Skin Concerns for Black Women
We might be in Lockdown again but the skincare market is booming while we try to get our skin looking peak in order to look great on camera.
This has led to more awareness regarding skincare in particular skin conditions that affect us. We highlight the common skin concerns which affect Black women and how to treat them.
Our research shows this is definitely our main concern. Briefly, although all skin contains melanin, dark skin tones have more melanin producing cells. These cells can either over or under-produce melanin as a reaction to injury, irritation or infection.
Uneven pigmentation can occur due to sun exposure, hormones, pregnancy or treatments that induce scarring. Other related issues include hyperpigmentation when acne scars or dark marks get darker or will not fade. Hypo pigmentation also occurs, leading to patches of much lighter areas.
There is lots of skincare for to “even skin tone”, but it is important to check these do not use ingredients to bleach the skin. For professional treatment, find an aesthetician who specialises in pigmentation in Black skin. They are also best equipped to give guidance for essential after-care to maintain the results.
Dark Under Eye circles
This affects all ages as your under-eye skin is thin and fragile, unable to cover hyperpigmentation in this area. Late nights, screen time or poor circulation, make this worse, so your lifestyle can make a massive impact.
The appearance of dark circles can be improved but it is important to be realistic as this is genetic and related to your face structure. Targeted skincare, under-eye creams and concealers can help, although the jury is still out. Surgically, many aestheticians tackle this but again, you need to make sure they are experienced in treating Black consumers in particular.
Is your skin sensitive if it gets easily irritated or breaks out when you use certain ingredients or products? Well, truly sensitive skin is usually fine and dry, undernourished and reacts easily, but any skin type can be sensitive.
Sometimes your skin is allergic to ingredients – not sensitive – but still experiences irritation. You could call this reactive skin. For Black skin, fluctuating reactions can lead to pigmentation and scarring, conditions described above. The causes of sensitive or reactive skin is a whole massive area which we will cover at a later date.
If your skin behaves as explained above then it is time to see a specialist, or dermatologist, to identify what your skin reacts to and why. In general, avoiding harsh cleansers, strong exfoliation may help restore some balance but this needs expert treatment, not guesswork.
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)
These are small black bumps on your face or neck, like moles or raised freckles which often manifest and spread in middle age. They are completely harmless. DPN is a very common skin concern in darker skinned Black people, women in particular. There are various theories on why DPN occurs, but the consensus is that it can be treated and removed safely.
Cosmetics won’t tackle this medical condition. As always, find a specialised aesthetic clinic with extensive experience in treating DPN and managing skin conditions in Black skin.
Oily skin and Excessive Shine
Oily or combination skin produces excess oil which stops makeup staying matte and shine free. Issues with oil are very common, not age related and actually often exacerbated by unsuitable products.
Your skin produces excess oil as a response to over cleansing which strips all the oil away. Dehydrated skin also seems oily as it lacks sufficient water. Gentle cleansers, light hydration and oil free makeup can really help balance oily or combination skin. If excessive oil leads to acne, clogged pores and dull skin, then it is time to see the aesthetician and get a new routine. But in this case, skincare is probably not the answer.