Sun Screen: Do People with Dark Skin Still need to use Sun Protection?

dark skin sun protection

Do People with Dark Skin Still need to use Sun Protection?

Summer is quickly approaching, and nothing beats a nice, relaxing day on the bay on a bright, sunny day. While there are definitely some benefits to sun exposure, that’s no excuse to avoid protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. And this applies  no matter what your skin tone may be or how easily you tan or burn.  It’s not just light-skinned people who need to watch out for the sun’s harmful UV rays and sun cancer risks – it’s ALL skin types, including people with more melanin in their skin.

More Melanin is Protective, But Only to a Certain Extent

Melanin can help absorb light rays from the sun; the more melanin in the skin naturally, the more it is thought to be protective against sun damage or skin cancers.  While it’s believed that people with darker skin tones are somewhat less likely to get skin cancers than those with less pigment, it doesn’t mean that people with dark skin are completely immune to the harmful effects of the sun – nor are they immune to skin cancer risks.

Unfortunately, anyone can get this potentially deadly disease. In fact, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.  Over 2,000 people die each year in Australia from the effects of Melanoma.

The Fitzpatrick Scale for Skin Melanin: What Melanin Range Is YOUR Skin?

According to Cancer Council Australia, the majority of skin cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to UV radiation in sunlight.  Getting a sunburn – at any stage of life – is believed to cause 95% of melanomas, the deadliest form of all potential skin cancers.

sun burn skin cancer skin ageing, best skin protection sun blocks

Dark Skin And Sun Protection: Still Necessary to Help Prevent Premature Ageing and Skin Cancer

While dark skinned people appear less likely to suffer from this form of cancer, Research has shown that they are actually more likely to die from the disease once diagnosed.

You’ll need to sun-protect your skin no matter WHAT it’s melanin content; but knowing your skin type can help you determine your risks for developing skin cancer – and may help encourage you to be skin protective.

Not only is sun protection a smart move in terms of preventing skin-ageing, it can help reduce your risks of deadly skin cancers.

Using the Fitzpatrick Scale is a potentially helpful way to gauge how susceptible you may be to sun damage and skin cancer development.  This scale classifies different skin complexions, based on their tolerance of sunlight, which tends to be linked with melanin production.  The Fitzpatrick scale runs from 1 (pale. light skin) to 6 (melanin-rich, dark skin).  It isn’t exact, of course, as is a generalisation of the many different skin pigmentation levels that are found across the globe. But in general, it shows which skin types are more prone to sun burn and subsequent skin cancer risks.

xeomin Fitzpatrick scale skin

People with Fitzpatrick scale skin types I and II seem to face the highest risks for developing skin cancers. Skin types V and VI appear at the lowest risk, primarily as people with more skin pigmentation (melanin) have greater natural protection from the sun.  But that does NOT mean they are immune to sun damage, sun burns or skin cancers.  This doesn’t imply that if you have a Fitzpatrick scale 5 or 6 type of skin tone, you shouldn’t wear sun screen.

No matter what skin tone you have, you definitely SHOULD wear quality sun protection and avoid getting too much sun.

To more firmly identify your skin type using the Fitzpatrick scale, the Skin Cancer Foundation offers a simple online system that also takes into account other factors such as eye colour, hair colour and even the number of freckles you have.

After reviewing your answers, you can use your personalized results to discuss the best sun safety advice with your Dermal Clinician, who can recommend some of the better cosmeceutical product lines for maximum sun protection.

Sun Protecting Creams in Australia

One of the best protections against the sun’s ageing, skin damaging rays  is to use sun block or other sun protection.

Cancer Council Australia recommends using sunscreen that is labelled broad spectrum, water-resistant and SPF30 or above.

Sun protection creams have improved dramatically over recent years. However, it’s important to note that NOT ALL sun protection products are created equally.  According to the watchdog group Environmental Working Group, a little more than 60 percent brand-name products either don’t protect the skin from sun damage sufficiently, or contain hazardous chemicals – or both.

Speak with one of our Dermal Clinician’s about the best sun screens for YOUR skin, and learn other ways of protecting your skin from damaging rays.

Want to see how much damage the sun has already done to your skin?

You’ll probably answer ‘no,’ as none of us want any more reminders of how much sun exposure we’ve allowed our skin to get – nor how it will continue to age us over time.  But knowing the current damage can be a great inspiration for treating pigmentation issues as well as being more diligent about sun protection in the future.

One of the ways you can see how damaging the sun’s rays are is by scheduling a Skin Consultation at our Hawthorn East Clinic and asking for a Canfield REVEAL imaging session.

Sun protection canfield reveal sun protection

This unique skin-photography system can help you visualise what the sun’s rays have already done to your skin, beneath the surface.  It may be confronting but it’s also empowering on what you can NOW START TO DO to best protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

To schedule a skin assessment and learn the best ways to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun, call us today on (03) 8849 1444 and ask to see a Dermal Clinician.

Award-Winning Sun Protection Available at Coco Ruby Skin & Anti-Ageing: DNA Renewal in Medium Tint

dna sun protection sun screen sun block


Sunscreen options for dark skin

The medium tint of DNA’s award winning Sun Screen offers a smoothing, skin perfecting effect for darker skin tones whilst also fighting photo-damage and cellular damage.  This DNA sunscreen offers a wonderful blend of ingredients that are shown to absorb and block a broad spectrum of damaging UV rays.  Not just a sun protecting solution, this formula also helps replenishing your skin’s supply of naturally-occuring DNA Repair Enzymes.

Why you’ll love DNA’s sun screen solution: Not only does it help protect your skin from damaging rays, it also attacks UV induced skin damage to help diminish and prevent age spots and uneven pigmentation.

MEDIK8 SPF30 Non-Chemical Sun Screen


Our Coco Ruby team can also supply you with the Medik8 sun screen, including the non-chemical SPF 30 formula.

  • broad spectrum (UVA + UVB)
  • 100% physical only sunscreen – no chemical sun screens
  • Easy to absorb formula – leaves NO white residue on your skin
  • Also helps to prevent premature skin ageing

Why you’ll love this MEDIK8 sun screen: goes on smoothly, doesn’t leave a residue and is as rejuvenating as it is effective at reducing your skin’s penetration of the sun’s harmful rays.

OBAGI Sun Screen (Sun Shield) Options


If you’re a fan of the OBAGI skin care line, you’ll know that they offer numerous sun protection products for all different types of skin. Book in for a skin assessment and our knowledgeable Dermal Clinicians or Cosmetic Injectors can recommend the right products for YOUR skin.

Why you’ll love Obagi sun shield products:  Obagi is one of the top lines of skin care, and if you’re using the other anti-ageing or skin problem solutions available from Coco Ruby, you will love the choices in sun protecting sun shield products with SPFs of 30/32 to SPF 50.

Coco Ruby Skin & Anti-Ageing gives you choices of TOP brands available for picking up at our Hawthorn office (Phone in your order on (03) 8849 1400 or ask for a skin assessment with Dermal Clinicians Hayley, Sarah or Lauren).

We carry the top cosmeceutical lines to help minimise the signs of ageing and sun damage, including Medik8, Obagi, PCA, DNA Renewal and Cosmedix.

Find out which of these lines is best for YOUR skin by sending an enquiry or booking a consultation with our Coco Ruby Skin & Anti-Ageing team in Hawthorn East (Melbourne). Williamstown location is also coming soon!

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