When it comes to the beauty industry, the fight against shade inequality is nothing new. For decades, the beauty world, including the skincare one, has left dark skin tones on the side. Thankfully, celebrities, inclusive advocates, and forward-thinking brands alike are becoming more inclusive and discussing all skin colors’ concerns equally. If you have dark skin, you probably know that your skincare routine needs to be different. Here’s what you should know about caring for darker skin.
Focus on Moisturizing
You might notice that your skin is drier than most people. Well, research suggests that dark skin types lose moisture quicker than lighter skin tones. Incorporating a rich moisturizer into your skincare routine is critical for nourishing your skin.
Look for a moisturizer that locks in moisture with ingredients like hyaluronic acid. However, make sure the formula you choose is noncomedogenic to prevent it from clogging your pores. Some people use moisturizers like petroleum jelly, but this might not be ideal for every skin type. Whichever you choose, make sure to apply it every morning and night. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, and indulge in water-rich foods to help make sure your skin remains hydrated.
Do NOT Skip the Sunscreen
It’s a popular myth that darker skin tones don’t get skin cancer. However, those who get it are more likely to pass away from the condition. Because skin cancer lesions are more difficult to spot in darker skin tones, most people discover they have the condition in advanced stages.
Become extra diligent about applying sunscreen every day. Choose a product with at least SPF 35 that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every three to four hours, and immediately after being in the water. Additionally, if you spend a lot of time under the sun, make sure you’re wearing sun-protective clothes, including hats and sunglasses.
Make Hyperpigmentation Your Main Concern
Hyperpigmentation affects all skin shades and types. Any inflammation, such as acne or eczema, can leave hyperpigmentation spots, also known as dark spots. Women with darker skin often experience hyperpigmentation post-pregnancy or when taking oral contraceptives.
That’s another reason to make sure sunscreen is an essential part of your skincare treatment. While it won’t treat hyperpigmentation, it will prevent spots from becoming darker. Additionally, you might use skincare products that contain vitamin C or hydroquinone to reduce hyperpigmentation. However, make sure to check with your dermatologist first as these two ingredients can react to others, such as retinoids or skincare acids.
Find a Specialized Dermatologist
In a recent U.S. survey, around 47% of dermatologists said their medical training was inadequate in how to treat skin conditions in darker skin tones. You must seek out a dermatologist with experience handling your skin color. While this might sound silly, you’ll be surprised how few dermatologists find themselves comfortable in treating pigmentary disorders. Use services like the Skin of Color Society to find a specialized dermatologist in your area.
A Note from GR8NESS
As you celebrate the color of your skin, make sure you’re also paying attention to the way you treat it. Make sure you’re listening to your skin’s needs and speaking with someone who understands and has experience with darker skin tones. Keep on shining, GR8 you!