When it comes to taking care of your skin, the absolute best thing you can do is prioritize your skin routine. Having an excellent skin care routine can minimize the visible effects of aging and promote overall skin health so you can feel confident about your skin every day. Dr. Wendy E. Roberts in Rancho Mirage, CA understands that African American skin care requires a nuanced approach to keep skin looking healthy and beautiful.
What Makes for a Healthy African American Skin Care Routine?
African American skin care is all about sensitivity and consistency. If you want to get the most out of your skin care products, it’s important to follow a daily routine that meets all of your skin needs while also addressing specific skin concerns. The most important categories to pay attention to include cleansing, moisturizing, sun care, exfoliation, and active ingredients.
Gentle Daily Cleansing
Because African American skin loses moisture more quickly than other skin tones, your daily cleanser must not be loaded with harsh chemicals that will strip the moisture from your skin. A gentle daily cleanser free of sulfates or formulated for dry skin is the ideal choice for your morning and night cleanse.
Many people prefer to use a double cleanse method, especially if make-up removal is on the table. A double cleanse method starts with an oil-based cleanser that removes surface dirt, oil, and makeup without completely stripping the skin; the second cleanse is usually a foam-based cleanser using one formulated with squalene or oats can be a good idea. Micellar cleansers are also excellent options, especially if you’ve been bare-faced all day.
Use Effective Moisturizers
While your cleanser shouldn’t be completely stripping your skin of moisture, it’s still important that you moisturize your skin effectively in the morning and at night. Your goal is to lock moisture into your skin before the weather, make-up, or other irritants can strip your moisture away. For African American skin, fatty moisturizers that contain shea butter and jojoba oil are often effective. You can also reach for moisturizers containing aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, especially at night.
Love Your Suncare
Although darker skin tones are less prone to burning, the potential damage posed by UV rays is still a real threat. In fact, African Americans diagnosed with skin cancer usually have more serious cases because symptoms are detected in later stages. For that reason, you should be sure to use a daily sunscreen that will protect your skin from developing free radicals that can cause premature aging.
Because some sun protectants contain titanium dioxide and since oxide can cause a white cast on darker skin, it may take some searching to find the ideal sunscreen for you. Sunscreens made with milky formulas and mineral additives tend to blend better into darker skin tones. You may also want to consider chemical sunscreens, which penetrate the skin to provide protection – but keep in mind that mineral sunscreens typically offer better overall protection.
Go Easy on Exfoliation
While regular exfoliating can remove dead skin cells and allow your skin to appear radiant, you will need to be careful about the frequency of your exfoliation. Over exfoliating can strip the skin and potentially expose the skin to pigmentation concerns. The frequency of your at-home exfoliation will depend on your skin since some people can exfoliate multiple times a week and others cannot. You should exfoliate less frequently if you experience skin irritation and dryness.
Be Proactive With Skin Concerns
Integrating active skin ingredients is also important, especially if you have specific skin concerns related to acne or aging. Since acne, in particular, can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, your skin care routine needs to incorporate acne-fighting ingredients to prevent future breakouts.
What Should You Do If You Have Specific Skin Concerns?
For African Americans who have specific skin concerns that can’t be fully addressed by at-home skin care products, you may want to consider incorporating aesthetic treatments. For example, treatments like chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, and IPL treatments can address skin concerns such as:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage
- Enlarged pores
- Acne scarring
Why Should You Be Mindful of African American Skin Care?
Taking care of African American skin requires mindfulness because medium and dark complexions have different structures and behaviors than fair-skinned counterparts. For example, because African American skin has fewer ceramides, your skincare routine and products need to support the natural moisture barrier in your skin, and that means focusing on quality moisturizing products.
Should You Get Expert Advice?
Yes! Expert advice about your skin care routine and products should absolutely be on the table. Dr. Wendy E. Roberts has developed a classification system that can identify your skin type to help you determine the best products and treatments to use to promote your skin health. Understanding your skin type and getting guidance from an expert can reduce pigmentation, scarring, and other risks to skin appearance.
Take Care of Your Skin the Right Way
If you want your skin to feel and look beautiful, then you need to use a skin care routine that prioritizes your skin health. The right combination of cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliating, and aesthetic treatments can make your skin appear radiant and youthful. Please contact Dr. Wendy E. Roberts in Rancho Mirage, CA, to schedule your first appointment today.