Skin Care Tips For Women With A Deeper Skin Tone

Simple habits and hacks to get that well-nourished, healthy glow on your skin any season.

Medically reviewed by Dr. M. Khawar Nazir, MBBS Dr. M. Khawar Nazir Dr. M. Khawar NazirMBBS facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years

Not only skin type but skin tone also has to be considered while deciding on a skin care routine. So, keeping with the thought here, we will discuss some skin care tips for darker skin tones. They need special care as darker skin tones are more prone to skin issues like dryness, hyperpigmentation, and scars.

Skin issues are not limited to the fairer complexion, and they impact darker skin tones, too. So, to maintain gorgeous and healthy skin, women of darker skin tones have to maintain a dedicated skincare regimen. In this article, we will elaborate on skin care tips for darker skin tones to help you maintain healthy skin. Keep scrolling!

Skin Care Tips For Women With Darker Skin Tones

1. Cleanse Gently

Woman with dark skin tone gently cleansing face
Image: IStock

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 surfactantsi  Chemical compounds or agents that decrease the surface tension between two liquids or between a gas and liquid. 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.

A blogger observes the importance of cleansing with organic ingredients in her skin care routine: “Black African soap is a really good organic cleanser. It works very well for sensitive skin like mine and reduces oily skin. I love how raw and natural it is as it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. After that, I like to air dry my face. After my face is dry, I like to spray rose water on my face as a toner (i).”

2. Exfoliate With Caution

 Woman with gentle exfoliating scrub on face
Image: IStock

Exfoliation is another essential step in a black/dark 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

Smiling woman applying moisturizer on face
Image: IStock

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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
While selecting the foundation shade for your deeper skin tone, always focus on the color that matches the center of the face and neck areas.

4. Use Sunscreen

It is a common (and dangerous) misconception that melanin-rich brown 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 skin tanning, and may increase the risk of skin cancer.

A cross-sectional study conducted on 31,162 US adults found that 31.5% of the participants used sunscreen while 37.1% stayed in the shade. Furthermore, 40.2% of women and 42.9% of people with sensitive skin used sunscreen to protect their skin from sunburns.

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

Woman applying anti-acne patch on the nose
Image: IStock

Attend to the first signs of a pimple or a clogged pore. It is because acne can lead to pigmentation or scars 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 retinoli  An over-the-counter formulation of vitamin-A that helps unclog pores and increases collagen production. 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 or even a depression in the skin (called a “scar”). 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 friends. Whether you have acne-prone skin or not, try to use non-comedogenic skin care products. Comedogenici  A substance or skin care product that tends to clog skin pores and encourages the formation of blackheads, or acne. skin care products clog the skin pores, increasing your chances of developing comedonesi  Open (blackhead) or closed (whitehead) pores in the skin or hair follicles clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. and acne. Avoid comedogenici  A substance or skin care product that tends to clog skin pores and encourages the formation of blackheads, or acne. ingredients like beeswax, mango butter, lanolin, isopropyl palmitate, isostearyl isostearate, PEG, and talc. On the other hand, non-comedogenic products can reduce breakouts.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Not getting enough beauty sleep may take a toll on your skin. There also is a link between sleep and facial attractiveness (2).

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, especially hyperpigmentation.

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

Woman eating salad from a bowl
Image: IStock

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.

Infographic: Essential Skin Care Tips For Deeper Skin Tones

Taking care of your skin is essential, regardless of the skin tone. However, individuals with deeper skin tones may have specific needs and challenges when it comes to skin care. Deeper skin tones are naturally rich in melanin, which provides protection against the sun’s harmful rays. The following infographic provides skin care tips tailored to the needs of deeper skin tones. Check it out!

essential skincare tips for deeper skin tones (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Melanin-rich skin is thought to be resilient. It is, up to a certain extent. However, that does not mean that deeper skin tones do not require an intense skin care regimen. Like all other skin tones, deeper skin tones with higher melanin are also susceptible to acne, dryness, hyperpigmentation, spots, UV damage, and inflammation. We hope that the skin care tips for deeper skin tones discussed in the article have helped you understand how to love your skin back. These tips will address the issues your skin may face and help keep it soft, glowing, and protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is vitamin C serum good for dark skin?

Yes, vitamin C serums are safe and effective on dark skin. Infact, vitamin C serum is a mild brightener that can help even out discoloration on dark skin and prevent the skin from looking blotchy.

Does coconut oil lighten dark skin?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that using coconut oil may lighten the skin. However, coconut oil is known to be comedogenici  A substance or skin care product that tends to clog skin pores and encourages the formation of blackheads, or acne. and should be used with caution on oily and acne-prone skin.

Does Vitamin E darken the skin?

No, there is no evidence to suggest that vitamin E darkens the skin. On the contrary, it is often used in formulations to even out skin tones.

Does shea butter darken skin?

No, shea butter does not darken the skin. It acts as a moisturizer and though its vitamin E content may help even skin tone and brighten it up, there is no evidence that it either brightens or lightens the skin.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing your skin type and skin tone is important to decide your skincare routine.
  • Choosing the right products helps maintain the oil and moisture balance and get an even-toned radiant skin.
  • Using sunscreen along with a well-balanced diet helps improve skin barrier, giving spotless skin.
Skin Care Tips for Darker Skin Tones

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Unlock the secrets to radiant skin with this insightful video. Click on it to know more about the different products and the steps you need to follow to get beautiful and healthy skin.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Laser Therapy in Ethnic Populations,
  2. Beauty sleep: experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of sleep deprived people
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Dr. M. Khawar Nazir has 10 years of experience in cosmetic dermatology and is the CEO of Boston Aesthetics Lahore, Pakistan. He earned his MBBS degree from Nishtar Medical College, Multan, Pakistan, and did his post graduation from Boston University, School Of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
Read full bio of Dr. M. Khawar Nazir