Summer is on the horizon and that also means the return of harmful UV rays that can damage your skin. While many within the black community may believe the myth that darker skin tones cannot get skin cancer, studies say otherwise. Even though darker skin tones are less likely to contract the disease in comparison with those with fairer skin, your skin can become permanently damaged and you may not be able to see early signs of cancer until it’s too late.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people with darker skin tones often do not receive a diagnosis until the cancer is in its later stages. This tends to be because the symptoms are harder to recognize. There are also limited options for sunblock that works well with dark skin. One entrepreneur decided to take matters into her own hands and created a product that protects our melanin.
Shontay Lundy founded Black Girl Sunscreen after becoming frustrated with the limited options for women with her skin tone. “[I started this company] because I am a woman of the sun and couldn’t find a sunscreen that would rub evenly into my complexion without leaving the tell-tale white residue,” Lundy told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
In 2016, she launched the brand based out of Miami. She continued on to say that the mission for her brand is “to educate and empower women of color to protect and nurture their skin no matter what shade it comes in while making them feel good and look good while being protected in the sun.”
Since its launch, Lundy’s sunscreen can be found in local beauty supply stores and Target. She credits Ureeka, a platform that connects female and minority small business owners to peers, mentors, and coaches, for helping her start and expand her brand.
“Ureeka has helped me personally level-up, which in turn helps Black Girl Sunscreen level up. Most recently, I entered an investor-pitch competition and Ureeka helped me prepare for the conversations,” she explains. “Before consulting Ureeka, I honestly didn’t know how to put together an investor deck or answer the ‘hard’ questions an investor may have. Within a couple weeks’ time, I had an investor deck put together, and was prepared to sit at the table with individuals that were ready to give capital so my business could get to the next level.”