New Study Says Black Doesn’t Crack; Here Are 6 Black Women Proving It

Actress Angela Bassett attends Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con 2015 party at Float at the Hard Rock Hotel July 11, 2015, in San Diego.
Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

Earlier this week I turned a year older, and most people either don’t believe my age or just assume I’m a lot younger. There’s the old adage of “Black don’t crack,” and a recent study proves just that.

Skin-care experts Olay, along with Harvard Medical School dermatology professor Dr. Alexa Kimball, did a study that concluded that black women age at a slower rate than Asian, white and Hispanic women.


One of the components involved in the aging process for black women is definitely melanin. Our melanin is “on fleek,” as the younger generation would say.

From Olay’s principal scientist, Frauke Neuser:

We have definitely seen that women of African-American background aged comparatively slower [than Caucasian women]. The study also revealed twice as many exceptional skin agers in this group—women who looked more than 10 years younger than their real age—than in the Caucasian study group. This does not mean women of African-American background don’t experience visible skin aging, but on average less or later than lighter skin types.

So, great: A company spent tons of money on something we’ve known for ages. But let’s look at this from a visual standpoint, using some of today’s black celebrities.

1. Angela Bassett


Earlier this year I interviewed the extraordinary actress about her first foray into directing with the Whitney Houston made-for-TV biopic. I was >>thisclose<< to asking her about her beauty routine, but I kept it professional. Bassett will turn 57 next week and doesn’t look any bit her age. And her skin? Always flawless!

2. Michelle Obama


The first lady turned 51 this year, and I’m willing to bet that having two teenage daughters definitely plays a role in keeping her so young looking. Obama not only has skin to die for—have you seen her arms? If I had arms like the FLOTUS, I’d live in short sleeves.

3. Iman


Before Naomi Campbell, there was Iman. And even though the model turned 60 last month, it’s not stopping her from stunting on these younger models out there. Yes, you read correctly, the Somali stunner is 6-0!

4. Diahann Carroll


To call Carroll legendary would be an understatement, and at 80 years old, she’s the epitome of “Black don’t crack.” The actress, who got her start by modeling for Ebony magazine as a teen, still has her acting chops in check. She most recently appeared on the USA series White Collar.

5. Cicely Tyson


Earlier this year Tyson turned 90 years old, and for some reason people found that hard to believe. And even though she’s 90, the actress isn’t done with her career. “I actually feel like I have not really achieved that much,” Tyson told the Associated Press. “So I look at it as just encouragement to keep going.”

6. My Mother


My mother is neither an actress nor famous, but she looks damn good for someone turning 59 next month. I guess I get it from her.

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