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Here's what you should know about Black and brown skin

From ingredients to use to which ones to avoid, we've got you covered when it comes to understanding the distinct characteristics of Black and brown skin

While our skin is as unique as we are, Black and brown skin has some genetic traits that naturally leave it prone to hyperpigmentation, sensitivity, dehydration and more.

However, with some savvy skincare ingredients and the right know how you can override any genetic predispositions and achieve your best complexion yet! Here are our top tips…

Treat acne fast

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is rife among those with Black and brown skin, and it often presents itself post-breakout. Blocked pores usually result in spots, and inflammation goes hand in hand with this skin condition.

When the skin becomes inflamed, melanin production is triggered which is why once a spot has disappeared, you’re left with a dark mark in its place that often lasts longer than the spot that actually caused it. So, if you’re prone to getting acne, it’s best to follow a spot busting skincare regime.

Exfoliating acids work wonders to clean out pores and stop the build-up of sebum and dead skin cells that lead to acne and then hyperpigmentation. Try azelaic acid for size – it’s a gentle exfoliant that helps keeps pores clear while also helping to even out skin tone by fading discolouration.

Protect against blue light 

Nowadays we’re never too far from a screen, and this is doing major damage to dark skin tones especially. Blue light, aka high-energy visible (HEV) light, not only disrupts our sleep and strains our eyes, but promotes and encourages hyperpigmentation by activating melanin production in an attempt to protect the skin.

Most interestingly, studies have shown that HEV light causes hyperpigmentation in medium to dark skin, while leaving lighter skin relatively unaffected.

The quickest fix for this is to invest in a daily sunscreen that contains iron oxide and zinc oxide, as together these two compounds offer major protection against blue light.

Boost hydration

Dark skin tones are clinically proven to be drier than their fairer counterparts. This is because they contain fewer ceramides in the upper layer of the skin.

If you’ve not heard of these fatty acids before, all you need to know is that ceramides are produced naturally by the skin and make up about 50 per cent of its outer layer. They help bolster the skin barrier, keeping moisture in and helping to alleviate dryness.

To negate the natural disparity, treat skin to extra hydration by way of a hyaluronic acid serum or in clinic Profilho sessions. Profhilo is an injectable made from hyaluronic acid (HA), that doesn’t add volume like a traditional HA filler, but rather boosts overall hydration of the skin to plump and smooth.

Ceramides can also be applied directly to the skin to replenish what's missing in those with dark skin and strengthen your skin’s barrier.

Hold off on retinol

Dark skin tones, but Black skin especially, ages later than light skin, so you shouldn’t expect to develop lines and wrinkles until your 40’s and 50’s. However, with retinol being a gold standard youth booster, many of you may have already invested in a retinol-based product.

But because dark skin can be incredibly sensitive, it is best to hold off on using retinol until you start to notice those aforementioned lines and wrinkles. Why? Well, if you use a formula that is too potent you run the risk of irritating the skin, inducing inflammation and triggering hyperpigmentation.

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