For black women, different skin types require different care

Certain skincare products are available to protect black women’s faces and the four different skin types. Experts say the products can be used daily.

Black women have to be careful about hyperpigmentation in their skin, skin specialists said. Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase of melanin in the skin. The melanin in black people’s skin makes it easier to scar and produce dark spots on the surface of the skin, said Nicole Stewart, a former research and development manager at LaChae Cosmetics.

“There are four different skin types in black women, and those four different types are normal skin, dry skin, oily skin and combination skin, (which are oily and dry skin),” Stewart said. Normal skin is skin that has a proper balance between oil and moisturizers that the face produces. People with normal skin should wash their face for 60 seconds and use a cleansing soap as well.

“To me, it is vital that I wash my face, and it is important that I switch up between different products,” said Falan Goff, 22, a senior political science student from Fort Lauderdale. “I recognize that I have deep pores that get clogged, so I always use a pore cleanser…I am currently using Neutrogena Deep Pore Cleanser,” Goff said.

Individuals with dry skin cannot retain moisture in their faces. Black women with dry skin should wash their face two times a day. Each time should be with a three-step regimen, Stewart said. Three-step regimens are products that include a cleanser, toner and a moisturizer.

“Bar soaps that have moisturizers in them are good for dry skin,” said Dr. Shankar Shetty, director of student health services at the Florida A&M University clinic. “Dove soaps have plenty of moisture in them, and it is OK to use as long as the soap doesn’t have drying agents in it. Then it is harmful to your skin,” he said.

People with oily skin should use face washes that have gels in them and are infused with anti-bacterial products. Oily skin is caused by an excess of oil on the skin and should be washed three times a day, Stewart said. Morning, mid-day and at night are the best times to wash the face for people who have oily skin.

“I wash my face in the morning with Stridex and at night with Clearasil for oily skin,” said Jessika Wilson, 21, a senior sociology student from Miami.

“I have used oil-blotting sheets from Clean & Clear to remove excess oil from my face, and those are good because you can carry them in your purse and use them whenever,” Wilson said. Combination skin is a combination of oily and dry skin and occurs in the T-zone area, Stewart said. The T-zone is the forehead, nose, inner cheek and chin. This area makes a T shape on the face.

Stewart said because of the circumference of black women’s noses, more oil is prevalent in that area, and thus people with combination skin should wash their face twice a day.

“I have combination skin because my T-zone area stays oily all day,” said Rodshawn Dorsey, 19, a second-year pre-med/biology student from Jacksonville. “I use two different face washes: one for the T-zone area and another for the dry skin on my face.”

Women should also be careful of how they dry their face. “Be careful not to aggressively dry your face with a towel,” Shetty said. “Make sure you pat dry with a hand towel because your face will naturally dry on its own.”

Stewart said it is important that black women do not squeeze blemishes on their faces or shave and pluck facial hair because that can result in scarring. Stewart added that an excessive amount of hair bumps on the face should be removed by laser.