When it comes to hair, the natural hair community reminds us often that black hair is variable. It comes in different textures, densities, porosities, and such. Because of this, we know that there isn’t one product that will work for all afro hair types. For black skin, however, things are a lot different. Today, we want to debunk a festering myth about skincare. There's no such thing as skincare products that work for black skin only. We know that companies may try to convince you otherwise. Oh, the drama.
In a previous post, we discussed how a tropical climate affects your skin and provided tips for your skincare routine. We also discussed the different skin types - normal skin, combination skin, dry skin, oily skin, and sensitive skin. The most important thing to note about skin types is that they're universal. Meaning, no matter your ethnicity, your skin falls into one of those categories.
Although more black people are aware of sun damage, many black people think that we don’t need sunscreen. To be clear, skin is skin. Regardless of how much melanin you produce, your skin still functions like everyone else's.
The same mentality that underlies “black people don’t need sunscreen” makes way for, “will this work for black skin”?
This could be dangerous. Many factors determine whether a skincare product or treatment works for your black skin. None of them have anything to do with your complexion. Keep reading to understand some of these factors. Then let them help you to determine which skincare products your skin needs.
1. [Im]proper use of the product
As medical estheticians, we’re used to clients misusing products despite clear instructions. It’s natural to overestimate how well you understand your skin and underestimate how well an esthetician understands your skin. Our directions guide you through use that's optimal for your skin and its unique issues.
2. It’s all in your genes, baby
While some skincare issues pop up overnight, most skin issues are deep-rooted. These roots don’t apply to what’s under your epidermis - the outermost layer of skin - either. An example of a “deep-rooted” issue is genetics. There is very little that a skincare product can do to change your genetic makeup, much less the way your skin behaves because of it.
3. Inconsistent use of the skincare product
Speaking of skincare issues that pop up overnight, everyone wants overnight results! Yes, many miracle skincare products on the market can do some damage with eight hours of sleep. However, these types of products tend to target the most superficial skin issues. A hormonal zit is an example of a superficial skin issue that you can heal overnight. Enlarged pores and acne scarring, for example, cannot heal overnight. If you buy a skincare product for non-superficial skin issues, prepare to wait for the results. Remember, the number one ingredient for good skincare is patience.
4. What you consume will soon consume your skin
We know that you hate to hear it, but you are what you eat. Some people are lucky and can eat anything without putting on a pound or breaking out. Most others are not as fortunate. If you don't drink enough water, yet eat foods high in sugars, fat, and acidic foods, your skin will tell the tale! Diet isn’t only about food either, babe. It’s also about what you take into your mind or spirit. If you carry stress, grudges, bitterness, etc., believe it or not, your skin will show it. We’re talking acne, fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles - you name it!
The next time you see a “black” skincare product, remember to only buy skincare products that address:
The climate and environment that you live in
Your skin type
And whatever skin issues that you want to be fixed
Thanks for coming to our Skin Talk! You’re welcome.