Think sunburn, freckles, and spray tans aren't an issue for us brown folk? Think again!
Shami Sivasubramanian

29 Jan 2016 - 11:23 AM  UPDATED 29 Jan 2016 - 5:05 PM

1. Dark armpits.

(IISuperwomanII / YouTube)

They say it's always 5 o'clock somewhere, and that somewhere is in your pits. No matter if you shave, wax, or laser your underarm hair, you will forever have a dark 5 o'clock shadow where your hair once was. So even when you wear sleeveless clothes there's a good chance you look like you're sporting some fur. Seriously, white girls, you don't know how good you've got it!


2. Thin-skinned under eyes.

(Deepica Mutyala / YouTube)

There is no concealer on God's green earth that will hide the bags under your eyes.  And your bags have nothing to do with sleep either. It's biology. The skin under Indian and Middle Eastern eyes is often thinner than it is for Causcasian skintones. That means you can see more of the blood cells, veins, and all that good stuff happening under the surface. It also means you always look tired. But Deepica Mutyala has a pretty great tip to soften the blow. 


3. Weird dark patches on your elbows, knees, chin, and upper lip. 

(Lipstick Alley / Tumblr)

There are parts of you body that refuse to get on board with the rest of your skin tone. Your underarms may have championed the cause, but there are several other body parts that have followed dilligently. They include your elbows, knees, ankles, and even your chin and upper lip.  You can gently exfoliate away the dead skin in these areas to minimise the pigmentation - the operative word being "minimise". 


4. Spray tan streaks all over your bed.

(Channel E!)

Yes, brown people get spray tans, too. This might seem completely counterintutive, but it's actually quite common for a darker-toned person to get a light spray to even their skintone. It does all the same things it does for pale folk - contouring, shading, making you look a bit thinner, and giving you a healthy glow. Of course, it also means we streak orange on all our bedsheets and clothes, too. 


5. Finding the perfect bronzer.


You would think for someone brown, bronzer would be a non-issue. But think again! Bronzer makes your faces pop in a way blush just doesn't. Problem is finding a warm enough tone for daily use is hard. Most bronzers on the market have cooler tones for contouring which makes your skin look ashy. Sometimes out of desperation brown girls use an eyeshadow as a bronzer instead.


6. Red Freckles.


Your freckles aren't cute and brown like a 90s Lindsay Lohan. They're bright red and speckled all over your arms and neck, so you look diseased and contagious. 


7. Sunburn.


The naturally high levels of melanin in your skin should protect you from sun damage, but it doesn't. Even with sunscreen your skin can get unbearably sore and peel in scaly shards off your body like some kind of repitilian beast. 


8. Hair removal.


OK. So this isn't completely unexpected when it comes to dark-skinned peeps. But it's a struggle that's worth revisiting. Mostly because it is SO DAMN HARD TO DEAL WITH. It's also super expensive to remove all your body hair, especially when it grows out of every damn pore. 


9. The itchness of your scalp when you haven't put oil in your hair for a long time.


Most ethnic girls will know that putting a hot oil treatment in your hair at least once a week is imperative. Without it, your scalp gets all kinds of itchy and flaky.  Also, washing your hair without any pre-shampoo treatment is just as bad, since you risk drying your scalp and strands further. But the upkeep of our naturally thick, lushious mane is really too much!


10. Going outdoors with oil in your hair.

Now about that hot oil treatment. Most nourishing hair mask say to leave them in for only 20 minutes. But you know better. To get any kind of benefit from your treatment it needs to be in for hours. But what if you have errands to run? Stepping out with oil or a mask in your hair requires constantly adjusting your hat or head scarf and praying you won't bump into someone you know.



11. Looking "empty" without eyeliner. 


The one day you choose to skip out on the kohl is the one day people ask if you're sick. And mascara doesn't count. You need that black pencil all up and in your waterline before you look like a normal human person. Such is a brown girl's fate. 

Related viewing: Good Hair