Sunday, May 3, 2009

Black Skin Care Problems

When it comes to caring for your skin, the type of skin you have should be considered. Is your skin oily? dry? combination? Do you have fair skin? dark skin? Today, I'd like to talk about how black skin problems and how to care for African American skin. Since I'm African American, and 40 years old (no, I'm not ashamed of my age), I have some experience caring for dark skin. While I'm not amongst the darkest skin types around, I have experienced some of the challenges common to African Americans. Common skin problems amongst African Americans are acne, ingrown hairs, keloids and vetiligo.

When it comes to acne, African Americans usually have oily skin resulting from an excess production of oils from the sebaceious glands. This produces acne and blackheads. African Americans with acne are also more prone to having skin discolorations or blemishes resulting from acne. Long after the break out has gone, blemishes are a common problem for black skin. One problem is the picking of pimples. I have this problem. There's something about knowing that there is this ugly pimple sitting there that keeps one self conscious and to start picking at it. This is however a bad idea. Picking at the pimples or bumps causes blemishes and scarring.

African Americans also have naturally curly hair. This curly hair often curls up into the hair shaft causing ingrown hairs. It's very common amongst African American men and in private areas of the body on women.

Keloids is also a big problem in the African American community. Fortunately, I do not suffer from keloids but it can be a painful condition that can make one feel embarrassed. Keloids are a type of scar that occur as a result of a wound that heals beyond the size of the original wound. It appears as a large growth and usually requires surgery to be removed. However, surgery can also cause the keloid to grow back larger. Some African American women get keloids on the ear lobes after having their ears pierced.

Another skin care problem amongst the African American population is vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition where the pigments in the skin attacks each other and the result is damaged pigment that appears in the form of white patches. There are not many effective treatments for this condition but there are some herbal treatments that are available which may prove effective for some.

If you have black skin and experience any of these skin care problems, how you care for your skin will vary. Since, I'm of the oily skin type and am prone to break outs I'll talk about that a bit. For starters, NEVER use soap on your skin. Actually, it doesn't matter what skin type you have, soap is a no no to cleanse skin.

Cleanse Oily Skin with a gentle creamy cleanser that will unclog pores and remove excess oils without stripping the skin of essential oils. Exfoliate oily skin twice a week to remove dead skin cells from pores. Moisturizing is still important, even for oily skin. Oil is not moisture. Oil is oil. Your skin needs hydration (moisture), regardless of the type of skin you have. Oily skin should use gel or lotion moisturizers as opposed to cream moisturizers. Cream moisturizers provide more oil which is what you are trying to control if you have oily skin.

If you have oily skin, you should also drink plenty of water and focus on using products that are non-comedogenic (doesn't block pores). Your body is made up essentially of water so it makes sense that you should consume lots of it to stay hydrated.

I've also discovered that there are a number of essential oils available that are quite effective for oily skin care. Lemon, Rosemary, Grapefruit and Orange Essential Oils can help with oily skin problems. It's important to note however, that you should only use Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils to ensure purity. I use an essential oil by Young Living called Purification. Purification has been amazingly effective at treating acne. I have literally applied Purification to a bump and overnight, it shrank in size by 75%! I was amazed and love this blend of Essential Oils. Purification is a combination of Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca aka Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis) essential oils. If you suffer from acne, Purification is very effective. You can get it at Young Living. You'll need distributor # 1066504 to purchase.

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