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6 Skin Care Tips for Darker Skin Tones

March 05, 2021

You know that creating a skin care routine tailored to your skin type—whether you have oily skin, combination skin, dry skin, or anywhere in between—is super important for keeping it healthy. But skin tone is also a huge factor when putting together a beauty regimen. Those with darker skin tones may have specific skin care needs. That means skin care for Black women and other women of color with deeper complexions requires knowing the right tips to follow and products to use for a healthy-looking visage. Not sure what to consider? Keep reading because we’re covering some basic skin care tips to keep in mind so that your Black girl magic within always shows on the outside, too.


Darker skin can look ashy when it’s stripped of moisture. Remember all that petroleum jelly your grandmother slathered on your face before school? Rather than go to those measures, reach for a mild, gentle facial cleanser that’s formulated specifically for dry skin, like a micellar water. Thanks to the power of tiny oil molecules, micellar water easily and gently clears away surface-level impurities and makeup from the skin without drying it out. Try the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types. It’s also a great rinse-free pick to keep on your nightstand if you’re guilty of falling asleep with your makeup on. Just saturate a cotton ball with the liquid and wipe away.


Remember that petroleum jelly we mentioned above? It might have worked to lock in moisture before hormones, and makeup, and other grown up factors came into play, but it’s likely not ideal as a moisturizer for your current skin. Instead choose a moisturizer that’s designed for your skin type and that’s also great for all skin tones. When it comes to your face moisturizer, have your pick from the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Oily Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin, and the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin, all of which are formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water and help provide long-lasting hydration.


Darker skin can be sensitive to exfoliants, so pay attention to how your skin responds when you exfoliate. In regards to how many times a week you should exfoliate, there’s no set answer—it depends on your skin. Some people can handle it multiple times a week, while others may only be able to exfoliate once a week. When it comes to skin care for Black women, it’s a good idea to opt for a gentle, nourishing physical exfoliant. We love the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, which is formulated with cocoa butter and leaves skin feeling nourished while removing unwanted build-up and dead skin cells.


People with dark skin tones can be more prone to experiencing skin discolorations, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and other dark spots. These spots occur when something triggers the skin to produce more melanin (often as part of the healing process). This could be something as seemingly inconsequential as a pimple, an insect bite, or a cut. But dark spots don’t have to be permanent. 

For people of color looking to speed up the process of fading dark spots, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends looking for products formulated with an ingredient like glycolic acid. Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid, which is formulated with pure glycolic acid and aloe and helps smooth and visibly refine skin while fading the look of dark spots with continued use over time. Apply it in the morning and at night after cleansing. In the meantime, using the right foundation for your skin tone can help to temporarily cover up dark spots and other imperfections to give you a smoother-looking complexion.


It seems simple enough in theory but if you’re not getting your beauty sleep it will take a toll on your skin (and that’s for any skin tone, really). Not only does rest come in handy to reset and recharge your body for the next day, but it also works to renew your skin, per the AAD. So, always make sure to carve out enough time to catch some Zs.


Once upon a time people with melanin-rich skin thought (and were told) that they couldn’t get burned by the sun and so they didn’t need to wear sunscreen. Then we learned through science and unfortunately, experience, that it’s just not true. No matter where you fall on the Fitzpatrick Scale, SPF is a must. And yes, we mean every day—the Skin Cancer Foundation states that you can even get burned on cloudy days, so it’s important to wear SPF rain or shine! To cut down on steps in your skin care routine consider trying a moisturizer with SPF, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30. And don’t forget to apply SPF every few hours throughout the day or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating excessively. 

Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

Next: Sun Protection Tips for Dark Skin Tones

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