Since we’re celebrating Black History Month, I'd like to take the time to discuss skin colour, including how dark skin is different from fair skin and some of the ways you can take care of your dark skin.
How does dark skin differ from fair skin? 🧐
First, let’s briefly talk about melanin. Melanin is a natural pigment that is found in the skin amongst other areas of the body. It works as a naturally-occurring antioxidant to help protect the skin from free radicals. Melanin is present in the skin to varying degrees in different people and is one of the key factors that determines skin colour.
Now, let’s talk about melanocytes. These are the cells in our skin that produce melanin. The melanocytes in people with dark skin are more active than the melanocytes in fair-skinned individuals. This helps to explain how skin colour comes to be.
So what does this mean for you?
If you have a darker skin tone, then you have a natural built-in SPF of 13! This is good news, as it makes your skin less susceptible to photodamage.
Wanna hear another reason why darker skin is magic?
Melanin can also prevent your skin from aging prematurely by protecting skin cell DNA and the cells that produce collagen. In other words, having melanin-rich skin helps to keep your skin looking youthful 😍
Now that you have some background information on melanin-rich skin, let’s discuss the unique skincare needs of those with darker skin.
Number one: Since the melanocytes are more active, the skin is easily prone to hyperpigmentation. Therefore, it's imperative to invest in a good sunscreen.
And no, having a natural built-in SPF of 13 isn’t enough to protect the skin from UV damage. You need a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays. Finding a sunscreen that fits your taste can be a long process, so take the time to explore all the different options. Make sure you look for a sunscreen that is non-nano and reef-safe and also offers an SPF of at least 30.
Number two: Use skincare products with active ingredients that are based on your specific skin needs and not what is trending or what your favourite influencers are using.
Regardless of whether you’re treating acne, hyperpigmentation or trying to target the signs of aging, always look for ingredients that are effective, but gentle. For example, our Fullmoon Serum is formulated with amazing superfood ingredients like moth bean and moringa extract that are gentle, but also target a multitude of skin concerns.
Number three: Even though dark skin tends to produce more sebum, it typically has a lower level of ceramides. As I previously discussed, ceramides make up the majority of your skin barrier. So, dark skin tends to experience more transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
To help prevent TEWL, you first need to provide your skin with extra hydration from water-based products like Face Food Mineral Mist or Fullmoon Serum. Then, lock in moisture with an occlusive. A thick cream like Berry Rich Face + Eye Cream or a facial oil like Superfood Serum are two excellent options to achieve this.
At Graydon, we understand that everyone's skin is different. I encourage you to treat this advice as a general guideline. If you're looking for more personalized advice on how to take care of your melanin-rich skin, don’t hesitate to book a FREE consultation with our Holistic Skin Coach - Ingrid!
Let's all learn more about black history. Click here to discover eye-opening films that depict black stories and the ongoing fight for equity.
Credit for main image: Youngoldman