Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Truth About Black Skin

Black skin can and will burn with prolonged hours of sun exposure. Though black people have high levels of melanin (the substance which gives skin its color and some level of protection from the sun), they still need sunscreen. If you plan on hanging out at the beach or lounging around the pool, load up on sunscreen, just like everyone else.

Tip: Grab a chemical sunscreen that contain chemical compounds like Avobenzone and Octinoxate. These sunscreens are usually more pleasant to use, light-weight, less greasy, and do not leave the “whitening” or ashen effect on brown skin the way some physical sunscreens do.

Black people can get skin cancer!
Don't be fooled. Though, on average, black skin has a natural  SPF of 13, and the likelihood of getting skin cancer are far less than lighter skinned people – Yes! – getting skin cancer is still possible. Melanoma is the deadliest of all forms of skin cancer, particularly for people of color because it isn't always  caught in time.

Tip: Look for a broad spectrum sunblock with UVA and UVB protection, and a SPF rating of at least 30. These are generally gentle enough to use daily.

In general (not always), black people tend to have oilier skin.
The good thing about oily skin (no matter your ethnic background) is that it ages better. The oil protects and lubricates, but oil is NOT moisture. Oily skin can still become dehydrated and flaky.

Tip: Keywords to look for when searching for a good moisturizer for oily skin are, "oil free," "water-based," "light," and "noncomedogenic" (which means that they don't clog pores and are therefore not as likely to cause acne).

Hold on to your hats. Black people CAN get wrinkles! Though black people have more melanin in their skin and may not get as many wrinkles, they will eventually get them. No one can escape the aging process, so crow’s feet, laugh lines, and fine lines are all part of
everyone’s aging process.

Tip: Uneven skin tone usually becomes a problem for black people. If you suffer from hyper-pigmentation you could try a microdermabrasion treatment. Alternatively, you could use a lightening skin product (kojic acid, is a safer more natural alternative to hydroquinone). For saggy skin (loss of collagen) consult a dermatologist before making any decision.

Hope this helps.

1 comment:

  1. I am a licensed esthetician and licensed instructor at a college that has an associates degree in esthetics. I found this information very informative and will continue looking for more info in treating dark skin. There is not enough information taught in this subject.