Sunscreen is the most important step in your daily skincare routine. I always tell clients everything we work with in the salon and the products they use at home will not give them the optimal results if they are skipping this essential step, especially considering the climate we live under!
Applying sunscreen is non-negotiable irrespective of the weather forecast or your skin tone. UV (ultraviolet) rays are present even during those cloudy days, which is why it’s recommended you apply your SPF even during those grey days as well. Contrary to popular belief, black and other people of colour do need to apply sunscreen as much as those of a fairer complexion. Though the risk of skin cancer is much lower in African skin compared to white skin, black skin is still equally vulnerable to the other side effects of the sun’s harsh rays.
What UVA & UVB?
Broad spectrum is what one should be looking out for when making the purchase of a sunscreen. Broad spectrum protection means protection from the two forms of Ultraviolet light that can affect the skin after exposure – UVA and UVB.
UVA has a longer wave that penetrates into the thickest layer of your skin, the dermis layer. This is what’s also referred to as the “living layer of your skin as it contains the blood vessels, collagen, fibroblasts, elastin and other cells which maintain the integrity and youthfulness of the skin. Damage to these cells results in
- Sagging skin
- Break down of collagen
- Dry skin
UVB rays have a shorter wave and are responsible for sunburn, which is the burning of the top layer of the skin. This leads to:
- Premature ageing
- DNA damage causing premature ageing can all be a result of UVB exposure.
Whilst melanin does protect against some UV rays, it doesn’t protect us against all. Sun burn does happen to us and our melanin is usually the reason why skin cancer is detected at a late and possibly fatal stage.
How To Choose A Sunscreen
The golden rule when choosing a sunscreen is selecting anything between SPF 30 and 50, what do these numbers mean? The PA rating is a system ranking sunscreens based on the amount of protection they can provide from UVA rays. It basically indicates the amount of time you can stay under direct exposure to the sun without getting UV damage, e.g. SPF 15 = 150 minutes burning. It’s recommended that you reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, especially when directly exposed to the sun’s rays. Factor 30 will block out about 97% of UV rays whereas SPF 50 will block out about 98% and give you a bit more time before experiencing sun burn.
No More Ashy Melanin
Sunscreens have gotten a bad rap for leaving a white, pasty film on the skin but with modern technologies, newer formulations have created more brown skin friendly sunscreens which blend in with all skin tones. Looking grey and ashy is no longer an excuse to not layer up. Physical sunscreens were responsible for that white residue as they contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. New physical formulations have been micronized by grinding larger particles sizes into smaller sizes that don’t leave white residues on the skin making it more aesthetically acceptable. Physical sunscreens protect the skin by sitting on top and reflecting the UV rays off the surface of the skin. This is where the term sunblock originated from however sunscreen and sunblock is pretty much one and the same thing. Physical sunscreens are ideal for sensitive and reactive skin so they’re a great pick if you are prone to irritation. Chemical sunscreens protect the skin by absorbing UV rays and generally have a more translucent finish. The absorption of UV can increase heat in the skin which may cause irritation on rosacea skin. There’s also combination sunscreens which have both physical and chemical properties.
Photosensitivity is caused by products and treatments which make the skin more vulnerable to UV damage. These include chemical peels, lasers, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), Beta Hydroxys Acids (BHA) as well as retinol. All these are very safe and effective in treating various indications however sunscreen usage is imperative to make sure that you get the best and safest results from these super ingredients. Post inflammatory pigmentation and scarring can occur in the case of photosensitivity without SPF protection. Black and brown skins are more at risk of hyperpigmentation especially when the skin is exposed to trauma and UV rays.
Sunscreen helps protect against UVA and UVB rays but it may not protect the body completely which, is why we do not recommended laying under the sun. It is possible to get a tan while using sunscreen even when ensuring to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. A tan is the body’s natural protective response to UV – evidence that there’s been skin damage due to excessive melanocyte (your pigment producing cells, responsible for your complexion) activity as a result of UV exposure.
Sunscreen For Every Skin Type
There’s a sunscreen for all skin types, oil free and matte finish textures for your oily and acne prone skin and cream-based SPF’s for dry skin as well as lotion like products for your combination skin. SPF in make up does not give you adequate protection as you do not apply enough of a cosmetic product to get the full SPF factor of the product. Layering up SPF also does not work, factor 15 in your foundation plus and factor 15 in your moisturizer does not give you SPF 30. It is also recommended that you use a stand-alone sunscreen vs a 2 in 1 product because the efficacy of SPF factor or moisturizing properties are lost when trying to combine these two products. You’ll always get the most of a product when it has a single function.
Sunscreen should be part of your daily routine, whether going about your day or enjoying the outdoors under direct exposure. There’s a product for every skin type and lifestyle. It is also important to note the sunscreen or sunblock do not prevent skin tanning or burning, exposure to the sun will brown melanated skin even more, but melanin is for Africa, the place of the Sun, melanated skin tolerates the effects of the sun better.
Just feeling so inspired right now, I haven’t even seen it yet, it drops in South Africa tomorrow at 8 pm on MNET (channel 101), but I know that is going to be one of the greatest films of all time, I mean the clue is in the name. We have been stuck on Beyonce’s social media pages for a minute, looking at the scenes and possible visual album production and I just know, deep in my heart that it’s going to shake the industry. She’s not only a musician; she is an artist, a creative genius. We know this from her previous and first visual album ever, Lemonade, and by the look of things, she definitely will not disappoint.
I love Beyoncé simply because she is a hard worker who is relentless in seeing her vision come to life. I absolutely admire her style of work as she does not limit herself to what the media leaders are currently doing, she really is capable of expanding one’s imagination beyond the conventional and the is truly inspiring. Her vision is so broad that the film Black is King was shot in all kinds of locations, from the backyard of her home to the streets of Johannesburg, Ghana, London, and Belgium. The film is based on the re-telling and re-imagination of the iconic movie and play, The Lion King. She uses all kinds of art to narrate the story, from fashion, dance, music videos, and astounding natural settings not forgetting raw talent.
The idea behind Black is King is born from wanting to change the perception of the word black on a global scale. It is about acknowledging the beauty, the love, the strength, and inspiration about everything black. Hence every character in the film is black, sourcing talent, directors, creatives, and artists from all over the globe to present to the world this fine piece of black art. I am in awe and beyond exuberant at this point. Sis, is bringing up and exposing not only black American talent but black talent from all corners of the map. That is the epitome of leadership, and we stan. She truly lives up to the understanding behind making it with your people. Like it’s great to make it, but it’s even better when your people make it with you. Perhaps this is one of the underlying reason why Beyonce will continue to soar in all that she does because her work is not only inclusive but it is empowering, like just imagine the doors that will open for all those who contributed to the making of this masterpiece, I feel so grateful on their behalf, and aspire to be living in the future; forever working to elevate and to better the black community as I grow myself.
The visual album is going to follow shortly after the film drops, there has already been a release of one music video, and of course, the bar is set sky-high. If we can remember from Lemonade, she is still unmatched, and we just love what she is doing to change the game. Ladies, just watch and learn. Black is King.
AUTHOR: KEFILWE MABOTE AND LEBO GRAND
PUBLISHED: 1 APRIL 2020
PUBLISHER: HUMAN & ROUSSEAU
GIRL BOSS RATING: 4/5
We knew her as Kefi Boo and now her Instagram handle is her real name Kefilwe Mabote. She is one of the leading influencers in South Africa. Kefilwe Mabote is a 31-year-old female who has made a name for herself from Soweto all the way to Milan. This girl boss has 992k followers on her page and has worked with amazing brands.
Her book is a cross between a business guide and memoir, she shares her journey of humble beginning in Soweto to the World’s fashion capital Milan, hence the sub-title of the book. This book is truly the perfect guide for someone who is starting a business or tapping into the influencer world. She touches on what fuels her motivation and drives to achieve greatness. She says “Sometimes it takes anger to be successful… there are successful people who were driven by poverty, some were driven by fear of being average, while others were motivated by the belief that the future could be better than the present. In my case, the emotion was anger”. For years people looked at Kefilwe and saw a pretty face. Jumped to the conclusion that she was a beauty with no brains. She shares that it was her mission to silence the naysayers and bullies who didn’t want to see her as more.
Finding your voice has to be one of the hardest things to do in the process of self-discovery. I really enjoyed how Kefilwe emphasised on knowing your voice, having a voice, and using your voice to make a difference. Her journey is transparent as she highlights that being a strong and confident woman isn’t something you will achieve overnight. Another section I really liked in her book was “Charge what you’re worth”. We often are very scared to charge according to our values or capability. This section of the book can be related to many spheres of your life. Not just business. it’s very important to know your worth. Once you do, you won’t take nonsense or less than.
So as seen above, I’ll give this book a 4/5. Your question might be why not 5, well because I didn’t read the book in one go. I read it in sections. I’ll blame my busy schedule but I think any other person with more free time can finish it in one go. If you are an influencer or aspiring influencer, this is the perfect book for you. It will motivate you and guide you on the right path. You will find yourself answering important questions.
Kefilwe Mabote is in her own lane, chasing after her dreams and isn’t letting society or abantu bazothini syndrome stop her. Worth the purchase and read.
Last week saw two major international brands launch collaborations with South African talent and if there was still doubt, these developments make it clear that Africa is firmly part of global beauty and fashion.
A few years ago, major brands overlooked the African continent but now most brands are looking for new territories to grow in to and what better place than a continent with some of the fastest growing economies in the world and a youthful population. For perspective, the average age in South Africa with a population of 55million is 27 years and the average age in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy with 82million people, is 47 years. So clearly the buying power of the future is in Africa.
Sometimes though, brands get their collaborations and partnerships wrong. In a time where consumers are more powerful and have more options, brands can’t afford to make mistakes. In Feb 2020, MAC Cosmetics launched two makeup kits curated and in collaboration with Pearl Thusi.
Here are some of the reasons we love the Pearl Thusi X MAC cosmetics collaboration:
- We believe that Pearl has been using MAC for more than 10 years, as she said during her launch. In recent years we have seen her social media posts that clearly show she uses MAC. We believe that even as a model starting out, she would spend on a better quality, albeit more expensive makeup brand to give her a better shot at auditions. The age of brands partnering with celebrities just because they are big is gone, it needs to be believable to make an impact on that brands equity, bottom line and profitability.
- There are many things we can say about Pearl Thusi, and one of those is that she is authentic, she shows herself as she really is, she doesn’t sanitise her image on the streets of social media. When she is hurt and offended she shows us, when she is happy, excited or in love, she shows it. Her excitement at partnering with MAC, a brand she has been using for as long as she has been an adult, smacks of authenticity. We love and thrive for authenticity, it is the easiest way to be. Everybody talks about authenticity but don’t walk the talk.
- Pearl is clearly hardworking, as many of the women we love in the entertainment and media space in South Africa are hardworking. We loved what she said during her launch, that she doesn’t want her daughter to wish her mom was Beyoncé. Her daughter must be inspired by her mom, Pearl Thusi, showing her that the world is her oyster and she can do and be whatever she wants.
- Taking up space. Pearl is clearly using all opportunities available to her to chase her dreams, she is #BossingUp (and to be an amazing role model to her daughters). We at Girl Boss SA are definitely inspired by her to dream bigger and to chase harder. As she said in one post, echoing Zozi Tunzi, – take up all the spaces you want and can. Pearl has her own natural hair care range, she is the first African collabo with MAC and is the first actor to lead a Netflix original show in Africa with the release of her new series on Netlflix, Queen Sono, on Friday 28 February 2020.
On the David Tlale X Avon collabo, we are happy for him and we understand why Avon would choose to partner with David, he is an experienced internationally acclaimed fashion designer. We understand that an international brand like Avon would want to partner with a designer of his stature.
If you hadn’t seen the announcement, David Tlale is partnering with Avon and he has designed accessories such as handbags, sunglasses and scarfs that will be sold via Avon. Avon is a network marketing brand that makes it easy for the every day woman to make money by selling their products to other women. The products and designs by David Tlale are gorgeous, we can’t wait to get our hands on them.
BUT we do wish that the partnership was with a female fashion designer. Avon is a female driven brand. The majority of people that sell Avon products are women and the majority of the Avon offering is for women. As a brand that should understand the nuances of gender inequality, especially in this country and continent, we would have expected them to partner with a female designer. This is not to take away anything from David Tlale but our reality necessitates that gender equality should always be top of mind. This is why it matters:
- By choosing David Tlale they are saying they can bet on women only to a certain extent. Too many industries that target women, and where women are the main drivers as consumers and decision makers, actually benefit men, from retail, fashion, beauty and food. When we talk of renowned chefs, fashion designers, makeup artists, hairstylists, the majority are men. Brands and society must start walking the talk of gender equality.
- To enable women to assist in unlocking the economic potential of the continent, women need to see other women doing what has previously been unreachable for women. Women need to become manufacturers and creators not just seeking employment and being consumers. This lack of balance is making it difficult for our economy to grow the way it needs to.
We can’t say it enough, representation matters, it is actually imperative for creating an inclusive, progressive and peaceful world.