Misconceptions abound when it comes to skin of color — particularly on the topic of skin cancer. Should people with darker skin be concerned? Scan a few subreddits and you're bound to find ongoing debates on whether or not people of color need to wear sunscreen on a regular basis. Hell, it even came up on an episode of This Is Us. And then of course there is the eternal issue of finding a sunscreen that actually works on darker skin — one that won't smear into a chalky mess.
The levels to this discussion are endless, but ask any dermatologist, including the two we spoke to here, if women of color should check and protect against skin cancer, and the resounding consensus is yes. While it's true that the natural melanin produced by darker skin tones does offer some UV protection, there are still other factors that shouldn't be ignored. Here's what you should know.