It’s easy to assume that as blacks, we don’t get sunburnt. After all, we are dark so how will we even determine if we’ve been sunburnt? Some whites even comment about how “lucky” we must be to not have to wear sunscreen, or that somehow, we don’t get burnt.
First of all, it really is a misconception that dark-skinned people don’t need sunscreen. It is true that people with more melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour) in their skin are offered some protection from the sun by absorbing and distributing UV radiation (the main cause of cancer), they are still susceptible to skin cancer and sun damage. Melanin is not a perfect barrier.
Some people complain about looking quite white after applying sunscreen. If your skin looks chalky after applying sunscreen, chances are you’ve used a product containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. While they can be great for people with sensitive skin, they can leave a white film on your skin but to avoid this, try a chemical sunscreen instead.
But regardless of your skin tone, you need to minimise your exposure to UV radiation.
Apart from wearing sunscreen, wear appropriate hats, wear sun-protective clothing and also wear sun-protective eyewear.