Contrary to popular believe, black skin has certain needs specific to its genetic make up. However the basic steps in skincare, cleaning, toning, treating, moisturizing and sun protection are still necessary.
Black or dark skin tends to have varying pigmentation and undertones even on one individual. Black skin has a problem with hyper-pigmentation and scaring, and special care is needed to avoid these situations and repair already damaged skin. It is therefore important to know your skin type and problem areas if any.
Despite having more melanin than white skin, people of color still need to practice sun protection. Also people of African descent or other dark-skinned race can and do get skin cancer. It is a common belief that the melanin in dark skin protects it from skin cancer. The truth is, melanin only offers some amount of protection. What is true is that with black skin, sun damage is less obvious. The use of sunscreen is therefore necessary. Sunscreen of SPF 15 is recommended.
Cleaning of the skin is also important; the face should not be scrubbed too hard while washing. Black skin is delicate and excessive cleaning and harsh handling will result in bruising and microscopic tears. Again the color of the skin hides the damage so the bruising is normally not noticed. Also, darker skin tones tend to look gray if too dry, therefore over washing should be avoided. It is best not to use soap for cleaning the face or skin since they tend to be drying. If you have oily skin a purifying cleanser is a good choice.
Exfoliation while necessary, especially for those over twenty or with acne should be done cautiously. It is recommended that African Americans use clay-based exfoliants. Because black skin tend to have large pores, toning is essential, to help keep the pores healthy. This helps prevent black heads and other skin problems.
Some dermatologists disagree that everyone needs to moisturize, especially those with oily skin. Oily skin is a condition that affects a large majority of persons with dark skin. If your skin is dry however, you do need to moisturize.
Apart from the obvious reasons to keep your skin hydrated, black people tend to have eczema. This skin condition, while not curable can be controlled by keeping the skin or other affected areas well moisturized.
For black skin it is best to use creams instead of lotions for moisturizing as the skin absorbs creams more effectively.
All in all, skin is skin, but black skin is normally abused because of the misconception that it is tougher than lighter skin.