It's Official: African American People Get Sunburn Too (This Picture Proves It)! Pt. 1 / by Erin Baynham

  There has been a myth for years that Black people don't get sunburn. I've heard it a thousand times. I never agreed with it, but never really found it detrimental to do all the preventative sun tasks that my non-Black friends did. Just a couple of weeks ago, Felicia Walker Benson and I were gabbing it up at the Essence Best in Black Beauty Awards. She went on and on about SPF, why it's so important, and the brands that she loves. In fact, I'm reading this post on her favorite sunscreens as I type. I listened, but oh how I wish I implemented that strategy. Read on for pictures.

My Skin Looks Horrible

sunburn on african american skin

A few days ago, I did a particularly unfavorable review of Dermadoctor Litmus Test Glycolic Acid Facial Cleansing Gel. I had only been using it for a few days when I felt the extreme tightness, and then saw dark, scabbish looking areas. I officially became fed up when I walked into the bathroom at work and saw the entire bottom of my face peeling. (Mind you, I had been having conversations with people all day.) Today, I was so angry at the constant burning that I flew to social media. So after my slight twitter rant, I stood beside myself. As a blogger (and general consumer), I know that there may be fine print for me to see. So, I went over to Dermadoctor's website.


For external use only.  Do not get into eyes.  If irritation occurs, wash product off, discontinue use and consult a physician.  Sunburn Alert: This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn.  Wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.


As I looked back on the last four days of usage, I thought about the excruciatingly hot sun during the Orioles vs. Nationals game on Sunday, gardening on Friday, yada yada. In all, I did what the warning told me not to do.

 Lesson Learned

Stay tuned for part two of my skinburn disaster. In the 12 hours since I created this post, there has been a drastic (hideous, but positive) change in my skin. This time, I took even more pictures. I’ll be doing a lot of on-going research on skin care for the next few weeks. I literally became a skincare advocate overnight. This will never happen to me again, I promise!

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