You may be thinking this article isn’t for you, but sis, our skin gets burned too. Sure there is a higher concentration of eumelanin in deeper skin tones, but having a deeper skin tone does not translate to having built-in UV radiation protection.
Signs you may be experiencing damage from too much sun exposure include:
- Tight Skin
- A Burning or Heat Sensation
- Plastic-Like Skin Texture
Even with the enhanced photoprotective properties of Black skin, it’s not 100 percent coverage. In general, all skin colors are susceptible to sun damage. Since our beautiful melanin isn’t synonymous with 'full-coverage' sunblock, prevention is essential. The other alternative is premature aging and potential hyperpigmentation.
It might sound crazy but a lot of folks still get sunburned because they don’t completely follow the sunblock directions. Did you know you’re supposed to reapply every two hours? If you’re doing physical activities or getting wet, it’s more like every hour for reapplication. Plus sunscreen should be applied before you leave the house, it needs at least 15 minutes to soak into your skin and offer you maximum protection.
There are two types of rays your sunscreen is combating, UVB (responsible for burning) and UVA (the culprit for aging). Chemical sunscreen absorbs these harmful rays, catalyzes the chemical reaction from the sun into heat, and then your body releases that heat. You should know that chemical sunscreens are typically formulated to absorb either UVB or UVA, but not both.
Physical or mineral sunscreen on the other hand reflects UV radiation off of your skin and acts like a blanket of protection. Mineral sunscreen formulas reflect both the radiation responsible for aging and burning. So there’s no need to pick which kinda sun damage takes priority over another.
Wrinkles, sunspots, and skin cancer are signs of UVA damage.
Sunburn Treatment for Black Skin
A big part of aftercare is identifying the best after-sun products to promote healing, soothe damaged skin, and even out any discoloration from excessive sun exposure. When the skin is damaged from too much UV exposure it looses its ability to retain moisture at its normal capacity. So how you moisture is a key player in how well your healing goes.
The Best Ingredients to Treat Sunburns
Aloe Promotes Moisture Retention, Plus it Cools Hot Skin
If you apply soy milk or oatmeal paste to the affected areas, this will help the damaged skin retain moisture as well as hydrate the new skin underneath.
Hydrocortisone Cream, for really bad burns its recommended to visit your health provider and ask them for a Prescription topical hydrocortisone cream.
Coconut Oil Softens the Skin, Promoting Healthy Peeling
Dink a lot of water to rehydrate your parched skin.
There are a couple things you shouldn’t do. “Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction,” warns the American Academy of Dermatology Academy. Don't exfoliate either. Despite how it may seem, exfoliating prematurely exposes the fresh, tender skin underneath the damaged skin and disrupts the healing process.
Treating the discomfort that comes from too much sun is pretty straightforward. Keep cool by taking cold showers, applying aloe after-sun care gel, and staying covered up in direct sunlight. But to treat the damaged skin, especially on your face and neck, the skin needs good clean care, lots of moisture, and no picking at peeling skin.