Many people of color approach a dermatologist with a similar apprehension as trying a new hairstylist. Does this individual really know how to treat skin conditions on darker skin tones? Certain skin issues such as hyperpigmentation and inflammation are more prevalent among people of color. Read on to learn Dr. Zenovia’s top skin care tips for darker skin tones.
Tip #1: Apply Sunscreen Every Single Day
Sunscreen may not be the sexiest product, but you must apply it daily as the last step in your morning skincare regimen. Dr. Zenovia prefers physical blockers - primarily because they block out UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate much deeper into the skin whereas UVB rays cause brownness – we require protection against both. The recommended SPF level is a minimum of 30, every single day. SPF 30 blocks out 98% of the rays while anything higher gives you that extra 2%.
While all ethnicities and skin tones are prone to photo damage, the way sun damage appears on the skin can look different. For those with darker skin, sun damage can manifest as hyperpigmentation and an uneven tone. There is a huge misconception that if you have extra melanin pigment in your skin, you don’t need sunscreen. While extra melanin may make the skin less prone to sunburn and skin cancer, melanin alone won’t protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and there is still a risk of skin cancer.
Many sunscreens on the market can leave an ashy residue on darker skin tones. Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30 contains transparent nano zinc-oxide protection that won’t create a white cast. Clinical grade Vitamin C-Ester visibly helps minimize the appearance of dark spots, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles associated with photoaging.
Tip #2: Treat Acne ASAP
Darker skin tones are more prone to dark spots and scarring. For this reason, treating acne quickly is imperative. The best way to treat scars is by avoiding them in the first place! Stick to an effective acne-fighting skincare regimen. Dr. Zenovia’s 3-step Acne Solutions System includes a cleanser with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, a spot treatment for flare-ups, and a soothing aloe vera moisturizer for lightweight, oil-free hydration.
If topical treatments don’t seem to be helping after three months of use or if your acne is severe, consult a board-certified dermatologist for a personalized treatment plan. A dermatologist may recommend topical or oral prescription treatments for your acne. While acne will eventually go away, scarring lasts a lifetime so seek treatment as soon as possible.
Tip #3: Use Skincare to Help Lighten Dark Spots
Using antioxidant-rich Vitamin C in the morning and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as Glycolic Acid at night can help lighten dark spots over time. Vitamin C is an antioxidant agent that protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes collagen synthesis, fighting against sun damage and reducing the appearance of uneven tone and hyperpigmentation.
Our Vitamin C is formulated in an argon gas hood so that the Vitamin C will not destabilize during the packaging process and when you use the product. Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C Brightening Toner brightens the skin and calms redness while Micronutrient Sea Salt helps neutralize pore-clogging impurities to restore the appearance of radiant, healthy skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids such as Glycolic Acid can help improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven tone, and texture. AHAs can be applied to all skin types, however, people with dry, sensitive skin should be cautious when using any type of acid to avoid skin irritation. Dr. Zenovia’s 10% Glycolic Acne Control Peel Pads are specially formulated to promote the skin’s cellular renewal process, unclog pores, accelerate the removal of dead skin cells, and target acne scarring.
Tip #4: Incorporate Retinol into Your Weekly Skin Regimen
Retinol increases our cellular turnover rate and with regular usage can help fade dark spots. If applied consistently, retinol can minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation in under six months!
Dr. Zenovia’s Advanced Retinol Night Repair Treatment penetrates the epidermis through a unique micro-polymer delivery system to support cellular turnover. This system encases the retinol inside like a sponge, keeping the molecule stable as it travels past the barrier, into the tissue, and finally into the cell. Our retinol is super effective, stable, absorbable, and lives up to its claims. By helping to prevent follicular plugging, it is a miracle drug for acne and preventing the breakdown of collagen.
Note from Dr. Zenovia: It is important to gradually introduce actives such as Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolic Acid, and Retinol into your skincare regimen. If excessive dryness or irritation occurs, reduce application.
Tip #5: Find a Dermatologist Who Has Experience Treating Darker Skin
It’s important to note that not all dermatologists specialize in treating darker skin tones. Dr. Zenovia recommends that people of color look for a board-certified dermatologist that specializes in pigmentary disorders including hyperpigmentation and melasma. Conducting a background check or asking the dermatologist about their experience with darker skin tones before making an appointment can also be helpful.