December 02 2019 – Tyra Johnson-Brown
We always stress how important it is to take care of our skin. But let’s take a moment to focus on skin care for our black men. While most skin problems affect all ethnicities equally, some problems tend to affect African American skin differently or more frequently. These differences suggest that black men should pay special attention to their skincare routines, especially since some products can even discolor or damage darker skin tones. As the saying goes, “the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice”, and though we know this to be true, that skin still needs to be tended to. So, what’s the best regimen to keep our black men skin healthy, glowing and smooth? I want to explore options for several areas, such as beard maintenance, facial and body.
Black Men Best Skincare Practices
Given the characteristics common to their skin type, black men are at risk of experiencing ingrown hairs, razor bumps, dry skin, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. Accordingly, a skin care routine for black men must account for those characteristics and would ideally use them to its advantage.
- Ingrown hairs. While most men have suffered from ingrown hairs or razor burn, black men are especially prone to this condition because of their highly curved body hairs. Because the hair tends to be more tightly curled, it has a greater chance of curving and growing back into the skin after shaving. This causes painful shaving bumps and irritation on the face and neck and can only become more aggravated with further shaving. Although it’s a common problem, there’s no need to simply accept it as a natural danger of shaving: by keeping skin exfoliated, changing your razor after 4-5 uses and following with a product with dermatologically-active ingredients, you can greatly reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs. The regular exfoliation will promote radiant skin while reducing ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Our Butter Bar Black Avocado-Grapeseed Jojoba Oil softens beard and skin while adding intense moisture (Avocado oil & Watermelon seed oil) without clogging pores and creates healthier skin cells (Grapeseed oil & Blueberry Oil) and protects from free-radicals and premature skin aging.
- Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation. Dark areas can often appear on black skin when scarring occurs, whether from cuts, acne or burns. These dark spots and uneven skin tone, called “hyperpigmentation”, will usually fade over time, but some ingredients can definitively help even skin color and promote a smoother surface. Regular, gentle exfoliation is also a good way to improve skin tone because it removes the top layer of dead skin cells and allows new, healthier cells to appear.
- Dry, Flaky Skin. Black men with very dry skin often have an ashy or gray appearance, which can also become very dry and flaky, so it is important to keep skin well-moisturized and promote a smoother, healthier look. Using a face wash without harsh chemicals, formulated by skin type, will adequately cleanse skin without drying it out. Also, hot water can pull moisture from the skin’s surface, avoid long, hot showers and take quick lukewarm ones instead, especially during the winter months. Check out our Facial Cleansers especially made for our Kings.
- Sun Protection. A common misconception about darker-toned skin is that it cannot burn or be damaged by the sun. Although African American skin contains more melanin (skin pigment) which offers greater protection against the sun’s rays, it is still at risk for several sun-related diseases. In fact, black men are often at a higher risk because it is often harder to detect changes in skin marks or discolorations. This means it may take longer for a person to seek treatment, by which time the damage could have spread even further. So, we encourage black men to use a facial moisturizer, not a body lotion, that also provides sun protection of SPF 30 or greater. This will too help prevent dark spots, hyperpigmentation, eczema, and or signs of aging, Shea butters are also a fabulous option to keep the skin moisturized and smooth.