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Woman applying sunscreen on the beach

Source: Cavan Images / Kathleen Carney / Getty

Sunscreen is essential for everyone, regardless of their racial or ethnic background. However, it is crucial to highlight that Black people also need sunscreen and should prioritize sun protection. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Protection against skin cancer: While individuals with darker skin tones have more melanin, which provides some natural protection against the harmful effects of the sun, it does not make them immune to skin cancer. Although the risk of certain types of skin cancer, such as melanoma, may be lower for Black people compared to individuals with fair skin, it does not mean it is nonexistent.
  2. Prevention of hyperpigmentation and dark spots: Sun exposure can contribute to hyperpigmentation, which causes dark spots or patches on the skin. Black people are susceptible to developing uneven skin tone, and the use of sunscreen can help prevent the exacerbation of existing hyperpigmentation or the formation of new dark spots.
  3. Minimization of sunburn and skin damage: Although darker skin has some natural protection against sunburn, it does not mean that it is entirely resistant to sun damage. Prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can lead to sunburn, skin inflammation, premature aging, and the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers.
  4. Overall skin health: Sunscreen plays a vital role in maintaining the overall health of the skin. It helps to create a barrier that shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. By consistently wearing sunscreen, Black people can contribute to the long-term health and resilience of their skin.