Post main image
Photo by


Is It True That Black Don’t Crack?

Debunking this myth

BY Vongai Mbara

Feb 06, 2023, 10:54 AM

Photo by

The proverb "black don't crack" is well known and refers to the unique way that black women age. All of that is true! Melanin is attractive, because it shields skin from sun damage and therefore from the aging effects of UV radiation. All of it is nice, but it's not the complete picture. Although Black women and people of color generally age well, we do begin to look older and notice changes in our complexion; our skin simply ages differently than that of our peers with fair skin.

So… What happens to our skin if we don't develop as much UV damage, as many fine lines and wrinkles, or as early thin and crepey skin? More importantly, how do we stop it and fix it? Lets look at some of the "Black Don't Crack" skin myths and debunk them shall we?

Black Skin Doesn’t Need Sunscreen

SOURCE: @rethaferguson
Are people of color immune to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun? It's a widely held belief, yet it's incorrect. You need sun protection just as much as everyone else if you have darker skin. Contrary to popular belief, persons with darker skin still require sunscreen since they can burn or tan easily. Dermatologists advise using lotions with an SPF of 30 on patients with darker skin.

According to dermatologists, sunscreen not only protects the skin but also has anti-aging effects and helps with melasma and other dark spots and skin discolorations. Premature aging is accelerated by the sun, and hyperpigmentation (darker spots of skin) will worsen. Use your wide spectrum SPF 30 UVA/UVB sunscreen frequently.

Black People Can’t Get Skin Cancer

SOURCE: @tara-winstead
Though at a lesser rate than white people, black people can still develop skin cancer, particularly the type brought on by the sun. However, this does not mean that black people should disregard the need for sun protection.

According to experts, the reason why Black people are more likely to die from skin cancer than White people is that we are less accustomed to checking our skin for changes and so notice the symptoms much later.

Melanin Is Charged By The Sun And Keeps Black Skin Black

SOURCE: @hellloiamsam
This is almost laughable yet some people actually believe it. Melanin, the natural pigment that gives your skin its color is not created by the sun and does not require charging. Without using sunscreen, excessive exposure to the sun can result in burns and hyperpigmentation.

Hydroquinone Is Hazardous For People With Black Skin 

SOURCE: @zaid-mohammed-86842527
Skin-lightening agent hydroquinone is only harmful to the skin when used wrongly and without a doctor's supervision. It's actually a fantastic substance for addressing hyperpigmentation issues, but it wrongfully earned a poor reputation because certain people irresponsibly bleach and lighten their skin with it. 

Advanced Procedures Are Not Appropriate For People With Black Skin

Treatments like chemical peels, micro needling, and laser therapy are as effective on black skin. Just make sure your doctor is licensed and skilled. Don't be discouraged; treatments are constantly getting better, and some can be simply adapted to suit Black skin.

Black Don’t Crack

SOURCE: @angela-roma
It may be painful to admit this, but Black will crack if you slack. While fine lines and wrinkles can still appear on black skin, they do so more slowly than on white skin. Because black skin contains more melanin than other skin types, it should nevertheless be protected from the sun and other environmental hazards like pollution. Discoloration, in addition to lines and wrinkles, is a hallmark of aging.

Chemical Sunscreens Should Be Avoided On Black Skin 

Nothing here is true. Like any product, chemical sunscreens may contain components that you may not tolerate, causing a rash-like reaction and possibly temporary hyperpigmentation. It only takes testing a different sunscreen

Read: 3 Things To Remember On Days You Feel Ugly