You’ve probably heard the saying, “Black don’t crack,” a million times. You may have even said it yourself when you catch a glimpse of Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Iman or any of the beautiful Black elders in your family who seem to be slaying the aging game.
TikTok’s #AgeCheckChallenge has been getting lots of takers uploading photos in an attempt to shock people with their age-defying selfies. But in a hilarious video, bridge_truth warns other white people that the trend of posting photos suggesting they don’t look their age may not be for them.
The Internet is full of examples of Black women in Hollywood who are seemingly aging in reverse (Come through, Alfre Woodard!).
And I dare you to try to stop yourself from staring at these images of Lizzo and her mother who are twinning big time.
Overall, we know that Black folks tend to age well. But is there any scientific evidence to back it up?
A study by the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that the signs of aging are less noticeable in skin of color and happen later than they do for white people.
Much of the difference between the way white and Black skin ages boils down to the presence of melanin, the substance responsible for the pigmentation in your hair, eyes and skin. Basically, the more melanin you have, the darker your hair, eyes and skin will be. But in addition to giving you color, melanin also absorbs otherwise harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and protects the skin cells from damage caused by the sun. UV exposure is also a factor that contributes to wrinkling the skin.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are many environmental factors that also contribute to aging the skin, including smoking and exposure to the sun. So the moral of the story is Black women, wear your sunscreen, stop smoking and be grateful for all of that melanin.