First, skin is skin. Yes, we have more melanin, but other than that, the skin of people of color is the same as the skin of other people. However, certain characteristics are more common among people with melanin rich skin, which make our skincare needs unique. The issues that must be addressed for melanin-rich skin include the following:
- Oil Production
One key characteristic of darker skin is our high level of melanin. Melanin protects us from sun damage, so we age differently and have fewer issues with wrinkles. However, because we are melanin-rich, age on our skin shows differently with dark marks and hyperpigmentation. Regarding sensitivity, people of color are twice as likely to have sensitive skin, which means our skincare products need to be clean with limited additives – especially the products we use every day. Having sensitive skin also means our anti-aging products should not be too harsh as they can cause reactions, and sometimes worsen hyperpigmentation. When considering skin types, people of color are more likely to have oily skin – even as adults. This means we are often dealing with acne and anti-aging at the same time. It also means that anti-aging products for our skin should not contain heavy emollients that clog our pores. By understanding these differences and having knowledge of what your skin requires, you can make decisions to create a skincare routine that works with, not against, your skin.