Navigating the beauty industry can be a nightmare for even the most skincare-savvy melanin queens. Myths about melanin skincare still dominate the narrative, and for many years, products catering to black and brown skin needs simply did not exist.
A number of skin care brands have come onto our radar for melanin expertise, which is fantastic news. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of misinformation about black and brown skincare.
One of the biggest myths is that melanin-rich skin is naturally protected from getting skin cancer and, therefore, does not need sun protection. This is simply not true and is one of the most dangerous myths out there about dark skin. We are on a mission to debunk it.
Here are top seven tips for a highly effective melanin skincare routine so you can maximize that beautiful melanin glow while protecting your skin against sun damage, pollutants, and the effects of aging.
Habit 1 - Use Sunscreen
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the most important change you need to make to your skincare routine is to start using sunscreen every day. But don´t just take it from us — Queen RiRi agrees. After suffering from hyperpigmentation caused by UV radiation, she converted to the Church of SPF.
UV radiation damages all skin types and can lead to aging, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer. The popular belief that your melanin protects you from skin cancer is a myth, so invest in sunscreen now, and your skin will thank you later.
Habit 2 - Rinse & Repeat
Melanin skin requires a highly effective daily skincare regimen. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing every day will help that melanin magic sparkle. And don't you dare fall into bed without taking your makeup off! This could lead to clogged pores and acne, which can cause hyperpigmentation.
Choose products designed for your skin type and use a gentle exfoliator up to three times per week to slough off dead skin cells and help unblock pores.
Habit 3 - Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your skin against harmful free radicals that accumulate in your body through environmental and lifestyle factors.
It can help reduce the appearance of sun damage and hyperpigmentation while slowing the effects of aging. It also increases collagen, helping to fill in fine lines.
Consider using a moisturizer with Vitamin C incorporated, or a Vitamin C product underneath your moisturizer.
Habit 4 - Hydrate
We don't need to tell you that the secret to radiant skin is to drink LOTS of water. Water keeps your skin hydrated, bright, and supple. It also helps to flush out toxins that can leave your skin looking dull.
But how much water should you drink per day? Two to three liters is a good guideline, but if you want to be precise, multiply your weight in kilos by 0.033.
So, for example, if you weigh 60 kilos, you should drink roughly two liters of water per day.
Habit 5 - You Are What You Eat
Ever looked at someone and wondered how she got that naturally flawless skin?
Maybe it's good genes or good products, but let's be honest — even the best products in the world are no substitute for a poor diet. Think about that time you woke up after overindulging, looked in the mirror, and discovered the kind of breakout you thought you had left behind in your teenage years.
You might have been able to conceal it long enough to go to work, but a concealer won't make the problem go away. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't indulge from time to time — where would the fun be in that? But I will tell you that by filling your plate with veggies and fruits, you are loading your body with skin-protecting antioxidants, plus all the nutrients your skin needs to show up in all its melanin glory.
If you're not sure where to start, think about eating the rainbow — getting a wide variety of colors in your diet ensures you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to support your skin health.
Habit 6 - Avoid Irritants and Treat Outbreaks ASAP
Inflammation can lead to hyperpigmentation, so it's important to remove any potential irritants from your environment to reduce the risk. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs when skin cells overproduce melanin, leaving darker patches.
Some of the causes of PIH include:
If you suffer from any of these conditions, please never pick your scabs!
There's a reason your mama used to swat your hand away from them — picking causes scarring and can exacerbate the effects of hyperpigmentation. Instead, treat the problem as soon as possible in order to limit the potential damage.
Habit 7 - Find a Dermatologist Who Understands Dark SkinMany of the myths about melanin skincare stem from the medical community, and doctors are often not trained to understand the specific problems to which black and brown skin is susceptible. That's why it's important to look for a healthcare professional who understands dark skin and knows how to diagnose and treat it correctly.
Highly effective melanin skincare isn't and doesn't have to be complicated — but it does have to be adapted to your skin's specific needs.Introduce these seven highly effective skincare habits into your routine and see for yourself.