Melanated Guide to Sunscreen Spoiler Alert: No matter your skin tone, you need sun protection every damn day – period!
This goes without saying—at least, for me—that melanated skin matters! It’s also clear that many people and many skincare brands need to be reminded of this.
And while a story on SPF protection might seem minor in the fight for equality.
It’s important to see self-care as a revolutionary act of self-preservation that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I’m sure most of you are probably asking yourself, “Do Black people really need SPF?”. And my answer is an emphatic absolutely! 100 percent yes, we do! Let me break it down for ya.
While it’s true that Black people are less likely to get diagnosed with skin cancer than other racial groups, when they DO get diagnosed the outcome is often worse.
No Guide to Sunscreen Without SPF
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, the five-year melanoma survival rate (aka the likelihood that you’ll still be alive five years after diagnosis) is 70 percent for Black patients versus 94 percent for white ones.
There are a million frustrating factors behind this, but there is one universal and relatively accessible thing that can help…sun protection factor (SPF)!
Ask any dermatologist (like, any dermatologist in the entire damn world!) and they’ll tell you the best way to prevent skin cancer, no matter your skin color, is by using sunscreen. It’s just that simple.
Except, according to a recent Cosmo poll, 1 in 3 Black women never, ever wear SPF. So don’t feel ashamed if you don’t have any on; this is a widespread issue.
And the idea that we don’t need it, that Black and brown skin is immune to the sun’s harmful rays, is a myth that’s been perpetuated for waaay too long.
Shameful Media Exclusion: sunscreen ads, promo’s, campaigns and skin cancer warnings seem to never feature melanated people.
Health warnings pertaining to sun exposure aren’t even directed to people of color, which further push the idea that we don’t need to worry.
Poor Product Selection
Shameful Product Selection: all the thick, white sunscreen lotions that don’t come close to blending into beautiful brown skin.
Most sunscreen lotions leave melanated skin looking dry, ashy and flaky – this is not flattering and is in desperate need of improvement!
Just Do It
I know you have enough to worry about in life and SPF may not necessarily be on the top of your list of priorities, but using daily SPF is a small (and pretty damn significant) way to take care of yourself and show your skin some love.
Melanated skin & melanated skin tones need all the love, admiration and nurturing it can get. So learn to love the skin you’re in more often!
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Written by Sophia Lenore
Photographer: Phil Halfmann
Creative Director: Sophia Lenore
Wardrobe Stylist: Pasquale
Hair & Makeup Artist: Sophia Lenore
Makeup products by Charlotte Tilbury Makeup
Hair products by L’Oreal
Nail products by USLU Airlines
Wardrobe by Macy’s
Sunscreen by IceCream Sunscreen