Looking for Regional Information?

Skin Care For Women With Dark Complexions

By Marilynn Syrett Published 09/24/2009 | Beauty
When it comes to skin care... One size doesn't fit all! Skin care should be different for different people depending on their skin type, complexion and problem areas. And in order to have healthy skin you should consider all these factors and follow a regimen that suits your precise needs and requirements.

Here are some things that women with dark complexion should know about their skin and some tips for good and efficient skin care.

The Nature of Dark Skin

Dark complexion is due to the presence of more melanin in the tissues as compared to other skin colors. People with dark skin are generally less susceptible to sun damage or skin cancer. However, that doesn't mean they are completely immune to it. Dark skinned people are still at risk of sunburns, damage and skin cancer and therefore should exercise caution.


In order to keep your skin healthy, you need to make sure that you are well protected from the sun and its damaging UV rays. Though people with dark skin generally have a natural SPF of 13, they still need to use a sunscreen while venturing out in the sun. SPF 13 only means that you can stay in the sun without getting burns 13 times longer than other people. But you definitely need protection beyond that! A healthy skin care regimen is comprised of a good broad spectrum sunscreen.

Sunscreens absorb the harmful ultra-violet radiations of the sun, i.e. the UVA and UVB rays before they can penetrate the skin and thus keep you protected. There are also sunblocks that work by creating a protective layer on the skin and thus reflect off the UV rays. This way when the rays reach the skin surface, they just bounce off. Ideally, an SPF 15 is enough for people with dark skin. This would make sure that you are able to spend 15 times more in the sun without your skin getting damaged. However, if you have certain medical conditions like lupus, are undergoing medications or have dark marks and discolorations, you would need a sunscreen with SPF 30. Always make sure you use a broad spectrum sunscreen, one that protects against the UVA as well as the UVB rays of the sun.

Tips to Use Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen daily whenever you venture out in the sun.
Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you expose your skin to the sun. Make sure you slather enough sunscreen all over the exposed areas of your body including the neck, arms, hands and feet.
Reapply sunscreen after every 2 hours especially if you have been swimming, exercising or generally sweating a lot.
Do not use sunscreens that are past their expiration dates or after one year.
Apply sunscreen before you apply make-up.
Use a sunscreen that suits your skin type.

Skin Care Regimen

Cleanse your face using a good cleanser about twice a day once in the morning and once at night. This would remove all the dirt and sebum accumulated within the skin pores along with any residual make-up particles. Do avoid abrasive cleansers that might irritate your skin. Massage the cleanser gently on your face in circular motions. People with oily skin should stick to light oil-free cleansing gels while those with dry skin can use creamy cleansers.

Exfoliate twice a week. This removes all the dead skin cells from the skin surface and reveals the fresh new cells from underneath

Moisturize well. Even if your skin is oily, it is important to moisturize it and keep it hydrated. If you don't, your skin would produce more sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture and make your face more oily and greasy.

Dr. Marilyn Syrett is a professional physician and skin care expert. She writes articles about skin care and blogs where she reviews several popular Obagi skin care products. She also offers advice to buy cosmetics online.