I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and looking forward to a healthy, prosperous, significant problem-free New Year.

Unfortunately, some of you, like myself, have had more than our fair share of illnesses, the death of loved ones, and other personal issues over the past few years but are bouncing back so well that it is hard to believe.

However, my saga continues as I am now having issues with my right knee and waiting to see a Specialist. I do hope the wait is short. In the meantime, my doctor has ordered me to rest my knee, so I have canceled my appointments and will let you know when I will be at work. Hopefully, sooner than later.

At this time, most of us are looking forward to heading South for a few months or a few weeks to get a break from the harsh Canadian winter and catch some sun and a good dose of the sunshine vitamin, which is so essential to our health and well-being.

One of the things we must be aware of is that black skin in cold climates becomes acclimatized and will burn when exposed to extreme sunlight for long periods.

Yes, black skin can burn even though its rich melanin content has more SPF than you can find in a tube.

When planning to go south, it is crucial to stock up on your SPF but remembers you only need an SPF of 15 to 30. An SPF of 80 only has 1% more protection than an SPF of 25 or 30. it only costs more and gives the impression you are getting more protection, but you are certainly not. Furthermore, a higher SPF number can provide false security that with a higher number, one can stay in the sun for a more extended period.

Another critical point to remember is that one needs sunlight on the skin to synthesize vitamin D.

The amount of Vit D from food is minimal. Therefore, sunlight is the best way to get the required amounts of Vit D for the body to maintain health; thus, known as the sunshine vitamin.

If you have black skin, you will need oral vitamin D to have the required amount for good health.

The big question is:

  1. How much vitamin D should one take?
  2. Is sun protection necessary during the summer for black skin?

Health and Welfare Canada recommends 400 to 800 IU units daily. However, I believe this recommendation targets white skin. White skin in the presence of sunlight without SPF for 10 minutes three times per week makes enough vitamin D3 to maintain good health.

On the other hand, if you have black skin, you would need a minimum of three hours of sun exposure three times weekly to get the required amount, and quite honestly, you may not. So how much vitamin D would you synthesize using an SPF? Your guess is good as mine.

Vitamin D in past years was known as a Vitamin; that supports bones and teeth. However, research has shown that it plays a crucial role in our health and well-being.

1) Vitamin D supports brain and heart health.

2) Enhance absorption and retention of calcium

3) Boost the immune system and fight inflammation.

4) Can reduce the severity and duration of COVID 19

5) Boost your mood in the cold winter months. Preventing mood swings. Studies have shown that it can ward off Seasonal Affective Disorder, which may be linked to low levels of Vitamin D.

6) Promotes lean muscle mass.

7) May help with type 2 diabetes

8) It May help with weight loss

So from the above, one can see how important it is to get a good dose of sunlight when you can and support this with regular oral vitamin D.

Sun protection is necessary whenever you are in the sun between 11 AM and 3 PM. However, if you have black skin and live in a cold climate, you must adhere to this rule of thumb: because our skin becomes acclimatized, but not our counterparts living on the islands and anywhere there is sun 24/7.

One of the most important observations to make is friends and families living where the sun shines year-round and who are not applying and reapplying sunscreen regularly rarely get burnt. Yet their skin, even those with a lighter complexion, does not get much darker, nor is skin cancer rampant among them.

Don’t be fooled by manufacturers of sunscreens advocating black skin; apply sunscreen regularly, even indoors and during the winter. Just be aware that by doing this, you are harming yourself. The rich melanin pigment in black skin prevents proper synthesizing and absorption of Vit D in sunlight. There is no evidence linking black skin and the sun with skin cancer.

Cancer in blacks usually occurs in areas not exposed to the sun. For example, on the palm of the hands, soles of the feet, the anus, genitals, and under the toenails, like Bob Marley, whose cancer originated under his big toe.

Because of the high content of melanin in black skin, it prevents the penetration of UVA light entering the dermis and a small amt of UVB penetrating the epidermis. Thus a low incidence of skin cancer in black skin.

If you are going South this winter, remember your sun protection.

Obsidian Sunpro 25 is three products in one tube. A moisturizer, night cream, and sun protection. Besides your cleanser and toner, that’s the only cream you need to pack for your vacation. If you are into giving yourself a home facial regularly, I suggest you omit your scrub to maintain your tan until you return home.

Your one-of-a-kind all-day protection is chock full of antiaging ingredients that protect, hydrate, and allow you to tan without harming or causing your skin to age prematurely.

Order yours today.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2023!