Skin Care For Black Skin
The one assumption commonly made about ethnic skin is that it is almost always oily and therefore any black skin care regime should focus on using products for oily skin.
In fact nothing could be further from the truth. As with all skin types black skin can be dry, normal, combination or oily, however black or African American skin does differ in structure to Caucasian skin and needs to be looked after accordingly.
The following are some helpful black skin care tips for both men and women:
Skin Care For Black Women
1. Feed Your Face
It’s true for all types and colors of skin and the very foundation of beautiful skin – beauty begins from within.
So whatever your skin type, make sure you are eating a healthy, nutritious diet that is high in brightly colored fresh fruits and vegetables.These are your skin superfoods and will help to give you a vibrant looking complexion. Oily fish and nuts are also excellent skin foods and should be incorporated into your regular diet as often as possible.
Save indulgent treats such as deep fried foods or foods high in fats and sugars for occasional treats and try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of pure water per day to lubricate your skin on the inside and gain that all-desirable, dewy looking complexion.
2. Know Your Skin Type
Skin care for African American women follows the same pattern as skin care for Caucasian women. You need to decipher your skin type and find products to suit it.
So if your skin is oily and acne prone you will follow an oily skin care regimen and if it is dry then you’d choose products formulated for dry skin.
As with any skin care regime the focus should be on using gentle, natural products.
Harsh products do not suit any type of skin and can cause more damage than good, it is also a myth that the more expensive the product the better.
Many beauty products that contain simple, natural ingredients will work for your skin just as well as costly shop bought products.
3. Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Another common misconception about black skin is that it does not need any protection from the sun.
While it is true that darker skin contains more melanin than Caucasian skin, this does not offer complete protection from the harmful UV rays given off by the sun.
Although rare, skin cancer can occur in people with black skin and when it does it is usually the very aggressive form of skin cancer that can be fatal.
The bottom line is that black skin does need to be protected from the sun, particularly if you spend long periods of time exposed to strong sunlight.
Choose a facial moisturizer that contains an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin from the sun and use SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on the rest of your body if your skin is going to be exposed to the sun.
4. Control Acne Gently
If you suffer from acne it is important that you don’t pick or squeeze any spots or pimples. Black skin is particularly prone to scarring and can develop raised scars known as keloid scars.
Treat oily, spot prone skin as you would sensitive skin. Make sure your products are gentle and natural and do not wash or scrub your skin too vigorously as this can aggravate acne.
Eating healthily is especially important for acne prone, oily skin so make sure you eat foods that are in a natural state as possible and avoid alcohol, and spicy foods to help prevent breakouts.
5. Think About The Future
There is definitely some truth in the notion that black skin ages better than Caucasian skin – this is probably because black skin is thicker in texture than white skin and therefore less prone to lines and wrinkles.
However black skin does age and lines and wrinkles eventually appear, although they may occur later than they do in white skin.
So thinking about the future of your skin is still important and all the usual anti-aging advice applies as much to black skin as to other skin types.
Avoiding smoking, alcohol and the sun are vital if you do not want your skin to age prematurely.
Skin Care For Black Men
1. Adopt A Basic Skin Care Routine
Skin care routines aren’t just for women. Many men are now proud to look after their appearance and looking good begins with your skin.
You will need to choose products that suit your skin type be that normal, oily, dry, sensitive or combination.
Cleansing the skin with a cream or foam based cleanser is the start of your good skin care regime as this helps to remove dirt and grime from the surface of the skin.
This is usually followed by moisturizer, which helps to keep your skin smooth and firm looking. It is also important to exfoliate your skin 1 or 2 times per week depending on skin type.
Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin giving you a brighter and clearer complexion.
2. Address Ingrown Hairs
All skin types and both men and women suffer from ingrown hairs however African American skin can be more prone to this problem.
This is because hairs are naturally curly and curly hair is more likely to grow back in towards and under the skin – a common problem for men that is caused by daily shaving.
Shaving can lead to ingrowing hairs that appear as bumps and spots on the skin where the hair is growing underneath the skin’s surface.
Using warm towels on the face before shaving and regularly exfoliating the skin once or twice per week can help to prevent the problem of ingrown hairs.
Using the razor blade to shave in one direction only is also recommended.
3. Avoid Hyper-Pigmentation Of The Skin
Black skin can be particularly prone to the problem of hyper-pigmentation. It is caused by a variety of things including acne, scars, sun damage, and some medications or underlying health issues.
The first rule of thumb if you have areas of skin hyper pigmentation is to avoid skin-lightening products as these can make the problem worse.
And the other very important thing you can do to avoid this problem is to make sure you protect your skin from the sun.
It is a common misconception that black skin doesn’t suffer from sun damage but the truth is that all skin types need protection from the sun’s skin damaging UVA and UVB rays.
Using a facial moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 is as important for men as it is for women with black skin. This will decrease the risk of darker areas of hyper-pigmentation from forming in the first place.
4. Treat Dry Skin
African American men suffering from dry skin often notice that their skin takes on a ‘grayish’ appearance. This does not look or feel good so if you have dry skin it’s important to use a rich moisturizer at least twice a day.
A product containing gentle, natural ingredients is best, as one that contains harsh chemicals, fragrances or additives will only strip the skin of its natural oils and make the problem of dry skin more noticeable.
In fact your whole skincare regime should be as gentle and natural as possible if your skin is dry. So make sure you use a gentle foaming cleanser that will also keep your skin hydrated and avoid using soap altogether.
Gentle but hydrating products will not only help dry skin to feel smoother but will also keep the wrinkles away, thus enabling you to maintain your youthful looks.
5. Don’t Be Complacent
As we have already discussed there is a misconception that black skin ages better than white skin.
Although there is some truth in this it does not mean that you can guarantee that your skin will naturally look good as you age and that you do not need to work on it.
All the usual good skin guidelines are as relevant for men with black skin as they are for anyone else. That is, avoid excessive smoking, drinking and exposure to the sun.
Eat healthily and try to feed your skin from within with a nutritious diet that isn’t laden with sugars and unhealthy fats.
With a good diet and a thorough skin care regime you will give your skin all the chances it needs to look good as you age.