Breaking The Myth: Safe Tanning Practices for Women of Color - Coco & Creme

We’ve all heard the myth that black people don’t tan or that we don’t sunburn because our skin is already dark. I hope by now you know that’s dangerously false.

There are similar misconceptions about whether or not people with dark skin tones need to wear SPF or not. SPF measures how long skin covered with sunscreen takes to burn compared to uncovered skin.

It is true that people with darker skin tones don’t sunburn as easily as those with fairer skin colors because they have an increased amount of epidermal melanin, which provides a natural SPF. Some people with very dark skin have a natural SPF of 13, and filter twice as much UV radiation. However, at the end of the day, we’re all still susceptible to skin cancer, sun spots and wrinkles.

According to research from the University of Cincinnati, when discovered in African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, melanoma—a malignant tumor —is usually fatal because they are not using sunscreen or they wait until it’s too late to see a doctor for dark spots. Health experts advise everyone, regardless of their skin color, to apply an SPF of at least 15.

I love to keep a caramel/bronze glow to my skin, so I always make sure that I lathered up in sunblock before laying out.

Here are some of the best sunscreen products to use:

Do you wear sunscreen regularly, and especially when tanning?

-Margaret Francois

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