|Angela Bassett, Gabrielle Union & Bianca Lawson|
By Kanisha Parks
We’ve all heard the famous phrase, “Black Don’t Crack,” and if you look to celebrities such as Angela Bassett (59), Gabrielle Union (45), and even Bianca Lawson who just turned 39 but could easily claim 20, it’s easy to see how this myth has gained momentum. However, all of these women have their own skincare maintenance routines and aren’t relying on being black to keep them youthful and fine (although it does help!)
Still, we are not immune to issues related to the loss of skin elasticity, dark under eye cycles, uneven skin tone, scarring, and other dermatologic woes like extrinsic aging, which is influenced by environmental exposures and health and lifestyle habits such as sun exposure, tobacco use, diet, and exercise.
Remarkably, up to 80% of skin’s aging is due to premature aging of skin resulting from the sun’s harmful ultra violet radiation. This often manifests as fine lines and wrinkles, mottled pigmentation, and textural roughness.
Yes, skin of color does age, so it is important to implement anti-aging skin care tips now in order to keep it from well, “cracking.”
Dermatologist Dr. Adeline N. says,
“A common skincare regret I encounter in patients is not having an anti-aging approach to skin care sooner. While aging is a complex and rather inevitable process of natural human evolution influenced by environmental, genetic, and ethnic factors, we have just as much influence over how we shape the outcome of these processes as we do our appearance in the mirror.”
As we age, all of these factors become more evident in our skin, but good skin care goes a long way in slowing down these processes in ways that allows us to age more gracefully by following Dr. Adeline N.’s steps below:
1. Always Use Sun Protection.
Yes, the melanin in darker skin does provide some measure of photo protection but it’s still not enough. Sunscreen is the most important product you can use on your skin every day and should be at the top of your list of skin care essentials. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen of 15-30 SPF in any weather.
ExtraShade Daily Defense Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 30)
Cerave’s Ultra Light Moisturizing Lotion (SPF 30)
Neova DNA Damage Control Silc Sheer 2.O UV Clear Broad-Spectrum (SPF 43)
2. Use a moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid.
This is one of the most powerful and hydrating skin ingredients, as it absorbs up to 1000 times its weight in water, drawing and keeping moisture in the skin. This intensely hydrating ingredient is also used in fillers to soften fine lines, increase skin firmness, and induce smoother skin. It’s a must, especially for dry skin.
Cerave Moisturizing Cream
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream
Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic acid
The Ordinary: Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
3. Include a Vitamin C Antioxidant.
Skinceutical Vitamin C E Ferulic
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
4. Nightly application of topical Retinol/Retinoids.
Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive ACream
SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 Maximum Strength Refining Night Cream
SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex 0.5
PCA Skin Retinol Renewal
5. Routine exfoliation.
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Facial Wash and Scrub
HA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD® Clearing Treatment Mini
6. Yearly Dermatology Consults:
There is an avalanche of product and information online, which can be overwhelming. Your dermatologist can give you advice unique to your skin care needs as well as address specific cosmetic needs involving procedures such as laser therapy, botox, fillers, peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and more. Also, everyone including those with skin of color should get a yearly skin exam for moles and other skin cancers. Although sun induced skin cancers are less common in people of color, they have poorer outcomes especially if diagnosed late.