African-American skin has far different needs than Caucasian skin–you need to know that it can be ultra-sensitive and can easily develop discoloration from using the wrong skin care products. This discoloration can be long lasting, for weeks’, or even months’ time before it disappears. So African-American skin must be treated delicately.
It’s a myth that all African-American skin is oily in nature. Often, this skin type tends to be dry, and needs no more than a good daily washing with a gentle, non-soap cleanser. Those with oily skin may need to wash two or three times daily. Never use harsh abrasive cleansers on your skin, or scrub it with irritating cleansing puffs.
You do not have to spend a fortune on skin care products to find ones that will work well for this skin type. Extra mild products designed for sensitive skin are ideal for African-American skin. Don’t be tempted to use acne products containing harsh ingredients like salicylic acid, or you may severely irritate your skin.
Always test new skin care products before using by applying sparingly to a small area of skin to see if there is any reaction. You may save yourself from having an angry, inflamed face by taking this precaution.
Dark skin has more natural protection from the sun than pale Caucasian skin does, but that does not mean that it alone will protect you from harmful UV rays. Skin cancer is not unknown in African-American skin, despite the myths.
You should always apply a sunscreen or moisturizer containing sunscreen of at least 15 SPF daily. Remember to reapply every two hours if you are going to be out in the sun all day.
Don’t forget that taking certain medications can make you more sun-sensitive as well. Acne medications, contraceptive pills and some antibiotics can all make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, so take extra precautions if you are taking any of these medications.
If you experience skin problems such as acne, it is often much easier to see a physician at the early stages of the problem than wait to address them when they have become severe. Visiting the doctor early may well save you money by keeping you from buying vast quantities of useless products that will not really help your condition.
When it comes to makeup, seek out brands that are made especially for women of color. These will enable you to match your skin tone perfectly. Most makeup lines are designed for Caucasian women, and the colors, especially the foundation, are all wrong for African-American women. Most women of color, unless they have very dark skin tones, tend towards warm tones, which calls for yellow-based foundations.
Those with beautiful dark skin tones often have a cool tone to their skin and will want to look for a foundation with pink undertones.
One easy way to determine if your skin tone is warm or cool is to check out the veins running on the inside of your wrists. Greenish tones mean that you are a cool, while bluish tones indicate that you have a warm skin tone.
To get the right foundation shade for you, it’s often worth it to go to a department store and pay a little extra to find a foundation shade that will match your skin tone exactly. Often, you will find entire lines devoted to women of color that you just won’t find in most drug stores, and you can try before you buy.
Blush is also tricky for women of color. Often, a simple sweep of bronzer over your cheek bones in a tone slightly darker than your skin tone. This looks far better on African-American skin than a garish swipe of pink blush ever could. Blush is designed to bring some color into pale Caucasian skin, and just does not look quite right on darker skin tones.
The eyes are where women of color can really have some fun. Their dark eyes allow them to use darker colors and look great in more dramatic looks. One thing to avoid is using dark brown shadows and eyeliners, as they really do nothing for you. Contrasting colors such as pink, blue or plum eyeliners enhance the eye, as do shadows in gorgeous metalics such as bronze and gold. Neutral colors such as mochas look wonderful as well.
Lipstick is one cosmetic that can really ramp up the drama for women of color. Their darker skin tones and sexy full lips beg for a swipe of color, and they can wear a much wider variety of colors than Caucasian women can. From bright pinks to deep reds and everything in-between, the sky is the limit for women of color. Just stay away from neutral colors as they can be too close to your natural skin tone and make your beautiful lips nearly disappear.