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Slap On That SPF (No Matter Your Skin Color)

Based in Washington D.C., Ayren Jackson-Cannady is so savvy that we wished she lived closer to NYC so that we could swap products with her. This beauty writer knows what’s up (she’s written for Fitness, Glamour, and Gloss Daily) and we’re excited to have her sharing her know-how and multi-culti beauty expertise as a contributing editor.


Ever since I got what looked (and felt) like a third degree burn on my back when I was in 7th grade after spending 12 hours at the beach in direct sun, I’ve been a stickler for applying sunscreen. My friends at the time—a multi-culti mix of tweens in matching polkadot tankinis—would say, “You’re not going to get any browner, AJ. Why are you putting on sunblock?” Back then, I’d shrug my caramel shoulders and reply, “I don’t want to burn.”

According to Dr. Mona Gohara, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Yale University’s School of Medicine, “many people think that non-Caucasian people are immune to skin cancer.”  She goes on to say, “that is one reason people of color are diagnosed at later stage, meaning that skin cancers are often advanced and potentially fatal.”

Just take a look at these scary stats from recent surveys and studies:

  • 65 percent of minority respondents felt they were not at risk for skin cancer
  • 62 percent of African-American adult respondents have never worn sunscreen
  • The five-year skin cancer survival rates for African-Americans (78 percent) is significantly lower than that of Caucasians (92 percent)
  • Studies reveal that the incidence of melanoma is increasing in Hispanics of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent

Bottom line, beautiful brown people: Slather on that SPF!!! Here are a few faves from dermatologists with darker skin.

One of our fave SPF brands? Supergoop!

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