Best Skincare Tips For Black Men

Keep Your Skin Looking Its Best With These Tips

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Clear, smooth skin doesn't need to be complicated. Taking care of your skin is essential, and it's unique to everyone. But, there are some general rules that we can all follow to set us on the path to great skin. However, it's important to remember that genetic makeup also contributes to skin, too. 

Because of their hair textures and growth patterns, Black men are likely to battle with ingrown hairs or razor bumps, often from shaving. Black men are also prone to hyperpigmentation (dark spots) and dry skin. Before targeting problem areas, it is first important to discuss skin care basics to build a proper foundation.

The Basics

To start properly taking care of your skin, you have to know what type it is. Skin types normally include normal, dry, oily, sensitive, and combination skin. Based on your skin type, you will want to purchase products appropriate for your skin type.

  • Wash – The most important step in your skincare regime is in proper washing. You should wash morning and before bedtime to remove environmental buildup and debris. Cream cleansers are great for sensitive and dry skin, while foaming washes are better suited for oily and normal skin types.
  • Exfoliate – Sometimes, washing is not enough to remove dead skin or deeply embedded dirt, like blackheads. This is when an exfoliating becomes an important step. You shouldn’t exfoliate daily, as the scrubbing action can be too harsh on your skin. Exfoliate once a week or as needed, like when your skin is feeling really clogged.
  • ToneSkin toners are a liquid applied to the face with a cotton ball or pad. Toner will help remove any last traces of dirt left on your face after washing, as well as minimize the pores. Be sure to use a gentler toner on sensitive skin while using a stronger astringent on areas like your nose that's more prone to blackheads. 
  • Moisturize – Keeping your face moisturized is the key to soft, smooth skin. Hydration is vital to keep the skin youthful and firm, and there are moisturizers to target all sorts of needs. Don’t forget to use a separate moisturizer specifically formulated for eyes. The skin around your eyes is thinner and more sensitive than the rest of your face, so regular moisturizer can irritate it.

Trouble Spots

Hyperpigmentation – Darkening of the skin due to increased melanin can occur as a result of a variety of reasons. Scarring, acne, sunburns, and even certain illnesses, can cause hyperpigmentation. As a result, darker pigmented skin is more susceptible to this condition. Often times, people think they need to resort the skin lightening products, but before doing so, it is important to speak with your dermatologist about being prescribed products containing Vitamin C, Retinol, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids. If you have dark circles under the eyes, this is more likely due to superficial pigmentation. In this instance, you may need a lightening cream prescribed by your dermatologist.

The most important thing to remember regarding hyperpigmentation is to protect your skin from the sun. Many have a misconception that Black skin cannot suffer from sun damage, but it is important to remember that all skin types need protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to use a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15. Protecting your skin from the sun will decrease your chances of getting dark spots on your skin.

Dry Skin – When Black men have dry skin, it can create a gray appearance to the skin. This gray look comes from dry, flaky skin. To prevent this, make sure your face wash isn't stripping your skins of its natural oils and moisture. Use a cleanser that is gentle and hydrating and wash with lukewarm water since hot water can also further dry skin out. Hydrate regularly with a good moisturizer, as prevention is key. Use an oil-free moisturizer since you will be hydrating regularly and don't want to clog your pores. Look for one that has natural ingredients like Vitamin A and E and apply routinely. Stay on top of hydration and you will avoid dry skin, an ashy appearance, and fine lines while retaining a youthful glow.

Ingrown Hairs – Although not exclusive to anyone, men battle greatly with ingrown hairs due to their facial hair growth patterns. When hair is cut bluntly from shaving, there is a sharp edge to the hair as it grows back. Add to that sharp edge a curl pattern to your hair growth, and you have incredible likeliness that the hair will curl back into the skin, causing hair to grow inward. As a result of the inward growing hair, bacteria and fluid forms, causing a bump in the skin. While an ingrown hair may look like a pimple, try not to pick at it. Picking only further irritates skin, and it can lead to hyperpigmentation, too.

Using proper shaving methods should help cut down ingrown hairs, but having curly hair can mean you need to take additional steps to in order to deal with what seems like an ongoing battle of bumps. When bumps appear, use a warm washcloth and a gentle exfoliant to gently scrub in a circular motion over the inflamed area. This should help ease and open your pores, allowing for ingrown hairs to the come to the surface. You will also want to use a product containing glycolic or salicylic acid regularly, which will kill bacteria and help prevent ingrown hairs from becoming enflamed.