Fall Sunscreen Tips for Black Skin

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean your sunscreen routine is. We share fall sunscreen tips for Black skin you should know about. 

According to a poll by CeraVe and OnePoll, 96% of all adults fail to apply sunscreen every day. Studies show that Black people are four times more likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage melanoma. And they tend to succumb at a rate of 1.5 times more than White people with a similar diagnosis.

As fall rolls in, using a 100% mineral-based broad-spectrum sunscreen daily is essential to protecting your skin and minimizing damage. These sunscreens contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and sometimes both. They protect against harmful UV rays that can lead to sun damage, dry skin, premature signs of aging and skin cancer. With mineral-based sunscreen you can go outside right away. It takes 20 minutes for chemical sunscreen to absorb into your skin in order to work.

Dallas-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. DiAnne Davis refers to sunscreen as “one of the holy grails in skincare.” The best sunscreens available, she notes, actively improve skin by replacing natural lipids called ceramides.

“Ceramides are one of the building blocks found naturally in skin, and as we get older, we start to lose the ceramides that help us maintain a healthy skin barrier,” she explains. “That’s why I recommend products that contain essential ceramides, which lock in moisture to help prevent dryness, irritation and environmental damage.”

Ceramides should be in everything from your moisturizer to sunscreen. In fact, according to new insights from a peer-reviewed publication featured in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology titled “Efficacy of Ceramide-Containing Formulations on UV-Induced Skin Surface Barrier Alterations,” a skincare regimen that includes a moisturizer and sunscreen formulated with ceramides can help protect against UV-induced skin barrier damage and improve skin barrier health overall against chronic sun exposure.

Dr. Davis shares the following tips to establish a sunscreen routine that will carry you into the colder months of the year.

Understand sunscreen is necessary for all skin types. People of all skin types and tones need broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays for optimal skin health. There are a wide range of products to suit different skin types and concerns. If your skin is sensitive or easily irritated, you might opt for a mineral-based sunscreen containing ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Mineral-based sunscreens create a barrier on the skin’s surface to effectively protect from the sun’s harmful rays.

Choose a sunscreen developed by dermatologists. Find sunscreens formulated with ingredients that not only protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays but also provide additional skincare benefits. A surprising number of people are unaware that sunscreen can provide extra beauty benefits. It can hydrate the skin and provide barrier-restoring ingredients like ceramides. 

Make it a habit. Use sunscreen each day regardless of the weather—even when indoors. Since UVA and UVB rays can penetrate through clouds and UVA rays can also penetrate through windows, Dr. Davis advises applying a high-quality hydrating sunscreen as part of your daily routine—all day, every day, year-round. “Sunscreen isn’t just for pool days but for fall activities too, like attending a football game or picking your favorite pumpkin from the patch,” she notes. “Even indoors, you still have exposure to the sun through your windows.”

Reapply sunscreen generously and frequently. The FDA recommends generously reapplying a broad-spectrum SPF at least every two hours, starting 15 minutes before you leave. In general, an average-size adult or child needs at least one ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) to evenly cover the body.

Knowing the facts about sun care and skincare can help keep your skin protected and healthy. Make sure that sunscreen is on your list of daily must-haves, no matter the season!

Here are a handful of sunscreens to consider adding to your daily routine:

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Sheer Tint optimizes three essential ceramides to restore the skin barrier, plus hyaluronic acid to maintain moisture and niacinamide to soothe irritation. The tinted, 100% mineral-based sunscreen offers a sheer, natural finish that blends seamlessly into skin while providing all-day hydration and a healthy glow.

Black Girl Sunscreen 30 SPF is infused with natural ingredients and formulated with melanated skin in mind. With a lightweight application, BGS dries completely clear and protects melanin without the white cast. 

Mele provides daily, nongreasy SPF 30 protection from the sun and environmental aggressors. Lightweight and fast absorbing, Mele protects melanin-rich skin. The sunscreen has no parabens, phthalates, alcohol or mineral oil. 

Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 was created by tennis pro Venus Williams. The broad-spectrum mineral-based SPF is lightweight and combines sun protection with silky hydration. 

Unsun offers mineral-based tinted sunscreens for a variety of skin tones, face and body highlighters and hand cream.