Oh, sunscreen. It just reminds you of beaches, tanning and chlorine, right? I’d say the most heavily advised skincare product but the most under-used product EVER is sunscreen. A lot of ladies and gents use sunscreen. But we’re talking about a different concern today. We’re gonna break apart some myths. As you can tell from the title, I want to pen a letter to Black women and their relationship (or lack of) to sunscreen. Shall we?
1. Black Don’t Crack
You know, I want to believe that so bad. I really do. But for the sake of this being a skincare blog, I need to tell you something. Come closer. Issa lil’ secret. *comes up to your ear and whispers*
GWORL. YOUR BLACK CAN IN FACT CRACK. 🌚
Now wait. Before you call me a hater and talk about the power of melanin. Hold up. Relax. #BlackGirlMagic is a thing. I believe in it wholeheartedly. However, if you want your skin to be the BEST it can be, you have to wear sunscreen. You’ve got to. Hear me out.
There are plenty of factors to what leads to premature aging. My top four are these:
SMOKING, ALCOHOL, POOR DIET & SUN EXPOSURE
I feel like in the Black community, there is this misconception that you don’t have to wear sunscreen, but according to the American Academy of Dermatology, the sun plays a major role in premature aging and the quality of our skin. Yes, that means all skin. The sun doesn’t shine on you and says, “Gee, I’m sun kissing a black girl, let me not bestow my UV rays on her. She good.”
Noooooo, honey. No. Nah.
Now melanin does help! But wearing sunscreen is an extra defense that we should participate in as well as folks who have much fairer skin. Especially if you want to stay looking young for as long as possible.
2. Healing Dark Spots/Hyper-pigmentation & Sunscreen Go Hand in Hand
If you suffer from hyper-pigmentation (which the majority of Black women do), wearing sunscreen on a daily basis prevents those spots from getting darker and encourages a more even-toned complexion. Who doesn’t want even skin? It’s hard to have glowing skin if it isn’t even and it’s dull from the scars that previous acne left behind.
SPF is your friend. In fact she is your bestie, especially if you’re using chemical exfoliants on your skin. Exfoliating in general lifts dead skin cells to leave room for new skin to reveal itself, but just like a baby that needs sunblock on the beach, your baby skin cells need some blockage too. Give your infant skin cells some love, will ya? Protect them at all costs. Your summer glow depends on it.
3. Sunscreen Makes Me Look Ashy
Whewwwwwwww. Gosh. This is a real concern. I used to not wear sunscreen for this reason. I don’t know what it is, but this is what makes or breaks it for me when it comes to wearing sunscreen. There are some sunscreens on the market that don’t have a white cast to them.
“Ashy” and “Glow” are like oil and water, they don’t mix. So what is a solution to this?
I would say your best bet to not look like Casper the Ghost is to invest in a good mineral sunscreen. Those are some on the market that don’t leave a white cast for the most part. When I test out sunscreen, I do a patch test on the back of my hand and let it dry. Once it’s dry, you’ll see whether or not it left a cast and can use that as a guide to how it’ll look on your face. However, it’s usually a done deal for me if I see any tint of blue or gray on my skin and I won’t be spending my melanin magic, dark skin dollars on a sunscreen that’ll leave me ashy. Nope. Not on today.
All and all, do your research. The skincare game is constantly evolving. They even have sunscreen facial oils now, which is pretty much a 2-in-1 product if you ask me. But anyway, shine on this summer, ladies. Don’t let the myths about dark skin make you slack on your skincare. Gleam and glisten, but protect thy skin!
Ain’t No Suntan-ingly Yours,
P.S. — Love this content? Please share with a friend. Let’s keep the movement going!