Caring for Darker Skin Tones
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It is generally believed that darker skin contains more melanin than lighter skin. Melanin producing cells may be more susceptible to the effects of inflammation and injury, which may be more noticeable in dark skin than in light skin. It’s not to say that darker skin is more difficult to treat, but there are certain concerns that are more frequent and more severe on darker skin and should be considered.
Different skin care routines may benefit different skin colors, due to variances in the structure and function of the skin. Some skin conditions that people with darker skin may experience include:
- acne, which includes pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads
- changes in pigmentation, which causes areas of discoloration
- contact dermatitis, or inflammation that occurs from contact with an irritant or allergen
- eczema, a skin condition that causes itchy, dry, and cracked skin
- seborrheic dermatitis, which appears as scaly patches on the scalp and face
The recommended measures to help alleviate those symptoms for people with dark skin but are relevant for all skin types are as follows:
Cleanse and moisturize daily
To keep your skin clean and supple, it is best to cleanse and moisturize it daily, ideally right after showering.
Use Naked Actives Hydrating Cleanser helps remove clogged pores. It is perfect for dry sensitive skin and can be used for all skin types. The moisturizing ingredients will leave your skin soft and smooth and are clinically proven to hydrate skin. Massage the cleanser into the skin with clean fingertips, then rinse it off with warm water and pat the skin dry with a clean towel.
Research suggests that black skin loses moisture quicker than some lighter skin tones. To avoid this, and to prevent the skin from looking dry, apply a daily moisturizer that contains humectants, such as our Naked Actives EFG Collagen serum with vitamin C, Squalane Oil or Hyaluronic acid serum, which help retain moisture in the skin
Always wear sunscreen protection
One of the biggest myths out there about darker skin is that it does not burn, and that black people do not need to wear sunscreen. This is untrue, and everyone should use adequate sun protection. Although people with darker skin are less likely to get skin cancer from sun exposure, they are more likely to die from the condition if it does develop and this may be because it is more difficult to notice and diagnose it on time.
Sun exposure can also cause dark spots, such as those typical of melisma to develop on black skin. It can also make existing spots darker. Dermatologists recommend using a waterproof sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 that protects against both ultraviolet UVA and UVB rays. All people of different skin colors should apply sunscreen all year round to all areas of exposed skin, even on cloudy days, when in the shade, and in the winter.
Many regular moisturizers contain some SPF, including facial moisturizers but that might not be enough. Sun protection is especially important on the face, as it is often the only part of the skin that gets sun exposure all year round.
Consider treatments for hyperpigmentation
It is important to remember that hyperpigmentation, or areas of skin discoloration, can affect people with any skin tone.
The most common skincare concern for those with dark skin is how to brighten dark spots and even the skin’s tone, for it to look as healthy and radiant as possible. Its necessary to understand why any dark marks and hyperpigmentation have occurred. If it’s acne it must first be treated, and issues such as over-exfoliation must also be addressed. A group of tyrosinase inhibitors which control melanin production can beneficial and can be found in ingredients such as kojic acid, arbutin, and vitamin C, which can reduce hyperpigmentation, protect against sun damage and increase collagen levels. Incorporate some of these ingredients into your routine both day and night to see an improvement over time.
Although sunscreen can prevent new patches of hyperpigmentation from developing, it does not get rid of existing dark spots, but it can prevent existing dark spots from getting darker. To reduce the appearance of existing dark spots, people with dark skin can use a specialized product.
Dermatologists may recommend a combination product that combines multiple products into one that people can use on their skin. Naked Actives portfolio can be tailored and combined to help your skin look at its best.
Treat acne promptly
Treating acne early could prevent the condition from getting worse. It may also prevent the formation of dark spots on the skin, which is part of a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These spots are not scars. Learn more on how to treat acme here.
Establishing a gentle daily skin care routine with Naked Actives skin care products can help stop acne, as can using noncomedogenic, oil-free products.
People should also try to avoid irritants, such as scented laundry detergent and skin products with heavy perfumes. It is important for a person to see a dermatologist to learn about the products that may be appropriate for their specific type of acne.
Eat a balanced diet
Good skin care starts on the inside. To give skin the nutrients it needs to form and repair itself, eat a healthful diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, such as fish, eggs, legumes, and tofu, healthful fats, including nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
Avoiding processed and sugar-filled foods and limiting alcohol intake may also help improve skin health. Alcohol may make certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, even worse. Learn more on how alcohol impacts your skin here.
People with a skin condition such as acne or eczema should speak with a dermatologist to determine whether there are any foods that may make symptoms worse.
Establishing a good skin care routine can help keep darker skin bright, supple, and clear.
As well as performing a gentle daily routine and adopting a healthful diet, people with dark skin should aim to avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals and fragrances.
Specific skin issues, such as acne and dark spots, benefit from swift treatment and preventative techniques.
To prevent the formation and worsening of dark spots and more serious health concerns such as skin cancer, experts recommend that people of all skin complexions use sunblock with at least an SPF of 30 or higher every day.