While it seems evident that our skin can withstand the test of time, Black men and women are still susceptible to contracting common skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. “Protecting your skin from sun damage is mandatory for everyone. Contrary to popular belief, people with eumelanin skin experience burns and peels when exposed to the sun and can get melanoma,” says Shalon Burruss, co-founder of The Black Micropigmentation Association. “Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. This type of cancer begins in the melanocytes cells that produce the pigment in the skin. Although brown and black skin has higher amounts of melanin and burn slightly less, that doesn’t make us exempt from skin cancer. That is why it is important to wear sunscreen daily to protect your skin from sun damage.”
Protecting our skin has never been easier, as there are a plethora of BIPOC skincare brands that are incorporating SPF suncare within their products and recommended regimens. Using GlowRx Skin as an example, this non-toxic Black-owned and woman-led brand is breaking conventional norms by prioritizing melanin-enriched skin. “Skincare, like fashion, is not one size fits all. And no one can attest to this fact better than women of color with specific skin problems that go untreated by popular skincare brands,” says the brand on their about page. And though we’ve come a long way when it comes to protecting and revitalizing our skin, we still have a long way to go.
We sat down exclusively with two experts in the beauty industry on the importance of SPF plays within your daily beauty regimen, as well as other must-have beauty tips and tricks to know.
Black Micropigmentation Association (BMA)
Gabrielle Tazewell: Does wearing sunscreen help with hyperpigmentation and dark spots? Can you explain your own stories (if you have) of dealing with these skin issues and how to protect your skin by wearing SPF?
Kechia Taylor, Co-Founder of BMA: If SPF is applied daily, it could fade and possibly clear up dark spots. You have to find the right brand that works for your skin type. You may find some brands to be Dewey or too chalky for your skin. Not all sunscreens are created equal. I personally use Black Girl Sunscreen for firmness and elasticity. It’s a great way to add an anti-aging regimen to your beauty routine as well.
Gabrielle Tazewell: Can SPF be worn with makeup?
Shalon Burruss, Co-Founder of The BMA: Absolutely! I love Black Girl Sunscreen because when applied under makeup, it does not change the color of your powder or liquid foundation. I also find that the matte formula acts as an amazing primer for my oily skin! My makeup lasts all day while keeping my skin from harmful UV rays.
Gabrielle Tazewell: What is the difference between SPF and Sun Care?
Sheron Devlin, Co-Founder of BMA: SPF Is designed to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. It creates a barrier to prevent the UV rays from penetrating into our skin. Where Suncare is related to the products (sunscreen) that are used to absorb the UV rays before the skin does. Suncare products such as sunscreen should be absorbed into the skin and SPF should sit on top of our skin as a shield from UV rays. The main difference between SPF & Suncare are the ingredients and how they function to maintain healthy skin.
Gabrielle Tazewell: How is BMA changing the narrative that melanin skin doesn’t need to wear sunscreen?
Dior Davenport, Co-Founder of BMA: BMA is changing the narrative by dispelling myths that melanin-rich skin does not need sun SPF. Protecting your skin is mandatory to prevent skin cancer and early signs of aging. Although eumelanin-rich skin may not show visual signs of sun damage, that is all the more reason why it is important to wear SPF daily.
Gabrielle Tazewell: Can you walk us through the brand’s mission? What makes GlowRx the best place to shop for melanin skin?
dr Lorraine Beraho, Founder of GlowRx Skincare: GlowRx aims to redefine “good skin”, understanding that healthy skin is good skin. GlowRx seeks to be a trustworthy source for individuals with melanin-enriched skin, offering solutions that effectively meet their skincare needs.
Gabrielle Tazewell: Can you walk us through your daily skincare regimen? What does that look like?
dr Lorraine Beraho, Founder of GlowRx Skincare: With any skincare routine, consistency is key. As a Physician and Founder, I’m busy—so a quick, simple routine using powerful formulas helps my skin stay hydrated and luminous. I always start out with GlowRx’s coconut-based Gentle Foaming Cleanser to get rid of dirt and oils without overdrying my skin. I use lukewarm water (not hot water!) and cleanse my face for about a minute. After gently patting my skin with a clean towel, I apply one pump of GlowRx’s Vitamin C Serum, which contains hyaluronic acid and 5% ascorbyl palmitate. This serum has a fragrant citrus aroma that wakes you up and treats you to a little mental vacation (smells like paradise!). I follow this up with GlowRx’s Hydrating Gel Cream, a lightweight, vitamin-infused hydrator. To finish, I top things off with GlowRx’s Moringa Face Oil. Our Moringa is cold-pressed twice, and sustainably sourced from my mom’s home country of Rwanda. This is quite an impactful product, for your skin and for the community that produces it—the supplier provides interest-free loans to farmers so that they can pay for school and take care of repairs. One last note about my routine: twice a week, I use GlowRx’s Charcoal Mask to remove impurities and deep clean my pores.
Gabrielle Tazewell: What are a few GlowRx products our 21N readers should be on the lookout for?
dr Lorraine Beraho, Founder of GlowRx Skincare: Our cleanser, Vitamin C serum, and Moringa Oil are the perfect trio to get an easy glow for the summer.
Gabrielle Tazewell: What makes GlowRx the best place to shop for melanin skin?
dr Lorraine Beraho, Founder of GlowRx Skincare: In the United States, only 3% of dermatologists are Black. Health disparities exist in the skin health industry due to lack of research, underrepresentation of Black leaders within the dermatology field, and knowledge gaps around how to treat skin of color. Skincare is not one-size-fits-all, and the beauty industry is full of brands offering questionable, ineffective products formulated without melanin-enriched skin in mind. GlowRx is a great place to shop for thoughtfully formulated GlowRx skincare with melanin-enriched skin at the forefront, using barrier-strengthening botanicals and clean clinical actives for resilient skin that glows.