Black Don’t Crack. It’s a Fact.

20 comments
July 22, 2010 ‐ By madamenoire

The Original Supermodel: Iman, 53, is as lovely today as when she first graced the catwalk.

By Charron Andrus

The phrase “Black Don’t Crack” has been thrown around in our community for years.  It’s most often used to describe the tendency for African American women to retain their youthful appearance, even into advanced age.

It’s our little way of thumbing our noses at any and every one, who might be of the off opinion that somehow we are less beautiful than our fair-skinned counterparts. Like yeah, you might think you all that now, but give it a few years and you will be looking like an old boot.

And because the aging process seems to lay a lighter hand on people of color, the phrase has even begun to gain popularity outside of the black community.  Everyone wants to know why it is that we stay looking so fresh; while they look like they’ve lived every year of their lives twice (and lived them hard).

So, here’s what science has to say about this little phenomenon:

  • Darker skin has more melanin (produced by the body to protect from ultraviolet rays) than does lighter skin.
  • Ultraviolet light from the sun damages the elasticity of fibers beneath the skin’s surface.  This is the primary cause of wrinkled, dry and tough looking skin.
  • Fair skinned people have less melanin and so have less protection from the sun’s damaging rays.  Also as a defense mechanism the body attempts to produce additional melanin but this often results in age or liver spots.
  • Mother Nature has given African American’s a leg up, so to speak, when it comes to aging gracefully.  Not only does our skin contain enough melanin to naturally combat the damaging rays of the sun.  We are also protected from age or liver spots because our bodies are not forced to over produce melanin.  The end result is that we come out of the deal with wrinkle free, supple and refreshed looking skin well into our golden years.

And though we have been blessed with great genes ladies, it does not mean we don’t have to care for and about ourselves.

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  • Annoyed

    As it may be true darker skin may show signs of aging differently it still ages, and to say all fair skin people look like an old boot as they age is quite racist and offensive it would be like me saying all dark skin people are usually over weight with fake hair because they cannot grow their own. My God how pitifully simple and possibly hurtful ignorant statements can sound?? how dare anyone think any race is superior because of how they look.

  • Vanessa

    So I look younger than many black chicks, as a wite chick. Gosh, all this pride.

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  • http://joannavargas.com/blog/ antropia luna

    Great article. We shouldn't be some complacent about skincare. http://joannavargas.com/blog/

  • http://www.joannavargas.com/blog/ Antropia Luna

    Sunscreen should still be used even if its a lower SPF. The sun is intense –I had to learn this the hard way after sunburn and freckles appeared–I was a little surprised having overestimated my melanin capacity.

  • http://thecandyshoppe.wordpress.com Ronnie6676

    I've never been able to comment until today. Just wanted to thank everyone who took the time to read and/or comment.

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  • http://Youtube.com/ultramitv UltraMi

    It sure doesn't crack! We have magic in the melanin baby! Every time I look at my mothers flawless complection of wrinkle free deep ebony tones I get lost in time.

  • Ayman

    That's right i 've observe that.

    I always askin myself if i marry a white woman or not cause most them becomes older so quick at 35 but black women still young until i don't know 50. I know a man who looks like a 30 at 60 he is from Senegal. My grandma looks like normal(i'm northafrican) compare to a white woman of the same age i mean 80.

    Cigarettes did a lot too for the skin in France white girls smokes more than black ones so their skin is more damaged.

    I think pork causes damages too.

  • jazz

    I know this to be true, all Black women have beautiful skin. My grandmother transitioned when she was 80-years-old and never got any wrinkles and my mother is 48-years-old and looks about 30. I think we definitely have a leg up when it comes to aging. I don't think it's just the dark skin either because I've seen a lot of darker skin Asians and Indians that age poorly.

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