One of the biggest misconceptions about Black male skin is that doesn’t take any regular maintenance. While that may be true for some with blessed glowing melanin-rich skin, most men require special care and attention. Compared to women, black men tend to have thicker skin and thicker nails due to terminal hair follicles, which help combat wrinkles. Also, increased testosterone after puberty increase oil and sweat production, putting black men at greater risk of acne, dry skin and breakouts.
For men of color, it’s about choosing products that are best suited for their skin type. Skincare for black men is different in nature due to the types of concerns we experience. Ashy skin, rough, dry skin, and oily skin, in combination, create a set of unique factors. Therefore, cleansers, moisturizers, and protectants should be ultra-moisturizing and ultra-hydrating. They can include natural beard balm, moisturizing body balm, and lip balm that are oil-based (think coconut oil or sweet almond oil) and include essential oils and key vitamins to protect, nourish and hydrate. Protecting and moisturizing differently in the winter months is a must. Oil-based moisturizers, compared to water-based products, keep skin ultra-moisturized for longer periods of time. Going all-natural with your moisturizers and finding products made with high-quality ingredients that are free of fragrance and harsh chemicals will leave skin softer, healthier, and more hydrated in the harsh winter months. When selecting products to protect your skin, beard, and hair from the barrage of moisture-depleting factors that are winter’s trifecta (wind, dry air, and low humidity), choosing products designed for black men’s skincare is a must and is the first line of defense to keep you looking and feeling good this winter.
Protect the Beard
Wearing a scarf to protect your neck and beard from the harsh elements can keep you from scratching that beard due to the drying out of the skin underneath, unnecessary breakage of your beard hair due to brittleness, or licking those dry lips. Beards do not protect your skin from the loss of moisture that occurs when it’s brutally cold and windy. The skin under your beard and beard hair dries out when not properly cared for and protected from the elements. If you’re a guy who takes pride in his beard or is beginning to grow one, selecting a conditioning beard balm or natural beard oil for black men as part of your skincare regimen will keep the skin beneath your beard conditioned and your beard soft and tangle-free resulting in a bigger, healthier beard that you can be proud of. It will look and feel great and won’t suffer from the brittleness, dryness, or breakage that often comes with winter.
Protect Your Face, Lips, and Hands
Bundle up when you head out this winter! Being sure to wear gloves and a scarf to protect your face, lips, and hands from the cold and wind. When you head out into the cold, be sure to use a natural body balm, clarifying face moisturizer, or lip balm (think shea or mango butter) as the first layer of defense that locks in moisture and provides a barrier to limit dehydration from the cold winter air. Keeping your great smile this winter means keeping your face and lips healthy and moisturized. Adding that necessary layer to lock in moisture and prevent skin irritation and dryness is key to looking and feeling great all winter long.
Cleanse and Exfoliate
Preparing your skin to absorb the moisturizers or skin conditioners you will provide this winter is an important first step in any skincare routine. Cleansing skin of the day’s oils, which are unique to black men and other men of color, is an important daily ritual that will keep your skin healthy and prevent the clogging of pores which can lead to acne and other unpleasant skin conditions. Choosing an all-natural facial cleanser and body wash for black men that contains ingredients that are highly moisturizing is a critical step in caring for winter skin. Showering for no more than 10 minutes with warm water, not hot, and selecting a gentle plant-based body wash will leave your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated!
Secondly, exfoliating dead skin cells and flaky, dry skin is also an important step in any quality skincare routine. For men of color who may suffer from dry skin, exfoliation once or twice each week can make all the dissimilarity in the look and feel of your skin. Dry air and cold winter winds wreak havoc on our skin, the largest organ of the human body. Assisting our skin in removing dead skin cells by exfoliating with an oil-rich exfoliant will leave skin soft and smooth.
Water. Water, Water. The Earth is comprised of 71 % water. Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Water is important! In the summer, we tend to drink more water due to the warmer temps and the activities we engage in. It’s easier to consume the amount of water our bodies need in these conditions. On the flip side, when the air is drier and cooler and our activities wane, we tend to drink less water. Even with the lower temperature and drier air of winter, we need to always stay hydrated. One of the first signs that indicate to us and others that our bodies are dehydrated is the look of our skin. It can appear dull and sallow, and wrinkles can be more pronounced (we know this doesn’t pertain to you, of course…). Finding creative ways to consume the necessary amount of water each day will ensure healthier skin, ward off fatigue and keep your mind sharp! Add a bit of lemon juice to your water, keep a refillable water bottle at your desk or in your car, track your water intake and reward your daily goal with another beverage that contains mostly water. Whatever it takes. It will take up to 21 days to form the latest habit, so be patient. Creating a new habit of getting the necessary daily intake of water will improve all of your bodily functions, and your skin will look fantastic!