The amount of melanin in your skin determines its tone. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin. Palomar Community College explains that the difference in skin tones is a result of human migration and adaptation to tropical and nontropical environments. Black-skinned individuals have greater sun tolerance than those with pale skin and also show signs of skin damage much later in life. If you have black skin, proper care can keep you looking your best.
Moisturize your skin daily. Black skin tends to be dry, often appearing ashy when overly dry. The University of Pittsburgh explains that a lubricating facial moisturizer that contains humectants is ideal for black skin. Humectants attract water, keeping your skin soft and supple. If your skin is oily, choose an oil-free cleanser that won't clog your pores.
Wash your skin daily with a moisturizing body wash. "Look for ingredients such as glycerin, urea, hyaluronic acid or dimethicone, suggests The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program's workbook, "Hair and Skin Care for African American and Biracial Children." Apply the body wash with a clean washcloth or shower puff. Use a separate facial cleanser in the morning and at night to remove cosmetics and keep your pores clear.
Exfoliate your. Black skin is prone to roughness and bumps, caused by a buildup of dead skin cells. If your skin is dry or thin, exfoliate once a week. Oily or combination skin types should exfoliate two to three times a week. An exfoliation cream or shower loofah can help make skin smoother.
Protect your skin from the sun with a daily sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Just because your skin is dark does not mean that the sun is harmless. In fact, black skin is not immune to wrinkling and skin cancer, according to Ohio State University Extension.
Eat healthy and drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water each day. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains will keep your skin glowing from the inside out.
If your face is sensitive, choose a moisturizer specifically designed for the skin on your face. Use a separate cream for your body.
At least 30 minutes of daily exercise will also help to keep your skin healthy and toned.
Do not take shortcuts when it comes to caring for your skin. Failing to moisturize, apply a sunscreen or wash daily can rob your skin of its glow and make you appear older than you are.
- Palomar Community College: Skin Color Adaptation
- University of Pittsburgh: Hair and Skincare for African American and Biracial Children
- Ohio State University Extension: Sun Exposure: Precautions and Protection
- Cosmopolitan: Are You Exfoliating Too Much?
- Go Ask Alice: Dark Skin -- Is Sunscreen Necessary?