Do Black People Need Sunscreen? Yes – Here’s Why

Do Black People Need Sunscreen? Yes – Here’s Why

Hey Skin Squad,

It's a common myth that people with melanin-rich skin don't need sunscreen. While our darker skin does offer some protection against UV rays, it's far from complete. Skin cancer and aging lines don’t discriminate based on skin color. Every skin tone is at risk of being dried out, aged, and burnt by the sun. So, it’s time we take proper care of our beautiful melanin-rich skin.

Let’s dive into why sunscreen is essential for us and debunk some myths along the way.

Why Your Melanin Needs Sun Protection

Many believe that because we have more melanin, we’re fully protected from the harmful rays of the sun. This isn't entirely true. Our melanin provides an SPF of about 13, but the human skin needs at least SPF 30 to be fully protected. This means we're still at risk of sun damage and need sunscreen just as much as anyone else. Without proper protection, we’re susceptible to skin cancer and other harmful effects of the sun’s rays.

The Benefits of Sunscreen on Black Skin

1. Protects You from Melanoma & Skin Cancer

UV exposure is a major cause of melanoma and skin cancer. Even though our melanin provides some protection, research shows that black people are among the most vulnerable. This vulnerability is partly due to the myth that we don’t need sunscreen, leading many of us to neglect sun protection until it's too late. Studies show that black people often present with advanced skin cancers at diagnosis because we aren’t looking for the signs early on. Using sunscreen regularly can help us avoid being part of this statistic.

2. Prevents Premature Aging & Wrinkling

One of the perks of having melanin-rich skin is the ability to maintain a youthful appearance longer. To keep these good looks, it's crucial not to let the sun dry out your skin, creating fine lines and wrinkles. Broad-spectrum sunscreens block both UVB and UVA rays, protecting you from sunburn and premature aging. Without sunscreen, sagging skin becomes a reality, especially for those living in sunny places like Texas and Florida.

3. Maintains Even Skin Tone & Prevents Dark Spots

We all want smooth and flawless skin for as long as possible. Sun exposure can create uneven skin tones and dark spots, which are totally avoidable with regular use of sunscreen. For the best results, studies and dermatologists recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

4. Protects from Sunburn and Sun Damage

Sunburns can happen to all skin tones, though it may take longer for those with darker skin. However, prolonged exposure can eventually lead to sunburn, resulting in unsightly peeling. Choosing the right sunscreen designed for your skin type can prevent this. Over time, your skin will thank you.

5. The Importance of Choosing the Right Sunscreen

Not all sunscreens are created equal. For black skin, it's important to choose sunscreens that do not leave a whitecast or cause sunscreen pilling. Products like our Glycolic Retinol Pads and 2% Retinol Exfoliating Scrub are excellent choices for maintaining smooth, even skin tone while providing protection against UV rays.


Your melanin is amazing and performs superhero-like duties, but it can't completely protect you from harmful UV rays. Take the time to research skin cancer in African Americans and purchase a daily sunscreen formula made with your skin in mind. Your face and body will thank you. For more information and to book a consultation, visit The Skin Squad.

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