Protect your skin

It has been a long winter but spring is finally here. I’m sure you can’t wait to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather, the serenades of birds in the morning, the fresh air and blue skies. But while you outside, remember to protect your skin. Here are ways that you can do that.

The best way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. Ultraviolet light — the invisible but intense rays of the sun — damages your skin, causing deep wrinkles, dry, rough skin, liver spots, and more serious disorders, such as no cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) skin tumors.

For the most complete sun protection, use all three of these methods:

  • Avoid the sun during high-intensity hours. The sun's rays are most damaging from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reduce the time you spend outdoors during these hours.

  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also, keep in mind that certain clothing styles and fabrics offer better protection from the sun than do others. For example, long-sleeved shirts offer better protection than short-sleeved shirts do. And tightly woven fabrics such as denim are better than loosely woven fabrics such as knits.

  • Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen liberally 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.


Protect your skin and avoid myths about black skin

Myth #1:  Black skin cannot burn: Despite popular beliefs, black skin is just as susceptible to elements of weather, sun and pollution, as any other skin type.  As a matter of fact, black skin is very delicate and becomes damaged easily.  Using sunscreen is important as black skin does burn. The melanin which gives black skin its colour offers some level of protection, but like all skin types long exposure to the sun can result in painful burns.

Myth #2: Skin Cancer does not affect black skin: Excessive exposure to the sun can also result in skin cancer, so black women also need to heed the warnings on how to protect themselves from the sun’s rays.

Myth #3: Black skin can soak up exposure to the sun without causing any short or long term damage.