Why Black Girls Need Sunscreen

People of color often have late diagnosis of cancer. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Not all people realize that this danger doesn’t care how much melanin you have.

The leading cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and, according to the National Cancer Institute, over one million people are diagnosed a year. Although melanin can add protection to the skin, it isn’t a failsafe against skin diseases like melanoma. Cancer affects people of all shades, ages and sexes. As I stated above, cancer is often diagnosed later in people who have higher levels of melanin. This late diagnosis statistic is due to the skin’s darker shade hiding the common discolorations and patterns. Black girls who don’t wear sunscreen can be putting themselves into harm’s way without realizing it.

This is the best reason why black girls and boys with varying levels of melanin and depth of skin shades, should all sport sunscreen while on the go. This extends to all people, of all colors. We all have skin and no matter the specifics that means we all need protection. Skin care can mean many things to different people. All skin tones and types have their own needs. And a darker skin tone has different needs. For instance, a sunscreen that has certain ingredients can lead to a skin color distorting effect on black skin tones.

Knowing the ingredients and the resulting properties isn’t on every shoppers mind, but the undesirable outcomes are. The majority of shoppers look for a product that isn’t greasy or that doesn’t leave a noticeable residue on the skin. A good deal of people also look for a product that is in line with their own ethics. I, for one, look for Vegan/ cruelty free products. Most importantly we must find solutions for our overall skin health, this includes black girls and boys. Sunscreen is for all people of color and all colors of people.

On an average day we all should be outside absorbing vitamin D for at least 20 minutes. More sun shouldn’t be avoided, however, skin must be protected. Protective clothing & sunscreen are the best ways to safely reap the benefits of sun exposure. We can all enjoy the sun and keep our skin in great condition for better looking skin texture and healthy longevity. We shouldn’t be afraid to venture outside and live our lives to the fullest. I wish you all a happy and skin safe summer season. Remember, the sun is ours to enjoy!

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