Black Skin Directory to make people of colour part of sun care conversation

Black Skin Directory (BSD), an educational platform and directory that connects people of colour with skincare and aesthetic practitioners who specialise in treating dark skin tones, is launching a sun protection awareness campaign to shine a light on melanoma in the black population. 

BSD has partnered with consumer sun care brand Ultrasun on the campaign, which will feature people of colour in a video advert created to speak directly to a black audience. 

The campaign aims to respond to the absence of black skin in UK sun care adverts and lack of sun protection messaging that speaks to people of colour, especially as the melanoma mortality rate is 1.5 times higher among the black population, according to research. 

Research compiled by BSD also cited findings from a 2017 report titled Malignant Melanoma in African Americans. It was reported that black people were four times more likely to present with advance stage IV melanoma and 1.5 times more likely to die from melanoma than Caucasians.

"Clinical evidence shows that the darker skin demographic is less likely to develop skin cancer, but yet have a higher mortality rate than Caucasians. 

“This is not a fact that many people are aware of and is due to various reasons ranging from a lack of engagement with skin health messaging around sun protection, to health professionals and research focusing more on the white population where skin cancer rates are higher; and sun care brands being slow to adequately market to darker skin tones. 

“All these factors combined have contributed to the dichotomy in skin cancer and its survival rates in the black population," commented Dija Ayodele, founder of Black Skin Directory. 

The campaign, which will run during Sun Awareness Week (May 6 to 12) will also include a billboard and a pop-up e-shop on the BSD site featuring a selection of sun care products chosen by Ayodele as suitable for darker skin tones. 

BSD will also work with The British Skin Foundation to expose myths and misconceptions, such as that black skin doesn’t burn in the sun, that black skin’s increased melanin is enough of a “natural sun protector”, and that black skin can’t develop sun-induced skin cancer. 

The campaign’s aim is threefold; to encourage people of colour to reduce their risk of skin cancer, improve early detection in the professional skincare industry and increase engagement between sun care product brands people of colour. 

We spoke to the beauty therapist who saved four of her clients from skin cancer.