Tina Turner, Lena Horne, Colin Powell, Jesse Jackson…these are just a few legendary African Americans, who despite their number of years on earth, have skin that doesn’t reflect their age. The saying that “black don’t crack”, is an implication that has been heard by many in today’s society for a number of years. And with a number of black people with seemingly flawless skin well into their latter years of life, many believe that black skin does not wrinkle…but does this saying actually hold true?
NO!! The idea that black skin does not get wrinkled because of its level of pigment is absolutely a myth. The phrase “black don’t crack” implies that individuals of Black/African ethnicity characteristically look younger in age than other ethnic groups, primarily Caucasians. However its not just ethnicity that determines the aging of skin; a person’s lifestyle, physical activity and health have something to do with the aging process as well. It is common for someone to mistake a black woman in her 50s and 60s for a woman in her 30s or 40s; one reason for this could be because black skin contains more melanin that fairer skinned individuals – that includes fair skinned black people. The more melanin one has in the skin, the harder it is for the sun’s harmful rays to infiltrate the skin, thereby creating lines, wrinkles, age spots, and other irregularities.
However, while they may not be as prominent in black people, black people do get wrinkles, fine lines, smile lines and crow’s feet. Age takes its toll on all skin types. That’s why it is imperative that even if you have black skin, you take good care of it while you are young, and be just as vigilant as you age. Proper cleansing techniques, healthy diet, and sun protection can assist you in keeping that youthful glow and appearance for years to come!