Brown Skin Care: 4 Steps to Healthy Brown Skin
There are four essential components to maintaining healthy brown skin:
Once you understand the essential components for healthy skin, you will be well equipped to take care of your skin.
Know Your Skin
The first step to good skin health is being knowledgeable about your brown skin. We clearly know that the melanin
in brown skin distinguishes it from the skin of others. There are several other distinctive but normal characteristics that may be present in women with brown skin.
- Futcher's Lines – Lines on the upper arms that separate lighter skin on the inside of the arm from the darker skin on the outside
- Mid-line Hypopigmentation – Skin on the middle of the chest that is lighter in tone than the skin toward the sides of the chest
- Palmar Crease Hyperpigmentation – Creases in the palms that are darker than the skin on the remainder of the palms
- Hyperpigmented Kerototic Palmer Pitting – Small pinpoint holes in the palms with a dark core
- Pigmented Nail Streaks – Dark brown streaks running from the cuticle to the end of the nails. If, however, you have a streak on only one nail, it could be a sign of cancer that must be evaluated by a dermatologist.
Skin Cancer Self-Examination
The second step to good brown skin health is regular self-examination to screen for skin cancer. In general, brown skin is less susceptible to skin cancer, but when it does strike, it is often more deadly than in other skin types. Click here for more on self-examination
and skin cancer screening.
The third step in ensuring healthy brown skin is protection against sun damage to help prevent cosmetic problems such as hyperpigmentation as well as more serious issues such as skin cancer. Click here for a complete guide to sun protection
for brown skin.
The final step to care for healthy brown skin is to nurture your skin. It is important to avoid irritants that may stimulate the production of excessive melanin. Ingredients in soaps, cleansers, toners, moisturizers, astringents, anti-aging products, and anti-acne treatments are all possible irritants.
The following is a list of potential irritants to avoid:
- Cleansers, toners or astringents containing alcohol, propylene glycol, fragrance, or dyes
- Products containing essential oils (concentrated oil extracts from plants)
- Moisturizers containing fragrance, lanolin, dye, alcohol or propylene glycol
- Sunscreens containing fragrance, oil, PABA
- Makeup containing oil
- Alpha-hydroxy acid in high concentrations or at certain pHs
- Detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrance, dyes, or preservatives
Now that you are aware of ingredients to avoid in maintaining your brown skin, you can concentrate on proper cleansing technique. The following cleansing clues will guide you.
Tips on Better Cleansing
- Cleanse your face daily to remove dirt, oil and makeup
- Avoid abrasive cleansers or cleansing products (puffs, loofahs), which can irritate brown skin
- Cleanse facial skin with your fingertips and massage gently in a circular motion
- Rinse with cool water and gently pat dry to avoid drying out your skin
- Use products designed for your skin type: oily, dry, normal, combination, sensitive, acne-prone or hyperpigmenting
- Avoid over-cleansing, which can result in rough skin texture
- Exfoliate if you need to remove dull, dead skin cells by using gentle exfoliating acids found in skin products - but test the product on a small patch of skin first or check with your dermatologist.