Your skin care routine should be tailored to the skin type. That is just half the truth. In reality, you should also consider your skin tone – especially if you have a gorgeous and deep skin tone.
Melanin is magical, but that does not mean deeper skin tones are resilient and do not need much care. Issues like dryness, hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture often go unnoticed in those who have dark skin tones. That is why women of color need a dedicated skin care routine with the right products to keep their skin healthy and glowing. Not sure where to start? Let us help you. Scroll down to find 16 skin care tips to maintain your skin health.
Table Of Contents
Skin Care Tips For Women With Darker Skin Tones
1. Cleanse Gently
Any skin care routine starts with cleansing to remove all dirt and grease from your skin. Irrespective of your skin type, you should always go for gentle cleansers that do not contain any harsh chemicals, especially artificial colors and fragrances, alcohol, phenoxyethanol, parabens, PEG, and surfactants like SLS and SLES. These may strip the natural oils, affecting the skin’s natural barrier, causing dryness and flakiness. Instead, choose products with natural and soothing ingredients like aloe vera, plant oils, green tea, ceramides, and peptides.
Avoid washing your face with hot water as it may aggravate the dryness. Always use lukewarm or room temperature water to cleanse your face. Never wipe your face with towels to avoid friction. Instead, pat it dry.
If you use makeup, always go for double cleansing. Use an oil-based cleanser to lift the makeup and residue and follow it up with a water-based or foam-based cleanser.
2. Exfoliate With Caution
Exfoliation is another essential step in a black skin care regimen. It helps remove dead skin to promote cell regeneration and improve skin texture. If you have sensitive skin, use natural exfoliating products.
You can mix coffee granules or sugar with oils or plant butter to exfoliate the skin without causing irritation. Avoid vigorous rubbing to avoid redness and inflammation. It may also cause dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
You may use physical exfoliants (like a scrub) or chemical exfoliants (like AHA and BHA exfoliants). But if you have never used facial acids, steer clear of them. You may start with a low percentage of lactic acid (the mildest of all) and gradually increase the percentage.
However, be careful with exfoliants. Use them only once a week. Over-exfoliating can damage the natural barrier and may irritate the skin.
3. You Can Never Moisturize Enough
This is so true for all skin types and tones! Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, moisturize and hydrate your thirsty skin.
Look for a formula that keeps your skin hydrated for a long time as colored skin tends to dry out quickly. Always apply moisturizer to your damp skin after you step out of the shower. It helps your skin absorb the product and stay plump and soft.
When it comes to moisturizers, hyaluronic acid packs a powerful punch. Your skin and connective tissues naturally produce hyaluronic acid. Its main function is to help your skin retain moisture and keep the tissues lubricated. Adding this to your routine will surely give your skin an extra moisture boost. You may look for other ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, and natural oils to moisturize your skin.
4. Use Sunscreen
It is a common (and dangerous) misconception that melanin-rich skin does not need UV protection. Black skin or deeper skin tones are not sun-resistant. UV rays can cause damage to dark skin and speed up skin aging, cause hyperpigmentation, and may increase the risk of skin cancer.
Never step out in the sun without sunscreen. There are products available that blend seamlessly with dark skin tones without leaving a white cast. You may opt for gel-based or aloe-based sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and PA++ (minimum) rating. While SPF protects the skin from UVB rays, a PA grading system ensures it is protected from UVA as well. Always reapply the sun protection every couple of hours or as mentioned on the package.
5. Attend To Acne Immediately
Attend to the first signs of a pimple or a clogged pore. It is because acne can lead to pigmentation if not treated properly. There are high chances of dark spots developing in the affected area. Spots and pigmentation issues are often tough to address on deeper skin tones. This may make your skin appear uneven.
Use products containing salicylic acid and retinol to address acne and pigmentation. If you have hormonal or cystic acne, consult a dermatologist for proper treatment.
6. Avoid Touching Or Picking Acne
Touching and picking your pimples and acne halt the healing process, and once the acne dries, it may leave a dark spot. Moreover, touching acne can transfer bacteria from your fingers to the other areas, further aggravating the condition.
If you find it hard to resist your urge to touch acne, apply an acne patch. It is a hydrocolloid bandage that blends with your skin and heals acne and pimples.
7. Use Non-Comedogenic Products
Because they are your skin’s best friend. Whether you have acne-prone skin or not, try to use non-comedogenic skin care products. Comedogenic skin care products clog the skin pores, increasing your chances of developing comedones and acne. Avoid comedogenic ingredients like beeswax, mango butter, lanolin, isopropyl palmitate, isostearyl isostearate, PEG, and talc. On the other hand, non-comedogenic products can reduce breakouts.
8. Give Laser Treatments A Second Thought
Laser treatments are widely used for skin resurfacing, reducing wrinkles, blemishes, and acne scars. They are also used for improving uneven skin tones and hair removal. However, people with deeper skin tones need to be careful about laser treatments as they are at a higher risk of developing skin complications.
Laser treatments can lead to discoloration, burns, and blisters in people with darker skin tones. Lasers heat the skin layers and may affect the melanocytes (melanin-producing cells). Sensitivities in this layer can cause adverse skin reactions (1).
Consult a dermatologist or an experienced skin professional who understands the requirements of laser treatments for dark skin.
9. Consume A Wholesome Diet
While topical products can help you get the skin you desire, nothing works as best as a nutritious diet. When you are healthy from within, it reflects on your skin. Consuming a healthy and balanced diet provides adequate nutrients to your body and skin.
Include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats in your diet for the best results. Avoid alcohol, processed foods, and sugar to get your health back on track.
10. Drink Plenty Of Water
The golden rule of drinking eight glasses of water every day is crucial for all. When your body is hydrated, your skin remains plump and healthy. Water also helps drain the toxins out.
To give some extra dose of hydration to your skin, spray an alcohol-free toner or mist on your skin.
It is a misconception that deeper skin tones do not need an intensive skin care routine. Like any other skin tones, deeper skin tones are prone to common skin issues like acne, dryness, hyperpigmentation, spots, and inflammation. The points discussed in the article will help you understand the specific needs of dark skin tones and design a routine to keep your skin supple and glowing.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
What is one tip to ensure acne and pimple reduction?
Wash your face with a cleanser containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to keep acne-causing bacteria at bay.
How should girls with deeper skin tones select the right foundation?
Match the foundation with your skin undertone and see if it oxidizes. Do not be afraid to mix foundation shades to get the shade closest to your skin undertone.
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