Melanin-Rich Skincare Questions Demystified
Dehydration, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation ⎼ all common problems people of color struggle with. These skin issues affect everyone but are common in dark complexions due to the physiology of the skin. Here, we will be debunking all these misconceptions to help achieve the glowing you want.
Understanding the Melanin in Our Skin
1. How can I keep my skin hydrated and moisturized?
Research has shown that darker complexions experience more transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in comparison to any other skin complexion, which means you need to treat your skin with extra TLC to keep it moisturized.
Use a daily moisturizer that contains humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. When applied on to damp skin, these water-loving molecules prevent dry skin by preserving the skin’s moisture barrier.
2. Since melanin blocks UV rays, how much sun-protection do I really need?
Everyone should be wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect themselves from UV rays.
Darker complexions have natural protection against UV rays due to a high concentration of melanin, however, this claim also provides a false sense of security. All the melanin does is elongate the amount of time you can bathe in the sun without burning. By skipping out on the sunscreen, you are putting yourself at risk for sun damage such as skin cancer, sunspots, and wrinkles.
3. How do I get rid of my hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a common issue that arises in darker complexions. Though seen in conjunction with eczema and persistent acne, even minor skin injuries, from small breakouts to bug bites, can cause the skin to change color.
Unfortunately, these hyperpigmentation spots can take up to months to years to fade and treatments like chemical peels and prescriptions don’t help with darker complexions.
To start, it is important that you use products that contain at least one of these key ingredients:
- Glycolic Acid: A chemical exfoliant that works away at the upper epidermis and the sun damage. It also allows other products to penetrate deeper into the skin!
- Azelaic Acid: A prescription treatment that contains anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and skin lightening properties.
- Vitamin C: Known for its wonders in the brightening department, leaving the skin overall more even.
Remember to finish off with SPF to avoid making the appearance of the dark spots darker. You wouldn’t want all your hard work to go to waste, would you?