E!: I’ve always heard about the importance of wearing sunscreen, but dots don’t always connect to everyone. What are some of the most common misunderstandings you hear about the use of sunscreen?
KB: Many people don’t understand the importance of wearing sunscreen because it’s so shocking and disappointing. Many people think they don’t need sunscreen and say “my skin is brown” or “I’m never in the sun”. “Do you drive? How did you get here? When you drive, the windows are shining sunlight,” I say.
It’s very difficult to hide from the sun. People do not understand how difficult it is to hide from the sun. You really can’t hide, and that’s what melancholy people need to know. These myths are eternal and lasting in society. Growing up, I was a brownie, a Girl Scout, and a cadet, doing lots of camping and activities outdoors. Every little white girl got sunscreen and no one applied me sunscreen. My mother has never bought it either. We didn’t have sunscreen at home.
E !: Obviously, your stance on sunscreen has changed. Was there a particular impetus that changed your mindset?
KB: Yes, I started to have hyperpigmentation around my mouth. I thought these little black moles were hereditary because all the elderly in my family have them. When a dermatologist began to appear in my early 40s, I went to a dermatologist. The dermatologist laughed and said, “Honey, this isn’t genetic. It’s sun damage.” I sat completely on the floor.
She explained a lot to me because I said, “Wait, I’m black.” I went to Walgreens to get sunscreen. When I started using sunscreen in my regular routine, I tried to rub the sunscreen, and it would leave a white cast or be in my eyes. It was just a mess. It took me a while to find the mineral sunscreen. Minerals didn’t irritate me, but they didn’t fit my skin well because I couldn’t find a colored option that worked for my skin. They left me purple or gray. I searched for sunscreen and couldn’t find anything, so after spending 20 years building inexperienced in this area, I decided to make my own sunscreen.
For years, the brand hasn’t thought about us or made products for us. Now everyone is on the trend. It’s great to see brown and black girls in sunscreen ads. That’s why I started this, no one was doing it before me. I had to do that.