There are as many kinds of skin as there are people, and everyone’s skin has its own unique needs. While individuals can have different skin types and sensitivities, skincare needs also vary according to skin tone. Those who have a darker skin tone possess higher quantities of a pigment called melanin. This pigment drives many of the most common skin concerns among those with a darker skin tone, such as hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and ashiness. In this blog, we’ve collected our top tips for keeping melanin-rich skin glowing and beautiful.
These dreaded dark spots are likely the top skin concern among those with darker skin tones. They occur as a result of inflammation, such as that caused by acne, which triggers the development of pigment during the healing process.
A balanced skincare routine can stop inflammation before it starts, but when it comes to addressing dark spots after the fact, tranexamic acid, which can be found in certain serums, is a great ingredient to keep an eye out for.
Our Mini Peel Pads contain Hydroxy Acids, which are great at helping to remove dead skin cells and balance out uneven skin tones.
Retinoids are also an excellent tool: they not only exfoliate the skin, increasing cell turnover, but also break up uneven pigment in the skin. Pairing retinoids with Vitamin C, which also breaks up pigment and slows aging, can make for a dream team regimen. That’s why we recommend our Retinol 0.5% + CE Complex (featuring Vitamins C and E) to treat hyperpigmentation.
If you’re looking for a quick, powerful solution to hyperpigmentation, chemical peels and microneedling are also proven solutions. You can learn more about chemical peels here and microneedling here, or if you’re interested in an appointment, you can check out Mint & Needle’s chemical peel and microneedling services.
Please note that it’s recommended to pretreat darker skin tones with products, such as hydroquinone or steroids, under the care of a healthcare provider, prior to microneedling to reduce inflammation and help prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
When it comes to evening your complexion, though, be sure to steer clear of laser treatments, which can damage and inflame skin, exacerbating hyperpigmentation even more.
Ashiness is another common skin complaint for those with darker skin tones. This is because the darker your skin is, the more likely dry patches will be visible. Skin with abundant melanin is also prone to higher rates of water loss in the epidermis and doesn’t naturally produce high quantities of ceramides, fats that protect the skin. This can make winter a tough time of the year!
These factors make hydration extra important for those with a deep complexion. We recommend moisturizing every time you wash your face to promote water retention.
When it comes to protecting the skin, we recommend our Intense Hydrating Cream, which is formulated with four different ceramides. This incredible face moisturizer targets inflammation (preventing dark spots), restores skin barrier function, and deeply hydrates. It’s important to hydrate the rest of your body too! For that, we recommend the ISDIN Hydration Uradin Lotion, which should be applied at least once a day, and is best applied after a shower. Say goodbye to dry skin!
Protecting Against Sun Damage
While it’s commonly known that melanin provides protection against sun damage, it’s not true that you can skip out on sunscreen. People with dark skin tones can actually experience devastating delayed skin cancer diagnoses, and they exhibit photodamage differently, like through hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen is an important tool to keep your skin looking youthful and staying healthy.
For these reasons, we recommend that you make sunscreen a part of your daily routine. Your skin is exposed to harmful rays whenever you come in contact with sunlight, so make sure to lather up each day before you leave the house. Even in the winter! Learn more about the importance of sunscreen and how to incorporate it into your routine here.
There are many excellent sunscreen options out there, but we recommend our medical grade Hydrating UV Defense SPF 44, which features hyaluronic acid to boost moisture retention and is perfect for those with sensitive skin. This physical sunscreen applies with a sheer, universal tint, offering a dewy look that looks great with any complexion.
Ingredients to Look Out For
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for certain skincare ingredients that work well for your skin tone. Since melanin-rich skin doesn’t produce too many ceramides, ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalene, and glycerin are great to combat dryness. On the flip side, lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids at high percentages can be too drying during the winter months. Our popular Youth Serum, formulated with hyaluronic acid in addition to niacinamide, is a favorite product to combat dryness while also calming skin sensitivity. (It also works wonders for fighting against signs of aging.)
Darker-toned skin has also been shown to produce higher levels of sebum relative to other skin types. This oily, waxy substance can lead to the development of acne, which can then cause inflammation, scarring, and dark spots. If acne is a concern of yours, we recommend our Clarifying Mask (which contains sulfur to target acne) to reduce sebum production while locking in moisture. Also, our Clarifying Cleanser contains a moderate amount of salicylic acid that helps to clear and prevent breakouts. Combine that with our B3 Hydrate to hydrate, replenish, and restore your skin.
We hope you found this resource helpful. While we’ve included a couple of great beauty-boosters suited for darker skin tones, it’s not an exhaustive list, so be sure to check out our products and services pages for more options!