Basic Care for African American Skin

African-American skin tones come in different levels of melanin. Melanin is the component of your skin that determines your level of pigmentation. Its most important role is to serve as a shield for your cell’s DNA against the harsh radiation from the Sun. To protect your beautiful skin tone and preserve your skin’s natural beauty, here are some basic steps you can take:

Moisturize Regularly – Individuals with darker skin tones can have some difficulty keeping their skin moisturized and hydrated. However, alleviating skin dryness it’s not as simple as grabbing a bottle of moisturizing cream off the shelves at the grocery store. There can be some harsh chemicals in some moisturizers that can cause more harm than good. This includes dyes, alcohol, and certain fragrances that can cause allergic reactions to people with darker skin. Read the label on the bottle and keep track of the ingredients, making sure that there are no potential allergens in the list. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to contact your dermatologist and have them recommend a moisturizer that’s just right for you.

Scalp Care – Don’t use products that can strip your hair’s natural oils. This can lead to dry or brittle hair that can easily break, or even hair loss. The overuse of chemical straighteners can do just that, so try to avoid them as much as you can. There are also things to keep in mind like hair styling techniques that can cause pulling and stress to the roots of your hair, leading to hair loss and sometimes fungal infections. If you have flakes or inflammation, make sure to get those conditions treated as early as you can, either using over-the-counter shampoos, or a trip to your dermatologist’s office.

Sunscreen Use – Increased levels of melanin does not provide sun protection on a cellular level. Your skin can still get damaged from UV ray exposure. Why you ask? Because UV rays are a form of radiation, meaning they penetrate the upper layers of your skin, and can target your cells directly. Skin cancers like melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma can affect everyone regardless of skin tone and color. It is recommended that you apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen daily and re-apply regularly throughout the course of the day.

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