Beauty question answered: I’m black, do I HAVE to wear sunscreen?

27 May 2014

Time for another Beauty question answered! Today’s topic is sunscreen and whether or not you should wear it if you are of a darker complexion.

In short: the answer is YES! Find out why and how below.


Mason helping his grandparents in their backyard. He’ll be 22 months in a couple of days 🙂

It’s a misconception that black people don’t need to use sunscreen. A lot of people believe that dark skin has melanin (color) which provides enough protection. This is only partially true. Melanin does provide protection but not enough, about an SPF 15. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can still damage skin and cause skin cancers. People with a darker complexion DO need to protect their skin with sunscreen, at least SPF 30.

Yes, people of African descent are lucky to have less visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots (black don’t crack… LOL!). This is because of the high amount of melanin produced by our skin. Melanin gives color to our skin, eyes, and hair. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin. People of African descent have a natural SPF of up to 15. This does protect them from UV rays, so decreasing the risk of skin cancer and aging early. However, it does not give complete protection.

When exposed to the sun, people of darker complexion, like myself, actually produce more melanin and our skin darkens. Although we may not sunburn as quickly, anyone regardless of skin color can sunburn. And here’s a ‘fun’ fact: the more times you get sunburned, the chances of skin damage, such as dark marks and uneven skin tone, increase. Eeek! 🙁 So yes, definitely wear sunscreen, regardless of your skin color!

So, are you surprised? Or did you already know that people with a darker complexion can get skin cancer too?


Kizzy, blogger behind Kizzy Online, originally created this blog to use as her personal life journal. When she moved from the Netherlands to the United States in 2010, she started focusing more on beauty, fashion and lifestyle. She also writes about her life as a wife and a mom of 2 in San Diego, California.


  1. shoebootie Says: May 27, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Every sunburn a person gets, regardless of color of their skin, increases their chances of getting skin cancer. It’s not worth it! Each time I get accidentally burned, due to not enough sun screen or just forgetfulness, I worry. I don’t care about being tan. I’ll stay pasty if it means I can stay healthy 🙂

  2. Icequeen81 Says: May 27, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Nou jullie hebben mooi weer daar nu? heb gehoord dat in Nederland nu aan het regen is balen. Bij ons is lekker zonnig

  3. I always change lotions from my normal Aveeno to Aveeno with sunscreen during the summer months 🙂 what do you use??

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