Elite tennis player Venus Williams recently revealed his beauty routine that highlights the importance of inclusive skincare. As a Black athlete, she's aware that the quest for sunscreen, in particular, is a common issue for melanin-rich people.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time Grand Slam winner has spent most of her life training and playing under the harsh sun. However, she tells Harper's Bazaar that she didn't realize the importance of sun protection until she was 30. Like many, she thought that her dark skin didn't need sunscreen.
This is a common misconception in the Black community. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Corey Hartman confirms to Harper's Bazaar that hyperpigmentation is one of the top skin concerns of darker-skinned patients. Hyperpigmentation is made worse with sun exposure so proper sun protection is a must for all skin tones.
In addition, Dr. Hartman says that he's partial to mineral sunscreens since they are more effective against the sun's rays. He also adds that mineral sunscreens do not cause allergies and are "chemical-free, ocean- and environmentally-friendly." However, it's hard to find a mineral sunscreen for dark skin as they usually leave a white cast.
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Williams is a skincare and clean beauty enthusiast. This has led her to collaborate with Credo, a clean beauty brand. She shares with Harper's Bazaar that she found it difficult to find a sunscreen that was clean, not ashy, and was lightweight enough to serve as a makeup base. She also needed a product that would suit an athlete's active lifestyle. With limited choices in the market, she decided to develop her own formula with Credo.
Dr. Hartman confirms that physical sunscreens that do not leave an ashy or white cast on dark skin is a welcome innovation. According to Vanity Fair, Williams launched her sunscreens through her EleVen by Venus Williams label in May last year.
Williams presented two sun protection products: the Unrivaled Sun Serum with SPF 35 and the On-the-Defense Sunscreen with SPF 30. The former is for the face while the latter is for both face and body. According to the official website, the Unrivaled Sun Serum earned an Allure Best of Beauty Award for 2020.
William's latest product is the Perfect Form Lip Balm. While more people are using sunscreen religiously now, the lips are often neglected. Dr. Hartman stresses that the lips are thinner and more susceptible to photo-aging and prior to Covid-19 mask-wearing, are always exposed to the sun. The Perfect Form Lip Balm has SPF 15 which is suitable for daily sun protection.
Aside from offering protection, William's lip balm formula also comes in tinted variants. Venus is a red hue, Power Player is coral while Game Day is a berry pink. For those who'd like a lipstick base, 15 Love is the clear version. The Perfect Form Lip Balm is a vegan product formulated with 20 percent zinc oxide for sun protection. To condition the lips, it has shea butter and beeswax alternative bayberry fruit wax.
You can find all of Venus Williams' products on elevenbyvenuswilliams.com.
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