While all men should take good care of their skin to keep it healthy and looking smooth, African-American men have particular skincare needs and shaving issues that can be easily addressed with an appropriate skincare regimen. Because of the growth pattern and natural curl, for example, African-American skin can be more prone to bumps and ingrown hairs. Dry skin and hyper-pigmentation can also cause problems, making it important to keep skin smooth and moisturized. The good news is that all of these problems are easily remedied or avoided with proper skincare habits. Below are some helpful tips to keep African-American skin looking and feeling great:
1. Cleansing is Crucial— The number one tip for any good skincare regimen is to get into a good daily cleansing routine. Sometimes you’re tired at the end of a day and you may want to flop into bed without washing your face, but you must stay vigilant. To keep your pores from clogging and razor bumps from forming, consistent cleansing is an especially important habit to maintain.
2. Moisturizing is Mighty— Many people have dry skin, but with African-American skin, this dryness can cause an uncomfortable tight or itchy feeling and a grayish tone to the dry areas of the skin. Use a daily oil-free moisturizer, and be sure to buy a lotion specifically for sensitive skin if scented skin products bother you. Also: Use a gentle dermatologist-recommended soap to wash your face (instead of harsh deodorant body soap) and take warm showers rather than hot to help keep skin from drying out.
3. Exfoliation is Excellent— Exfoliation of the skin is done by scrubbing with a facial puff or loofah, and can help the skin look brighter by removing dead skin cells on the surface that contribute to a dry, ashy appearance. Gentle exfoliation of the face can also help release ingrown hairs to eliminate shaving bumps, but be sure to be gentle and use a washcloth rather than a scrubbing puff, and don’t rub too hard.
4. Try a Toner— There are many toners on the market that can help remove any dirt or oil missed during the nightly cleansing process if you’re experiencing issues with blackheads or acne breakouts (which can lead to hyper-pigmentation or dark spots). Apply toner to a cotton ball and give your face a refreshing wipe down before bed or upon waking in the morning to brighten your complexion.
5. Be a Super Shaver— To help avoid the razor bumps that can plague the skin of African-American men, take care to shave properly every time. A thick, moisturizing shaving cream is recommended to help soften the skin, and a sharp razor can help limit ingrown hairs by giving a smoother edge to the individual follicles. If possible, try not to shave every day in order to give your face a chance to heal, and always shave in the direction of hair growth. This may not get you the closest shave possible, but it might help cut down on the razor bumps (a.k.a. pseudofolliculitis barbae) that affect around 60% of black men.
6. Don’t Skip the Sunscreen— The extra melanin helps to protect black men from skin cancer, yet darker-skinned individuals are more likely to die from skin cancer than lighter-skinned people because it goes undetected to the point of melanoma. In general, the extra pigmentation of darker skin gives African-Americans a natural SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of around 13, so it is still recommended that sunscreen be worn. Plus, we all know the sun ages us, and nobody wants to do that any faster than they need to, right? A naturally-based sunscreen for sensitive skin worn every day is a great way to spare your skin unnecessary damage from the sun’s rays. Genetics give every one of us different issues and certain needs, and these 6 simple tips can help keep men’s skin healthy and glowing.
With proper care and a great skincare regimen, African-American skin can easily stay smooth, moisturized and looking great. Terrie Reynolds is a professional blogger that provides consumers with news and information on skin care and cosmetics. He writes for Himistry, the best place to get black male skin care producers and men’s styling products.