‘I’ve got melanin, so I’ll probably be fine without SPF'

Wrong! Here's why you need sunscreen, even if you have melanin.

Skin Education | 


If ‘I’ve got melanin, so I’ll probably be fine,’ is something you have ever said, you've got to read this. 


While it is true that melanin offers some protection from sun damage, lowering the likelihood of skin cancer and sunburn, the protection we get naturally is far from absolute. Here’s why we think SPF is a must for everyone, regardless of skin tone. There's a “shielding” effect of melanin, given its ability to serve as a physical barrier that scatters UVR, and as an absorbent filter that reduces the penetration of UV through the epidermis. But, the skin's natural level of SPF protection is looooooow, and although this increases slightly with darker skin tones, it's still not enough protection to ward off the damaging effects.



Prevention is way better than cure. 

We know this is the kind of thing your mom says, but we’re going to say it anyway. Here’s some tough love: Sun damage is cumulative and irreversible. Some instances of sun damage, like sunburn, can eventually heal with proper treatment. Guess what, though? The breakdown of collagen is much more difficult to repair. A step further, and mutated skin cells are beyond repair. They can even become cancerous. 

That’s why we think the best solution to sun damage is to not even go there. 

So, wearing sunscreen is a must. 


Still unconvinced?

Let's look at the science: Here are the types of UV rays and the degrees of effects they have on skin health.


UVA (315-400nm)

UVB (280-320nm)

UVC (100-280nm)

95% of UV radiation.

5% of UV radiation.

UVC is the most harmful type of radiation of all, however, most of the UVC emitted by the sun is blocked by the Earth's atmosphere and hence less of a concern for the skin.

Penetrates deep into the dermis and creates free radicals that break down collagen.

Penetrates skin up to the epidermis (outer) layer.

Passes through windows and clouds.

Does not pass through windows, protected from UVB when indoors.


Although the main source of UV radiation comes from the sun, cosmetic tanning such as sun beds using artificial UV light can also cause identical effects. Maybe skip the tanning beds? 


Let’s talk about the effects

Tanning - Hyperpigmentation

Be careful with tanning. 

Excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays can lead to unwanted pigmentation. Both types of UV rays cause the skin to produce excess melanin, which is the skin's natural pigment and the first line of defence against UV radiation. This excess melanin can cause existing hyperpigmentation to darken, leaving your skin looking uneven and patchy . 

Even melanin-rich skin is vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV radiation, like sunburn.

Sunburn - Erythema

Sunburn. Love to hate it, and it’s a common result of excessive exposure to UVB radiation. This radiation causes skin cells damage and dilated blood vessels, leading to increase blood flow to repair the damaged skin, resulting in visible redness, swelling, and inflammation. Depending on your natural skin tone, sunburn can occur immediately or up to 24 hours after exposure. 

Photoaging – Wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots

These common signs of aging are caused by exposure to sunlight, also known as photoaging. UVA rays, in particular, generate free radicals known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which activate enzymes in the dermis of the skin to degrade collagen and elastin, important proteins for skin elasticity. The result? Skin that appears older and less supple than it should be. (And, by the way, if you’re using a retinoid or an exfoliator, you’ll be undoing the effects of these things by skipping out on SPF!) 

Skin Cancer – Self-explanatory 

The sun's UVB rays can cause direct damage to the DNA in our skin cells, leading to mutations that can cause skin cancer. While our bodies have some natural mechanisms to prevent and correct these mutations, excessive exposure to UV radiation can overwhelm these mechanisms, leading to both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. 

Protecting your skin from UV radiation with sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer.


Final Reminder 


These effects exist, regardless of tone! All those myths about darker skin tones being protected are just that–myths! We’re saying it because we love you! If you want to bring your skin to its most healthiest self, our motto is: Don’t skip the sunscreen!

Let's talk


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