Black people have been drinking from the fountain of youth, birthing the phrase “Black don’t crack.” Between our stellar genetics and the slab of Vaseline our parents used to smother on our faces as children, it has helped us defy the laws of aging.
We pride ourselves in the youthful glow of Black skin, but there’s a logical and scientific explanation for our radiance. The sun has harsh UV lights, and thanks to the protection properties in our melanated skin, we are less prone to the wrinkles that too much sun exposure can cause. Not to mention, our skin is a bit thicker than our Caucasian counterparts. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin, followed by the dermis. Black people are known to have a thicker dermis, which shields aging to a degree. Simply put, anti-aging is in our DNA.
Despite our innate ability to flex youthful skin, we are responsible for maintaining that glow through an adequate skincare routine. It is the combination of both our genetics and maintenance that validates the phrase “Black don’t crack.” Moisture is the key to healthy skin, as well as wearing sunscreen, properly removing makeup before bed, drinking lots of water, and consuming foods rich in antioxidants.
We’ve talked about the scientific evidence behind why black doesn’t crack, but we witness visual proof every time we see celebrities like Angela Bassett or Gabrielle Union on the scene. These women can rival women 20 years their junior, and they do it effortlessly. Union, 51, has looked 30 for most of her career. As she continues to add years to her existence, her proof of aging remains to be seen.
For these celebrities, aging gracefully is an understatement. Here are a few stars that define “Black don’t crack.”
1. Angela Bassett, 65Source:Getty
Angela Bassett has graced our TV screens since the 80s. She’s played numerous roles and earned countless accolades, and while it’s all worth the chatter, people mostly fixate on her timeless face.
2. Tamara & Tia Mowry, 45Source:Getty
Tamera and Tia Mowry displayed their bubbly personalities on the hit TV series Sister, Sister in 1994. Since then, they’ve grown and evolved into mothers, businesswomen, and so much more. And while 30 years have passed since they entered the entertainment industry, time remains still in terms of the aging process.
3. Gabrielle Union, 51Source:Getty
Gabrielle Union is one of my favorite examples of Black don’t crack. While interviewing her for her role in “The Perfect Find,” Union said that one of her biggest flexes was playing a character ten years younger than her age.
4. Meagan Good, 42Source:Getty
I should start by saying 40 is relatively young, but the ultimate flex is the ability to look 25 instead of your actual age. Meagan Good’s honey-glazed skin should be studied. The 42-year-old actress has looked like she’s in her 20s for most of her career.
5. Mya, 44Source:Getty
Mya had us rocking our hips in the 90s to her chart-topping hits. Now, at 44, the singer makes it known that the secret to her youthful glow is drinking water, minding her business, a vegan lifestyle, and maintaining a strong sense of self.
6. Ashanti, 43Source:Getty
Ashanti serves looks and body effortlessly. Like Mya, she comes from an era where natural bodies were the wave. The 43-year-old singer hasn’t aged one bit since her Murder Inc. days, and it has us baffled.
7. Sanaa Lathan, 52Source:Getty
When I was younger, one of my biggest fears was aging. I didn’t want to be perceived as an old, washed-up version of myself—a harsh but real thought at the time. But watching women like Sanaa Lathan grow older showed me that aging gracefully is a thing. There’s a level of confidence and sexiness that comes with entering your 50s, and Lathan is a prime example of that.
8. Nia Long, 53Source:Getty
When I see Black celebrities in their 50s, I become eager to join the club. If living half a century looks this good, then sign me up! And if we’re looking for poster girls for life after 50, Nia Long should be a strong contender. The mother of 2 serves fresh-faced selfies on her Instagram page that have us wondering when she will drop the skincare routine.
9. Pharrell Williams, 50Source:Getty
Pharrell Williams has been fighting the alien allegations for the last 20 years. The producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper turned fashion designer has not one wrinkle in sight, which eventually led him to drop his own skincare collection, Humanrace.
10. Toni Braxton, 56Source:Getty
Toni Braxton has endured lots of health issues over the years. The effects of those struggles could accelerate the aging process because of stress, but it did the opposite for Braxton. In fact, the immutable talent only gets better with time.