BLACK SKIN CARE: OUR TIPS FOR A RADIANT SKIN
Reading time : 5 minutes
How is Black skin Different?
The Marvel of Melanin: Natural UV Protection
Research shows that black skin contains more active pigment cells than lighter skin tones, leading to notably higher levels of melanin. This characteristic provides a built-in defense against the sun's harmful UV rays. However, it's crucial to note that even with this natural protection, excessive sun exposure can lead to premature skin aging and other issues (like hyperpigmentation). Therefore, proper sun protection with sunscreen is important for everyone, regardless of their skin tone.
Unique Qualities of Black Skin:
- Natural UV Protection: The high melanin content acts as a natural sunscreen, providing effective protection against UV rays.
- Lower Risk of Skin Cancer: Research shows that lack skin offers about five times better protection against harmful UV rays compared to caucasian skin, reducing the risk of skin cancer.
- Denser and More Resilient Skin: Black and brown skin are thicker, more vascularized, and more compact due to increased collagen and elastin fibers production. This density provides greater resistance to external factors.
Specific Issues of Black Skin:
- Sensitivity to Climate: While black skin is resilient, it can be prone to dryness and dehydration in dry and cold climates. It has also a tendency to react to external aggressions (hard water, cold, hormonal changes, stress, lack of sunlight, pollution...) that tend to dry it out much more quickly.
- Uneven Tone and Hyperpigmentation: Dark spots are quite a common concern for black skin, often caused by injuries or skin imperfections, and high levels of melanin. With combination skin being the most common skin type found among black skins, uneven tone can also be an issue. Indeed, oily areas of the face have a tendency towards discoloration, leading to a lack of uniformity.
- Acne and Imperfections: Due to increased sebum production, acne is a common issue with darker skins. Due to its hyperactivity and rapid thickening, black skin also has a higher tendency to scarring.
How to Keep Black Skin Healthy?
Our Best Tip: Prioritizing Hydration
Hydration is key to maintaining the health and appearance of black skin. Every step of your beauty routine should incorporate hydration to prevent the onset of fine lines and wrinkles. In your evening skincare routine, after thorough cleansing, consider using a moisturizing toner, followed by a daily moisturizer. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, argan oil, and various natural oils like almond oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil, all of which contribute to retaining moisture, nourishing the skin, and keeping it hydrated. If you have combination skin, The Fluid Cream by Le Domaine is a very good choice. With its light texture, it lets the skin hydrated while being quickly absorbed.
Note: It's important to know that pure oils and butters (like shea butter), applied directly to the skin are not moisturizers. They help in replenishing the skin's lipids but lack moisturizers' ability to hydrate the skin. However, you can use shea butter to replenish your body's hydrolipidic barrier.
The First Step to a Face Routine: Gentle Cleansing
As with any kind of skin tone, rule N°1 is thorough makeup removal and gentle cleansing. No matter your skin type, this step is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Avoid harsh soaps that can strip the skin of its natural oils. Opt for gentle cleansing products like cleansing milk or cleansing oil. Consider double cleansing, a two-step makeup removal technique that includes an oily phase (cleansing oil) and an aqueous phase (gentle cleanser without sulfated surfactants). Or opt for a one-step gentle product like The Cleaning Emulsion by Le Domaine. When showering, you can use a shower oil or black soap for a gentler, non-irritating cleansing experience.
Beauty Products for Skin Tone and Hyperpigmentation
While melanated skin is dense and resilient, it can still be sensitive and reactive to external factors. To maintain even skin tone and prevent pigmentation spots, follow these important rules:
- Scrub and Exfoliate in Moderation: Exfoliation helps in removing dead skin cells, but it should be done with caution. Limit exfoliation to once or twice a month and choose gentle exfoliants. Excessive exfoliation can irritate the skin and stimulate sebum production, leading to dehydration and oiliness.
- Protect Your Skin from the Sun: While black skin has some natural UV resistance, it's not immune to sun damage. Prolonged sun exposure can result in pigmentation spots. Hence, sunscreen remains essential for limiting hyperpigmentation. Opt for an SPF 30 or 50+ sunscreen, even on cloudy days, and avoid extended sun exposure.
- Treat Acne Issues with Gentleness: Black skin has a tendency to heal slowly and can be susceptible to keloid formation, a type of scarring characterized by the overproduction of tissue around wounds. It's crucial to avoid picking at or squeezing pimples to prevent exacerbating the issue. Give your skin time to heal naturally, and opt for gentle skin care products like Aloe Vera-based products to soothe and calm irritated skin.
In the case of severe acne flare-ups, it's advisable to consult a specialized dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment options.
What not to Use on Black Skin?
- Skin Care Routine not Adapted to Your Skin Type: When selecting skincare products, pay close attention to their compatibility with your skin's unique characteristics. Although your skin may appear shiny in some places, it doesn't mean it is oily. Black skin has a tendency towards combination skin, which means a combination of oily and dry skin on different parts of the face. If unsure, you can always consult our article on how to recognize the skin type you have. Choosing gentle, preferably natural products is recommended, specially to avoid the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Avoid overly chemical skincare products and opt for those that are alcohol-free and non-comedogenic to protect your skin's health.
- Skin-Lightening Products: Avoid skin-lightening products formulated with cortisone and hydroquinone. Research shows that these components can be carcinogenic and cause dark spots. Instead, choose anti-spot products that contain ingredients such as glycolic acid (AHA) and salicylic acid (BHA) for gentle exfoliation. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that can help even skin tone, and natural extracts like licorice extract and marshmallow root extract, can be used to reduce dark spots.
Black skin is a testament to beauty's diversity and uniqueness. Proper care and attention to its specific characteristics can help you achieve and maintain radiant, healthy skin. The key objectives in your skincare routine should be hydration, gentleness and prevention. By following these rules and choosing suitable products, you can preserve the beauty of your black skin and ensure it thrives for years to come. Remember to cherish the individuality of your skin and give it the care it deserves.