Updated: Aug 3, 2022
Make sure you are moisturizing correctly.
A lot of us grew up using shea butter, coconut oil or some sort of oil-based product to moisturize our skin. Oils stop us from looking ashy so a lot of people reach straight for them. But oil doesn't actually moisturize your skin. When your skin is dry — and Black skin is clinically proven to be more dry because we hold less ceramides in the upper layer of our skin — you need hydration. That's water not oil. Even if it's just a basic moisturizer, as long as 'aqua' is the first ingredient, that's great. Experts also suggests looking out for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. If you do want to wear a face or body oil, make sure you have moisturized first with a water-based moisturizer, adds experts. Otherwise, what you're doing is putting an oil seal over dry skin, so integrally, your skin still stays dry.
2. Understanding your skin type is the key to a better complexion
For a lot of Black women (especially when hyperpigmentation is the number one concern), they will focus on the outward symptoms without first understanding their skin type and what is causing it. If you have an oily skin type that is prone to breakouts, you need to understand and treat that first before you can tackle the hyperpigmentation. We tend to look at how visible your pores are, how quickly you get oily throughout the day, your propensity to break out and even how makeup sits on your skin. Does it look patchy very quickly? This indicates a more dry skin type. we always caveat this, though. It is possible to be a couple of different skin types, for example combination/oily or combination/dry. This can happen at different points in the month, such as around your period, and throughout life. It's not suggested people getting fixated on their skin type, as skin moves on all the time.
3. Ingredients like glycolic acid are fine to use
There are lots of ingredient myths. When you hear that Black people can't use glycolic acid, it's a whole load of tosh. Unfortunately, problems that arise around ingredients are usually down to user error — not the ingredient itself. We've seen lots of people using ingredients like glycolic acid incorrectly and thinking the ingredient is bad for Black skin. If you have sensitized skin — Black or white — and you use glycolic acid, it is going to sting. This is because you haven't looked at your skin condition and skin type, and judged whether that was going to be good for you." Try using glycolic acid once or twice a week in the evening (before moisturizer) until your skin builds up tolerance, and always wear SPF during the day, as exfoliating acids make skin sensitive to sunlight.
4. Always wear sunscreen daily
SPF is a must for preventing this, especially if a concern is hyperpigmentation. Its suggested to choose a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and making sure that the label reads 'broad spectrum' so that it shields against UVA and UVB rays. A daily slathering of sunscreen prevents damage to collagen (keeping sagging and fine lines at bay for longer).