people who had certain procedures done such as chemical peels), generally we recommend that they use Physical filters such as Titanium Dioxide and avoid using Chemical UV Filters,” says Nannan Chen, Associate Principal Scientist, Garnier Scientific Affairs.
Sun exposure can further dry out this skin type because it may decrease moisture and essential oils from skin’s surface. Dry skin can appear exceptionally parched in appearance, look flaky and feel tight to the touch after being exposed to the sun. You can protect dry skin by moisturizing and protecting it with SPF. Kill two birds with one stone by using a product that is hydrating and protects you from the sun. We recommend Garnier SkinActive’s Moisture Rescue Actively Hydrating Daily Lotion SPF 15. Its moisturizing, non-comedogenic formula is infused with glycerin which helps keep skin actively hydrated. It also strengthens skin's barrier to protect against moisture loss while protecting skin from the sun.