How do I Care for a Dark Complexion?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Caring for a dark complexion is not very different from caring for any other type of skin. To keep your skin in good condition, you may do well to use a mild cleanser daily and take steps to keep it well hydrated. Sunscreen is also a necessity, no matter how dark your complexion may be. Additionally, you may seek a dermatologist’s advice for using products to get rid of spots or an uneven skin tone. Some products may harm your skin instead of helping it, however, so consulting a medical professional may be wise.

Like all types of skin, darker-complexioned skin stands to benefit from hydration. To keep your skin healthy, soft, and supple, drink plenty of water every day. If you have dry or combination skin, you may also benefit from a moisturizer that you apply each day. If you have acne, you may feel hesitant to apply a moisturizer to your skin, but acne doesn’t have to get in the way of keeping your skill well moisturized. There are many moisturizers that do not cause or worsen acne; they are usually labeled as non-comedogenic.


Some people assume people with dark complexions do not need to wear sunscreen. While darker skin does have some natural protection from the sun and is far less likely to burn as a result of exposure, sunscreen is still necessary. A person with a dark complexion can develop skin cancer, so sunscreen can be life-saving. Additionally, exposure to the sun can contribute to uneven skin tones and premature signs of aging, including skin spots and wrinkles.

A common problem among people with darker complexions is an uneven skin tone. If you have a dark complexion, you may notice that some parts of your skin are lighter than others. If you’ve suffered from acne in the past, you may also notice dark spots on the skin that persist long after the blemishes have faded. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) products that are advertised as effective for evening skin tones. You may do well to seek a dermatologist’s advice, however, before using any of them for skin care; some OTC products may damage your skin and make uneven skin spots on a dark complexion worse.

Many people use harsh cleansers to care for their skin. They are under the mistaken impression that cleaning the skin means stripping it of its natural oils. Unfortunately, stripping the skin of its natural oils can cause it to appear dull and ashy. Doing this may even stimulate the skin to overcompensate for the loss of oil by over-producing oil. Instead, you may do well to choose a mild cleanser that leaves the skin clean but not stripped.


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