Skin type isn’t the only factor to consider when deciding how to best care for your skin. Skin tone matters just as much. According to research, individuals with darker skin tones are most at risk of hyperpigmentation and similar skin conditions.
Melanated skin requires specialized care and products — specifically those formulated for richly-pigmented skin tones — to help maintain its healthy state. Finding skincare solutions for deeper complexions used to be a chore.
Limited product offerings once made it difficult to create a routine that helps maintain glowing, flawless skin. Thankfully, we’re past many (but not all) limitations now that the skincare industry is more inclusive. This guide features science-backed tips and product recommendations to help you take better care of your melanin-rich skin.
Melanin-rich skincare tips
Boost the healthiness and radiance of your skin: Put these essential tips into practice to control acne, avoid ashiness, and visibly reduce the appearance of undesirable skin woes.
Use a gentle cleanser
The secret to maintaining fabulous skin? It’s all in the routine. A daily cleansing and moisturizing regimen can make all the difference in your skin’s smoothness and appearance.
We recommend cleansers on the milder side, such as Buttah’s facial cleanser, because they’re the least likely to irritate or dehydrate your skin. What’s even better is finding a noncomedogenic cleanser that won’t clog your pores. Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser checks both boxes.
You’ll want to follow up your cleanser with a good moisturizer. There’s scientific evidence that melanin-rich skin has the most difficulty retaining moisture. Dryness causes the skin to look ashy and stands out more on melanated skin. A daily moisturizer with moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid, like Urban Skin Rx’s Hydrabalance Brightening Moisture Infusion, can help keep ashiness at bay.
Try to avoid Vaseline and other oily, pore-clogging moisturizers. The higher-quality moisturizers are cream-based and noncomedogenic. Have sensitive skin that’s easily irritated? Go fragrance-free with Olay’s Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream.
Keep exfoliating at a minimum
Exfoliators are great for eliminating dead skin cells and product buildup. However, they can often be too harsh for melanin-rich skin. Use precaution when adding skin exfoliators to your regimen, and lean toward gentle options like Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.
Test the waters and see how your skin reacts to your exfoliator before making it a long-term fixture. In terms of how many times per week you should exfoliate, it really depends on your skin’s needs. You (or your dermatologist) may deem it necessary to exfoliate at least once a week, but set your pace based on your skin’s response to exfoliants.
Get control of hyperpigmentation
Eliminating dark spots is no easy feat. That’s why you’re better off avoiding this problem altogether with preventative skincare treatments that minimize acne. If the damage is already done, confront it immediately to put a stop to permanent scarring.
There are products uniquely formulated to help lighten up existing dark spots. A dermatologist can prescribe a specialized treatment for you. You can also shop online for effective dark spot treatments. When choosing products to address discoloration, look for products with ingredients like kojic acid and retinoids. They play an important role in the reduction of dark spots. Check out Urban Skin Rx’s Retinol Rapid Repair & Dark Spot Treatment.
Until your dark spots heal, you can also wear makeup as a temporary measure. Just use a foundation that matches your skin tone — it’s one of the oldest Jedi mind tricks in the book. Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation may be just the thing you’re looking for.
Fight acne the effective way
The best way to treat skin inflammation is to get ahead of it before it worsens. You can further avoid the emergence of dark spots and acne scars by doing so. Fighting acne requires ensuring your skincare routine contains gentle, effective products for melanated skin.
A dermatologist can help you sort through your options and choose products best suited for your skin type. If you’d rather take matters into your own hands, try to find acne treatments formulated with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids. Urban Skin Rx’s Clear Complexion Acne Serum + Spot Treatment is a great acne treatment for melanin-rich skin.
There’s this conception that having melanin-rich skin exempts you from harmful sunlight exposure. Let’s dispel this myth once and for all: Melanated or not, everyone needs sun protection of some sort. Everyone should use an SPF-30-or-higher sunscreen to protect their skin from ultraviolet rays.
Don’t think you only need to pull out your sunscreen when it’s sunny, either. Year-round sunscreen use is a non-negotiable for your skincare routine, come rain or shine. To make it easier on yourself, use a facial moisturizer with built-in SPF. Urban Skin Rx’s Complexion Protection Moisturizer with SPF 30 offers this.
Eat your way to gorgeous skin
What you consume can eventually appear on your skin. If you want healthy skin, eat a nutrient-rich diet filled with skin-friendly foods, like fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary and other high glycemic foods as much as possible, and take it easy on the alcohol. The latter only magnifies the existing skin issues you’re dealing with.
Summing it all up
Clear, beautiful skin is obtainable with a solid skincare routine and a healthy diet. Having a dermatologist who specializes in melanated skin also helps. Fortunately, treatments for dark spots, acne, and other skincare woes that threaten melanated skin are readily available in abundance.