I’m a blogging ambassador for the CHPA Educational Foundation’s KnowYourOTCs program but guess what: all opinions are mine!
Yes, Black people you do need sunscreen.
There. I said it.
I was one of those people blessed with melanin in their skin that believed the myth that we did not need sunscreen when we went out in the sun.
You can judge me if ya wanna. I judge my damn self for it! hahaha
I used baby oil on my skin, I used regular lotion on my skin, I’ve used coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil on my skin in lieu of sunscreen. I loved how dark I got…(and in my teens I loved how a tan would hide my zits so nicely!) I really believed that because I was chocolatey in tone I couldn’t get burned by the sun!
I remember back in high-school all of my white friends would come into school on Monday after a weekend in the sun with patches of peeling skin red skin blotches and I would peel their dry skin off in class. I would laugh like hahaha I have melanin it I will never get burnt like you hahaha. However the truth was I could burn and very soon I would burn.
(insert dramatic music here)
My first Sunburn:
When I got my first sunburn I didn’t know what the hell was going on! I wondered why my skin felt tight and extra warm to the touch. A few days later it was peeling and I still didn’t get the connection. I didn’t know why my skin was acting up and legit I thought I needed to just exfoliate and moisturize better. I went back out in the sun again a few days later and did even more damage! My nose and my shoulders were so painful. It hurt even when not being touched. Air hurt! Eventually I realized it was sunburn and that my melanin had forsaken me. It freakin’ hurt! And I was just sure I immediately had skin cancer. I had no idea that my white friends were dealing with this type of pain for so many years. I immediately felt sorry for them and now I felt sorry for myself.
After that mega life changing burn and now being married to John who is translucent and has to slather on sunscreen even if he thinks about going out into the sun, I am now diligent about sunscreen protection for me and the littles. They are so pale and I don’t want them to suffer any burns. Kaya happily lets me slather on or spray on as much as I want. She doesn’t care as long as she gets to go outside. With Rohan… Let’s just say it’s a different story.
My little boy will dip, dodge, duck and dive! (if you know what movie that’s from you get extra points) Anything to avoid me spraying or rubbing on sunscreen… but I get him every time. This image below is actual footage of Rohan and me:
Did you believe that Black people couldn’t get sunburn? I am almost embarrassed at how long I believed that myth. I mean melanin is magical but still… I’m just saying. Sun safety is no joke though. No matter how dark or pale your skin may be. PLEASE, if you’re reading this, get a sunscreen SPF 30 or above and put it on your skin 30 mins before going out into the sun. Don’t just put it on your kiddies. You need it too!
You’ve already seen my adorable video so now check out KnowYourOTCs.org for tips on sunscreen and sun safety during this summer season.
Here are a few Sun Safety gems:
· Never spray sunscreen directly on a child’s face. Spray it on your hands and then apply it to his/her face. Have children hold their breath when you spray sunscreen on their body, and close their eyes.
· Do not use sunscreen on babies younger than six months-old. If you’re concerned about sun exposure, though, talk with your pediatrician. The risk of sunburn could outweigh the risk of sunscreen use.
· Don’t forget hats, UV-protective clothing, and rashguard shirts! They are an amazingly easy way to protect your skin!
Sidebar: Quick story – One day, Kaya was acting a hot rude mess at my aunt’s house and when my cousins were trying to get her to behave my Auntie Angela, bless her heart, shouted at them “Leave her alone, she has sunburn!!” as if that was an excuse for her bad behavior. LMAO! If you were ever wondering exactly how spoiled my kids are… Well, now you know.