do black babies need sunscreen

Do Black Babies Need Sunscreen?

Dalaise Hickey

If you are a baby of the 80’s like myself. You probably grew up thinking that sunscreen was not needed on your darker skin tone. Everyone knows our sun kissed skin can’t burn. Unfortunately, that assumption is wrong and thankfully over the past few years there has been an abundance of awareness brought to the importance of using sunscreen and protecting our skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

While higher levels of melanin (the chemical that gives dark skin its color) can absorb UV rays, it does not act as a protector from the sun. Black skin can burn as well, develop sun wrinkles and skin cancer. Darker skin also may not show the damage caused by the sun as easily as lighter skin. This is why it is so important to protect both yourself and your little ones with sun protection measures. Sunscreen should be worn daily to protect from the sun. Even on days when you can’t see the sun or there is an overcast, its rays are still affecting your skin.

Now that you know how important it is to protect your baby and yourself from the sun. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

Wear Sunscreen

It is recommended by health experts to wear a sunscreen with at least an spf of 30 and provides broad spectrum protection ( meaning it will protect from both UVA/UVB rays). This goes for black skin as well. Mineral sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as the only active ingredient are the best option to avoid chemicals and other toxins that can be potentially dangerous to both the environment and your skin. Sunscreen should be worn daily. If you are planning to be in the water then a water resistant sunscreen is best. So rub down your little one with a liberal amount every two hours for best protection. BabyDonna’s Mineral Sunscreen stick blends into darker skin tones, packs an SPF of 35 (which blocks at least 97% of UV rays) is broad spectrum meaning it blocks both uva/uvb rays and is 80 minute water resistant.

Wear Protective Clothing

Just as important as it is to wear sunscreen, it is equally as important to wear protective clothing such as hats and long sleeve shirts when planning to be in the sun for an extended period of time. Remember, darker skin is also damaged by the sun and can hide the effects more than lighter skin. Hats with ear and neck flaps are a wonderful way to protect our babies and children's heads. Long sleeve swimsuits and swim shirts are also another great option when having a beach or a pool day.

Limit Time In Excessive Sun

While everyone loves a good pool and beach day.Our littles one skin needs to still be protected. Even for adults, too much time in direct sun can lead to sunburns , sun rashes, and overheating.If you’ve made it this far down then you are now ready to tackle that misconception that black skin doesn’t burn. Now grab your little one and yourself some sunscreen, apply it liberally and head out to enjoy the day!