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Can Black People Get Sunburned?

Yes. Yes, we do.


And it can get bad. Like, really bad.


I’m currently sunburnt, and it’s not the kind where the sun did a consistent burn doozy on my forehead, nose, or shoulders. I would have been grateful for that.


My kind of sunburnt is the patchy kind where the sun decided to present an abstract painting on my face. I’m currently 5 shades of brown - beaver, beige, cocoa brown, khaki and iron ore. The last of which is just peppered on each side of my face.


And did I wear sunscreen? You wonder. I did not. Not because I did not believe I could get sunburnt. It’s because I believed the Lord would not allow me to. Only to discover that the Lord will only help you to the degree you’re not able to help yourself...


(Because I was in possession of sunscreen but was too lazy to apply it.) So, the Lord was like:



It’s been a month since I’ve been multi-colored. The good news is that my natural color is definitely returning to normal, but the time that it’s taken to get to this point is not anything I want anyone else to deal with.


So, if you’re currently reading this with a face looking like caramel cookie crunch, then here are the top 5 things that will help ease the color after effects of sunburn:


1. Aloe!


From the plant. And only from the plant! (if possible) If not possible, please let it not be that green goop.


Cut a piece off the aloe leaf, admire the translucent gold because it’s going to change your life, and extract it from the outer layer of the plant with a knife or whatever utensil you have access to. I exfoliate my skin first (see #5), then put aloe on and let it dry into my skin. I am neither an esthetician nor dermatologist (just telling you what worked for me).


2. I Avoided The Outside Between 10a-6p


This was very easy to do because I am not married, I live alone, I have no children or other dependents, and more importantly, I was horrified at how my skin looked so much like a kaleidoscope that I didn’t want to subject anyone else to that...unless absolutely necessary.

My thinking was that...actually, let me not BS. I was mad at the sun! Like, really mad. Then I was hurt, like Sun, how could you do this to me?




My sadness evolved into a fear of the sun. If the sun could splatter a brown color palette on my face, then what else could it do? I didn’t want to find out...so I could only see the sun after dark. Basically, I broke up with that nigga for a second.


3. I Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar to Use As a Toner


Please don’t put apple cider vinegar directly on your face. Your face will remain in a state of surprise, if you do so. 


I put a capful in a tiny bowl and put 5x tablespoon of water in that and applied it to my face. A good once-over was enough. I would put this on after the aloe application.


4. I Sat In Dark Corners of My Apartment During the Daytime


Didn't I say I'm scared of the sun?


My windows have no blinds, curtains, nothing. They all face the brick wall of another building. And I get excellent sunlight. However, post –sunburn, I want no parts of the sun. So, every day, I've been perched on my couch against a wall avoiding the rather strong sun rays that come through windows on both sides of me. Hey, is this what extreme sports is like?


And you might be wondering – well, aren’t you possibly Vitamin D deficient? Probably. But my color is looking better, and I know how to get D in another, non-harmful way.


Also, it seems that I'm the real vampire in Brooklyn.


5. I Exfoliated Like a G


Maybe this should have been #1, but exfoliating helped safely facilitate the peeling. I have been using Proactiv for over 15 years, so as an acne-prone adult, I continued using the cleanser that’s in their line. My skin continued to feel soft, which was an uplifting benefit when I would stare into a magnification mirror in the brightest of light looking like a reptile.


The point is – your normal, beautiful brown color will return! It’s just going to take some time with a routine that works for you!



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