Shontay Lundy loves to be outside. She often hikes, practices yoga and walks her bulldog on the beach. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a sunscreen that would protect her from the sun without cramping her style. Like many women with dark skin tones, applying sunscreen meant dealing with the white residue left behind by traditional products—and it wasn’t a good look.
“I knew there had to be something that could work,” said Shontay. “And I knew that if I could figure out how to make it happen, it’d be a game changer.”
Armed with an MBA and a personal vendetta against this unappealing residue, the New York-raised businesswoman started looking for a solution. She discovered that there were natural ingredients that could boost melanin production, offer proper UV protection and be fully absorbed by the skin. So, she worked with skin care experts to create BlackGirlSunscreen.
“I named my product BlackGirlSunscreen because there are a lot of people who still think having dark skin means that you have full sun protection. While we do have more natural protection than people with lighter skin tones, we’re still at risk for burns, cosmetic sun damage and—most importantly—skin cancer,” said Shontay.
At BlackGirlSunscreen, our mission is to educate customers on safe skin practices and sun protection. We also want to provide an answer to a question we hear far too often, “Do black people need sunscreen?” Yes!
Like many African-American women, Shontay likes to go to the beach, hike and practice yoga. As a sun lover, she thinks the sun should be safely enjoyed by all people. However, as an African American woman she has experienced difficulty in purchasing sunscreen. The tale-tale white cast that can be visible on the skin and the general lack of available products, stirred in her a desire to create a product that can be used by everyone and has benefits to those of a darker hue.
She developed the idea for this sunscreen, after completing her undergrad in upstate NY and her graduate degree in Miami FL. The realization that she was avoiding going out in the sun or hiding under an umbrella sparked this endeavor. The desire to get out from under the umbrella caused her to start looking at ingredients that would be nourishing to people of all skin types as well as melanin boosting.
Shontay wanted to create a product that would completely absorb, leaving no residue. And a product that would bolster the skin’s defense through health and proper UV protection. Shontay has transplanted several times on her journey from New York to Miami to Los Angeles and back to Florida. In her travels she worked on a formula that would nourish as well as protect and developed ties to people who could help create this company.
At BlackGirlSunscreen, we want to educate and empower our customers to protect and nurture their skin no matter what shade it comes in. The common misnomer that black people do not need sunscreen due to higher levels of melanin is sadly false. BGS wants you to be smart, protect your skin, and come out from the shade. Bye bye umbrella!