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Is SPF a must for dark skin? Lessons learned with Exuviance SA

Can dark skinned people get sunburnt? Do we really need a sunscreen, aka SPF? The answer is a resounding'YES', according to Exuviance SA dermatologist. Here's how and why!

While it’s true that darker skin has more protection from the sun because it has higher levels of melanin than those with lighter tone, the truth is SPF is important for everyone. 

This is especially true when venturing out on your next outdoor escapade for prolonged hours, something which I sadly got to learn the hard way following my return trip from El Nido on the Palawan Island in the Philippines back in 2018 with M-Net Survivor SA, where we – as part of select group of 11 journalists – were spending almost everyday of our 11 day adventure outdoors (in the sun), with a larger part spent perusing through several pristine beaches and emerald waters as it’s the norm with this thrilling nature-themed TV game show. 

Alas and alack, while the rest of my fun-filled trip in the picturesque Republic of the Philippines will always remain etched in my memory, my post-vacation high didn’t last that long sadly, as I started noticing patches of dark discolouration on my face just few days upon my return. This, in part, is what led to my journey with Exuviance (South Africa) professional skincare routine, which includes three in-salon peel treatments, as well as a spa-level DIY facial treatment, which came with a set of four Exuviance products, including my go-to Sheer Refining Fluid SPF 40.


SPF 30 or higher: most experts recommend a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher!

“Truth is no one is ever safe from overexposure from UV radiation”

– Sorbet Group

As my dermatologist pointed out during my recent Exuviance facial at Sorbet head office I’m Sandton, Johannesburg, while darker skin tones can tolerate UV exposure much better, no one is ever safe from overexposure from the sun and UV radiation.

That being so, UV rays may still damage darker skin cells and put one at risk of not only developing those annoying dark patches or cause your skin to age prematurely, but can lead to more severe, difficult-to-treat skin conditions such as melasma. 

NOWinsa editor Tankiso’ Komane’s struggle with pigmentation led to her journey with Exuviance Professional skin care routine, which came with a set of four anti-aging products, including Purifying Cleansing Gel, Evening Restorative Complex and her go-to sun-smart Sheer Refining Fluid SPF 40.

Worst still, it can lead to sun-induced skin cancer called Melanoma, which though less common in darker skin tones, is often diagnosed at a later stages with worse clinical outcomes. 

As such, finding the right SPF that’s right for your skin type for when you venture out in the sun, as well as drinking plenty of water are some of the first steps everyone should take to promote healing from sunburn.

Learning the hard way: Island hopping El Nido in 2018 with Survivor SA & making a stop at the Big Lagoon was pure bliss … but unlike me, make sure you have your sunscreen with you always & reapply it every 2-hours after being in the sun!

Tips to staying safe in the sun

  • Finding an SPF formula suitable for your skin makes it that much easier to wear a sunscreen daily and whenever outside. In this instance, we highly recommend the lightweight, fully hydrating Exuviance Sheer Refining Fluid, which not only works wonders for my oily skin, but does a fantastic job with regard to preventing new patches of hyperpigmentation from developing, something which lots of products promise – as I came to learn – but many fail to deliver. 

  • Avoid peak sun exposure between 10am and 4pm; stay in the shade whenever possible.
Finding an SPF formula suitable for your skin makes it that much easier to wear a sunscreen daily!
  • Wearing sun protective clothing like a brimmed hat and light coloured long sleeve shirt to cover affected areas can be beneficial for outdoor activities like running and cycling.

*For the latest South African product launch news, top beauty trends and tips, make sure to visit NOWinSA Beauty page daily! 

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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