Sunscreen-all you need to know and where to buy it in Nigeria

This post is about Sunscreen-all you need to know and where to buy it in Nigeria

The fact is that no matter your skin tone, you will surely still need to use a sunscreen in a country like Nigeria.

This is a fact I recently got to know. Truth to say, for a long time I don’t even know what sunscreen is.

I have been hearing about it for a very long time( mostly in movies) and I don’t even know what it is and what it does not until some few years ago and I am sure some Nigerians don’t even know what a sunscreen is not to talk of SPF (sun protecting factor).

Well as a Nigerian even after knowing what sunscreen is I still doesn’t pay attention to it when I found out what it does because I do think that Nigerians have thick skins and whatever sunscreen are used for does not concern me and other Nigerians.

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But I was wrong! It concerns me and it concerns you too. Have you ever noticed that an average Nigerian always have some dark patches on the skin? Normally sunburn and most especially people with fair skin. But it goes way beyond just sunburn as there are other things attached to being exposed directly to the sun every day.

That is why I will share my ultimate guide to sunscreenwith you so that you can also be aware of the damage over exposure to the sun rays can do to the skin.

So what is sun screen?

Sunscreen is commonly known as sun block which is formulated in different ways, sometimes it could come as a spray, lotion, foam, stick and gel. It is a product that is specifically made to absorb some of the ultraviolet radiation (UV) and prevent sunburn, dark patches and discoloration on the skin.

The most used and best sunscreen is known as “broad-spectrum” as it helps to protect against UVA( long Ultra violet waves that could pass through a glass window) and UVB ( a short wave ultraviolet ray that can cause burns and skin redness by providing a chemical barrier that reflect ultra violet radiations before it could harm the skin).

 What is SPF?

SPF means “sun protection factor” and SPF shows the level of sunburn protection provided by the sunscreen product an individual uses on the skin. However, it comes in different numbers and for a dark skin person it is recommended that you go for a sunscreen product with an SPF of 15 and if you have a fair skin, you should consider a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and above if necessary.

What ingredients should I look for in a sunscreen product?

As recommended by the sunscreen regulatory body and expert dermatologist, the active ingredients in a sunscreen product that you should use should include any of the following to be of good effect: Trolamine salicylate Avobenzone, Dinoxate, Dioxybenzone, Homosalate, Meradimate, Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone. Padimate O, Ensulizole, Aminobenzoic acid, Sulisobenzone, Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxide.

Does sunscreen have any benefit? And what are the benefits of sunscreen?

woman rubbing sunscreen product into her skin.
Image source: Pexels

Studies have shown us that wearing of sunscreen has a lot of benefits to offer to the skin and general health of the body and these includes:

1.Reduce the risk of skin cancer

Studies by experts have shown us the fact that a person who wears sunscreen regularly will not be exposed to the rays that could cause skin cancer, especially “melanoma” that could be life threatening and aggressive to women in their 20s.

However, you should wear a sunscreen everyday to help keep the body safe from skin cancer

2.It can help to keep complexion even

Wearing sunscreen is not arguable a way of keeping the skin even. One of the damage the sun UV does to the skin is make it uneven and, wearing of sunscreen will help to curb it and make the skin even.

3.Serves as sun protection

The master of the skin disorder is harsh sunny days so it is important to wear a sunscreen to protect the skin from being hardly hit by sun harmful rays that could cause burns on the skin.

What sunscreen does here is to minimize the penetration of the sun harmful broad-spectrum UV rays and keep the skin alive.

4.Help to keep at bay the visible signs of premature aging

Using of sunscreen everyday can help to reduce fine line and wrinkles that may want to dent the supple and youthful looking skin and help to get rid of premature aging of the body.

5.Good for the overall health of the body

Your skin will be in its healthier form as said by experts when you make use of sunscreen every day.

Proteins in the body like keratin will be protected when sunscreen is used on the skin and these proteins are there to keep the skin smooth and agile in appearance.

Wearing sunscreen everyday will not only reduce the risk of skin cancer and it has numerous things that it can offer to the skin if worn daily. It can also help to keep wrinkles at bay and reduce the chance of skin sagging (premature aging).

Sunscreen-all you need to know and where to buy it in Nigeria
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How do I use sunscreen?

To achieve a good coverage and get the protection you want from your sunscreen product it is recommended that you wear your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go out so that it will dry down into your skin. Beauty experts will recommend wearing your sunscreen 30 minutes before you go out.

What you have to do is to:

  • Shake your sunscreen properly to undo any clump in the container
  • Apply enough sunscreen to your face by using a handful of it to cover every part that will be exposed to the sun like your face, ears, neck, knees, back, shoulders and legs. There is no amount of sunscreen that is too much only if it will be less.
  • Make sure to apply thickly and thoroughly to parts that will be exposed to the sun and be careful with your eye area.

Does sunscreen clear previous sunburns?

Sunscreens are not a option for clearing or treating sunburn. So the answer is no! Either ways, some sunscreens contain zinc oxide which can serve as anti-inflammatory that could help to curb the swelling.

There are other alternatives to deal with sunburn which is taking a cool bath after exposure to the sun, use Aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce the swelling, discomfort and redness and you should increase your water intake to prevent dehydration and don’t forget to adhere to your skin care routine religiously especially your face cleanser.

Can sunscreen cause vitamin D deficiency?

Given that most people apply less than the recommended amount of one shot-glass sized amount to the body and about a teaspoon to the face of sunscreen, users typically aren’t deficient in Vitamin D. also, you can always eat foods containing vitamin D if you are concerned about being deficient.

Is sunscreen safe to use?

Yes! SPFs are safe to use. Making use of sunscreen everyday has not been proven or linked with anything hazardous.

It is known to be a good practice when you wear an sunscreen daily as it will reduce the chances of getting skin cancer and it is scientifically supported to wear a sunscreen in other to reduce the long term and short term damage of sun rays to the skin.

Moreover, if you are very concerned with the ingredients used to formulate a certain sunscreen, you should go for a sunscreen of different formula in as much as your chosen formula is broad-spectrum, water resistance and has at least an SPF of 30. You can also go for a higher SPF in as much as it protects you from the sun rays.

Do darker skin tones need sunscreen?

Either you have a dark skin or a light skin; it is a must for you to make use of sunscreen before leaving the house everyday if you truly care for your skin.

Majority of people especially those with a dark skin tone believes that the present of melanin in the skin will protect their skin from been penetrated by UVR (ultra violet rays from the sun) and because of that it is impossible for their skin to be prone to cancer.

Yes! It’s true but to what extends? SPF is important in any skincare regimen because with daily exposure to the sun alone can increase fine lines, lead to burns on the skin, dark patches, decrease elasticity and skin discoloration.

What level of sunscreen is best for black skin?

As it is important to wear a broad-spectrum regardless of your skin tone however, it is true that black/dark skin has the present of melanin to protect the skin from sun rays but according to dermatologist, the highest level of SPF is 13 and that is if the skin is very dark.

Do light skin tones need sunscreen?

As it is important for people with a dark skin tone to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday to avoid the penalties of harsh UVR (ultra violet ray), likewise it is most important for people with a light/fair skin to wear a sunscreen too because the harsh penalties of ultra violet rays from the sun will be much more visible on that of light skin people.

Aside from being prone to skin cancer due to the cumulative exposure to sun, there are chances of visible other skin blemishes like:

  • Sun burns
  • Dark or rough patches
  • Discolorations
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Wrinkles
  • Break out

The fact that the skin is fair, the mentioned skin problems will be much more visible compared to that of dark skin tone when exposed directly to the sun.

What level of sunscreen is best for light skin?

Even if you have a light/fair skin tone you don’t have to go for SPF 100 before you get the all round protection you needed, 30 are enough and, it should be able to protect your delicate skin from being penetrated by harsh ultra violet sun rays. However, what matters is that you should always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen even if you have a dark skin tone.

The only problem that most people have with SPFs is that they don’t get what they want in their chosen product. Lot and lot of people do complain that their chosen product do leave a white cast on them which can be unflattering and chalky, it makes their skin look greasy and tacky while some complains that it makes them sweat a lot.

And, luckily for you and I, there are now numerous SPFs out there now that are formulated with us in mind regardless of our skin tone.

To make you aware of the SPFs (sun protecting factor) that are formulated for your dark skin tone, your sensitive skin and your light skin tone in Nigeria that is why I took it upon myself to search for the best SPFs in Nigeria that will keep your skin save from ultra violet rays and the advent effect of

Can sunscreen make the skin darker?

Majority of people that has believes that some sunscreen product makes the skin darker and which is not true.

Sunscreen cannot make the skin dark. If the skin is dark in any form, it is the previous exposure of the skin to the sun so but when you started using sunscreen on the skin, the skin will not be much hit by sun rays and the skin will become smooth and fresh.

With that occurrence, the previous part of the skin that was exposed to the sun will now be visible and that is what makes you think that sunscreen makes you darker.

What type of sunscreen should I use?

Gone are the days when you cannot presume the type of sunscreen you should use and thanks to the regulatory guideline that now makes sunscreen labels have some information about the product and what it could do the skin.

So, all you have to do is:

  • Check if the sunscreen is broad spectrum, which is to say if the sunscreen will protect your skin against UVB and UVA, protect the skin from sunburn and prevent skin cancer.
  • Check if it’s water resistant; make sure that your chosen sunscreen has 40 to 80 minutes water resistant which means that even though you swim or sweat your sunscreen will still be effective till the time stated lapse.

And the regulatory bodies have stopped sunscreen manufactures to stop misleading people by saying that the product is waterproof and sweat proof.

So you should reapply your sunscreen again after sweating or swimming to be on the safer side.

  • Check if it has an SPF of 30 or higher: if you have a dark skin tone you might want to go for an SPF 15 which is okay to use and the recommended number by regulatory bodies like FDA and AAD is at least SPF 30 and that does not mean you can’t use something above that.
  • Check if it has a skin cancer alert: this is a very important section that you must watch out for; your chosen sunscreen product should be able to prevent skin cancer.

Some product will make it known in the drug fact section of the label that the product will only prevent sunburn and will not reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging.

However, you should opt for the type of sunscreen that offers whatever you want in a sunscreen product.

When should I use SPF?

Make sure you use your sunscreen everyday and every two hours of exposure to the sun

Make use of sunscreen along with your make up all, and most importantly when leaving the house every day.

Don’t forget that your SPF wears off two hours time from application so it is very important to wear your sunscreen before your makeup and consistently re-apply after two hours of exposure to the sun.

How much sunscreen should I use?

The truth is that, no amount of sunscreen is too much to be used as it can only be less as studies has shown that majority of people only wear ¼ of the recommended amount to be worn.

That means that you can use as much as possible to the areas that will be exposed to the sun.

Can I mix my sunscreen with my moisturizer?

Don’t mix your sunscreen with your moisturizer if you want it to be effective. Mixing your sunscreen with your moisturizer will only weaken the effectiveness of your sunscreen product.

Can my amount of Vitamin D be limited by using sunscreen?

It is true that making use of sunscreen will limit your skin intake of vitamin D because it will block your skin from getting enough Vitamin D from the sun. If you presume that you are not getting enough Vitamin D there are ways to get it.

If using sunscreen decreases your chance of getting vitamin D then you should:

  • Eat foods that are rich with Vitamin D
  • Take vitamin supplements
  • Consult your doctor

There is always a way around everything even the word impossible says I’m-possible.

Is higher SPF number better than lower SPF number?

You should be aware that no matter the number of your SPF it cannot prevent the penetration of sun UVB rays 100 percent and that is why dermatologist suggests that you and I use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30.

SPF 30 blocks 97% of the sun UVR and higher SPF will block slightly a little more maybe 98%. However, if the experts (Dermatologists) recommend sunscreen with SPF 30, it will be a good practice to stick to the recommended number and you should only go for something higher if you feel that there is a need to do that.

Moreover, it is also important to know that higher number SPF will last as lower number SPF will on the skin, which means that no matter the number of your sunscreen SPF it will last the same hours as it subordinates.

Is SPF 50 bad for skin?

SPF 50 is not bad for the skin but as recommended by dermatologist, sunscreen with SPF 30 will block 97% of sun UVB rays and there is no much different between SPF 30 and SPF 50.

People opt for SPF 50 and even higher if it works fine for them. Nothing makes SPF 50 bad for your skin as long as it works fine on your skin.

Can I use the SPF that I bought last year this year?

As what dermatologist suggest on the usage of SPFs, they recommend that you and I should at least use sunscreen every day as the recommended usage is every two hours in the sun.

That is, you and I should always reapply sun screen every two hours we spend in the sun, which means that you should always have it in your bag or pocket so that it will be easier to apply it when due.

When you apply your sunscreen every two hours that you use in the sun every day, it is not possible for such SPF bottle to last you a year and not to talk of two years.

Either ways, if you happen to find a sunscreen that you have not used for some time, here are things you should do to be sure to make use of the best practices.

  • SPFs regulatory body suggests that all sunscreen should retain its real strength for at least three years.
  • If your SPF is expired by checking the expiry date, throw it away.
  • Make sure to always write down the day you bought your sunscreen in case it does not come with an expiry date as to know when to throw it away.
  • You should also look out for visible signs that the sunscreen may no longer be good before you throw it away. Look out for signs like changes in color, and how it reacts when used.

In a nutshell, your sunscreen can expire and it is advisable not to use a sunscreen that you haven’t use for a long period of time (Longer than 3 years).

Where can I buy sunscreen in Nigeria?

You can always find your sunscreen in any big supermarket in Nigeria and If you have a specific sunscreen in mind you can just stay in your comfort zone and order your product from big, known and respected stores like Jumia and Konga.

I bought mine from Jumia and I make use of because

This guide is a comprehensive one and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I love writing and typing it.

Over to you

That is all about sunscreen-all you need to know and where to buy it in Nigeria. What are your thoughts on SPFs in generally? What experience do you have with sunscreen products? What sunscreens will you suggest just to me? And what questions do you regarding best SPFs in Nigeria?

Kindly make use of the comment section and let us rub minds together.

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