Yes, Black girls need sunscreen too!
From deep shades of ebony and espresso, medium shades of caramel and almond, to lighter shades of honey and oat --Black women are embracing their skin tone like never before! As children, many millennial Black women were told to stay out of the sun for fear of becoming too dark. Thankfully, with better representation in the media and living in the midst of a Black Renaissance, we are now welcoming the sun with open arms!
Along with this newfound sense of self-acceptance, there comes a degree of responsibility in order to keep our melanin flawless. While darker hues provide protection from the sun’s rays, with Global Warming and other environmental factors, prolonged exposure to the sun affects us, so the natural sun-block that we call melanin needs additional assistance. The warmer months are creeping up on us and with the many festivals, rooftop brunches, and vacations to the South, Mexico and the Caribbean we have to get real about what our skin needs!
Black CAN crack and if we don’t protect our melanin, skin cancer is real, even for us! We need sunblock because while we may not sunburn as easily as those with lighter skin, we still have a risk of skin damage and premature aging from excessive sun exposure. The truth is, our most vulnerable areas are the areas we don’t even think about, like under the finger and toenails, the palms of our hands and even the bottoms of our feet. Basically anywhere on our body where the skin is lightest.
An element that has had us skeptical for generations about Black skin’s need for sun protection, is the ashy residue and stickiness of the standard sun products that are on the market. The culprit, the ingredient that makes our skin look as white as a lifeguard’s nose, is none other than Zinc Oxide. Zinc acts as a barrier against the sun rays and is very good at its job but since it is also a chemical that is used to make rubbers, plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, and sealants (just to name a few), plus known to cause cancer and effect the endocrine system -- its a no from us!
The good news is, as with most of the products on our platform, one of our artisans, Shontay Lunday, sought out a product that offered sun protection and blended beautifully with dark skin tones so they didn’t leave a white residue. She did her research and found natural ingredients that could boost melanin production, offer proper UV protection and be fully absorbed by Black skin to create Black Girl Sunscreen.
In addition to curating a sun protection formula specifically for melanated skin, she has taken it a step further and has committed to providing only natural and environmentally-friendly ingredients. Her product is free from parabens and oxybenzone which is an active ingredient commonly used in making sunscreens, as it provides broad-spectrum ultra-violet coverage. This toxic chemical can cause hormonal disruption, reproductive issues, allergic skin reactions and has been directly linked to the environmental contamination in the form of coral bleaching and die-offs which contribute to the declining health of coral reefs.
For a sunblock that doesn’t leave you looking ashy, smells great, thinks about the environment, and gives full protection from the sun to keep your gorgeous skin glowing, Black Girl Sunscreen has you covered!
Learn more about Shontay and Black Girl Sunscreen by reading her artisan profile or stopping by the Face section of our shop and making a selection! Shipping is always free for orders $50 or more and you’re supporting Black and women-owned creators and makers with each purchase. #BuyBlackLiveGreen