11 Summer Skin Safety Tips for Skin-of-Color and the Perfect Summer Skin Care Routine for Skin-of-Color
While people with darker skin tones may have a natural advantage when it comes to sun protection, it is essential to understand that no skin type is immune to the damaging effects of the sun.
Dark skin shades can still experience sun-caused dark spots, skin-burn, dark under eye circles, hyperpigmentation, and other skin issues, if not properly protected.
This guide presents:
- 11 summer skin safety tips specifically tailored to skin-of-color, emphasizing unique challenges and how to mitigate them.
- The Perfect Summer Skin Care Routine for Skin-of-Color near below the Safety Tips.
11 Summer Skin Safety Tips for Skin-of-Color
- Embrace Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
Regardless of your skin color, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is vital. Look for sunscreens that contain physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they offer excellent broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, including frequently overlooked areas such as ears, scalp, the back of the neck, hands, feet, neck and upper chest.
Let me say something that I will repeat often in this article: Excessive sun exposure can increase the likelihood that you will get dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and dark under eye circles. You’ve been warned!
- Be Mindful of Sunscreen Ingredients
Go for sunscreens that are alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and essential oil-free, as you want to avoid negative reactions to your skin. Also, opt for sunscreens that provide SPF 50 UVA, UVB broad spectrum, sheer mineral protection, formulated specifically for sensitive skin. We suggest these ingredients: Coconut Oil, Aloe Juice, Green Tea, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Vitamin E, and Sweet Almond Oil to go along with the uber protective Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide.
Here’s a bonus: the best sunscreen formula should help maintain your skin’s protective barrier, calm acne-prone skin, maintain smooth, clear skin, and provide anti-aging, hydration, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin-healing protection. And it goes without saying that there must not be any white cast on your skin!
- Reapply Sunscreen Regularly
Sunscreen effectiveness diminishes over time, especially when exposed to
sweat or water. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently as suggested on the package; especially if you've been swimming or perspiring heavily. Don't forget to reapply sunscreen on commonly overlooked areas like your hands, feet, neck and upper chest.
Pro Insight: Did you know that skin cancer strikes many people-of-color in the feet where it is often not detected until too late? Did you know that reggae superstar Bob Marley died of cancer that began in his toe? What’s the lesson? Protect your skin! All of it!
- Seek Shade During Peak Hours
The sun's rays are generally strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Whenever possible, seek shade during those hours to reduce your sun exposure. Have I mentioned that excessive sun exposure can increase the likelihood that you will get dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and dark under eye circles? Yes. Yes I have.
- Wear Protective Clothing
Covering your skin with lightweight, loose-fitting clothing can provide an additional layer of sun protection. Opt for tightly woven fabrics that offer better coverage. Dark-colored clothing tends to absorb more UV radiation than lighter shades, which may help provide extra protection. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses to shield your skin and eyes.
- Protect Your Lips
Don't forget to protect your lips from the sun's harmful rays. Apply a lip balm or lipstick with SPF 30 or higher to keep your lips moisturized and shielded. Reapply as needed, especially after eating or drinking.
- Address Hyperpigmentation with Gentle Products
Dark skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation. To minimize the development of dark spots, uneven skin tone, and dark under eye circles, use gentle, non-irritating products that target hyperpigmentation. Look for products that contain vitamin C, niacinamide, alpha-arbutin, gotu kola, vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, glycyrrhiza glabra root extract, and superoxide dismutase, which help reduce hyperpigmentation.
To reduce dark areas under your eyes, we recommend Dark Under Eye Circle Eraser™ & Fine Line Reducer.
- Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated and help prevent dryness and flakiness. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate the skin.
- Avoid Tanning Beds
Tanning beds emit harmful UV radiation that can lead to skin damage, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Regardless of your skin color, it is best to avoid tanning beds altogether. I don’t know if you’ve heard that excessive sun exposure can increase the likelihood that you will get dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and dark under eye circles. Has anyone mentioned that?
- Regular Skin Examinations:
Perform self-examinations of your skin on a regular basis to monitor any changes or abnormalities. Look out for new moles, changes in existing moles, or any unusual growths. If you notice anything concerning, consult a dermatologist promptly for a professional evaluation.
11. Consult a Dermatologist
Regular visits to a dermatologist are especially important for those of us with light brown to very dark skin. Knowledgeable dermatologists can provide personalized advice, address specific concerns, and recommend appropriate treatments or products tailored to your skin type and needs. They can also perform comprehensive skin checks to detect and treat any potential skin issues.
The Perfect Summer Skin Care Routine for Skin-of-Color
Step 1. Cleansing
Start your skin care routine by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser. Look for a pH-balanced cleanser that is specifically formulated for your skin type. Gently massage the cleanser onto damp skin, then rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid hot water, as it can strip the skin of its natural oils. We recommend Facial Cleanser & Bacteria Fighter™ which also fights hyperpigmentation & inflammation.
Step 2. Toning
After cleansing, use a toner formulated for your skin type to balance the skin's pH levels and remove any remaining impurities. Look for toners that contain hydrating and soothing ingredients like rose water, chamomile, or aloe vera. Apply the toner to a cotton pad and gently swipe it across your face and neck. We recommend Clarifying Facial Toner & Detoxifier™ which also fights hyperpigmentation & inflammation and does not dry or sting your skin like others do.
Step 3. Exfoliation (1-2 times a week)
Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, allowing for better absorption of skin care products. We generally don’t recommend physical exfoliation. However, if you must: Choose a gentle exfoliator that suits your skin type and concerns. Avoid harsh scrubs or exfoliants with large granules that can cause irritation to the skin – which can lead to dark spots and scarring. Massage the exfoliator onto damp skin in circular motions, then rinse thoroughly.
Step 4. Hydration and Moisturization
Hydration is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated without feeling greasy. Look for moisturizers that contain humectant ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin to attract and retain moisture. Pay attention to areas prone to dryness, such as the cheeks and forehead. We recommend the World’s Best Face Cream™ super cream which fights 14 signs of aging, hydrates the skin, and reduces hyperpigmentation.
Step 5. Targeted Treatments
If you have specific skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, acne, or uneven skin tone, incorporate targeted treatments into your skin care routine. Look for products that contain active ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, retinol, and azelaic acid, which can help address these concerns.
- To reduce dark spots, we recommend Darks Spots Eliminator™ super serum.
- To reduce fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging, we recommend No Needles, No Way!™ Anti-Aging Skin Serum™.
- To get rid of shaving bumps and ingrown hairs, we recommend No Bumps, Ingrown Hairs. Discoloration™ skin serum.
- To reduce acne, we recommend the Skin Nurturing Anti-Acne™ Treatment System which has 4 products that combine to be America’s #1 Anti-Acne Treatment System Designed Specifically for Skin-of-Color.
Step 6. Eye Care
The delicate skin around the eyes requires special attention. Use a gentle eye cream or serum to moisturize and protect this area. Look for products that contain ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or peptides to help brighten, hydrate, and minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. We recommend the World’s Best Face Cream™ super cream which fights 14 signs of aging, hydrates the skin, and reduces hyperpigmentation.
Step 7. Lip Care
Don't forget to care for your lips, as they can be prone to dryness and sun damage. Apply a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher to protect your lips from the sun's harmful rays. Look for lip balms that contain moisturizing ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil to keep your lips soft and hydrated.
Step 8. Hydrating Face Mist (Optional)
During hot summer days, a hydrating face mist can provide a refreshing boost of moisture. Look for face mists that contain hydrating ingredients like rose water, glycerin, or aloe vera. Spritz the mist onto your face whenever you need a quick pick-me-up or a burst of hydration.
Step 9. Sun Protection
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Choose sunscreens that contain physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they are less likely to leave a white cast on the skin. Don't forget to apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas, including your neck, ears, hands, feet, and upper chest. Reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.
Pro Tip: Wear sunscreen even when you are in the house. Why? Because:
- The blue light from your TV, computer, and phone(!) can increase the likelihood of formation of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and age spots.
- The blue light can also cause breakdown and inflammation of your skin.
- UVA rays can get to you through windows and clouds and cause wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.
Step 10. Nighttime Skin Care Routine
In the evening, follow a similar routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Additionally, you can incorporate targeted treatments like serums or creams that promote skin repair and rejuvenation, and acne treatments that work while you sleep to keep your skin clear and bright. We recommend the Unclog & Repair Pore Serum™ be a part of your nighttime skin care routine because it works overnight to lessen hyperpigmentation, unclog pores, kill bacteria on the skin, heal damaged skin, and control the skin’s oil production.
If you have light brown to very dark skin, it is important that you fully understand the specific risks and challenges you face in protecting your skin from sun damage and maintaining skin health. By following these 11 Summer Skin Safety Tips for Skin-of-Color and the Perfect Summer Skin Care Routine for Skin-of-Color, you can better safeguard your skin from sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and other related issues. Remember, taking proactive measures to protect your skin today will help ensure its health and radiance for years to come. Oh! One other thing: Have you heard that excessive sun exposure increases your chances of getting dark spots, hyperpigmentation, dark under eye circles, age spots, and weathered-looking skin? Pass the word.
And, always Love Your Brown Skin®.
Please note – for the purpose of Skin Care: We use Black skin, Brown skin, and skin-of-color interchangeably when discussing people-of-color. When we use the term people-of-color, we intend to mean those whose skin tone is not White and who are Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Mediterranean, Pacific Islander, or of Middle Eastern descent.