21 Anti-Aging Skin Care Tips for Skin-of-Color

How to Keep Skin-of-Color Younger Looking

If your skin care philosophy is based on a belief that “Asian Don’t Raisin,” “Black Don’t Crack,” or “Brown Don’t Frown,” think again. Skin of color does visibly age. We develop hyperpigmentation, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, rough texture, and all the rest.

Now that we have that cleared up, check out our list of the 21 things we can do to slow the signs of aging.

Anti-Aging Tips for Skin-of-Color

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #1:  Sun Protection

It is a common misconception that melanin protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Although skin-of-color has properties to withstand the sun more than Caucasian skin, it is still important to protect your skin from the sun. Harmful UVA and UVB rays cause cellular damage.

Making sunscreen a regular part of your daily skin-care regimen reduces your sun exposure. Using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher helps to decrease your risk of skin cancer, prevent hyperpigmentation and premature aging.

Look for sunscreen that contains iron oxide. This protects against the visible light spectrum that plays a role in hyperpigmentation.

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Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #2:  Eat Healthily

The saying is true: you are what you eat. It can be argued that eating right is the most important thing you can do to combat aging skin.

A healthy diet with the right nutrients can help reduce signs of aging skin. Studies have shown that the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in foods like fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats are associated with fewer wrinkles and age-related dryness.

Your skin's youthful appearance is driven by two major proteins: collagen and elastin. As you age, free radicals damage these proteins and cause cellular damage to your skin. Free radicals are a normal part of the aging process. However, if you don’t have enough antioxidants to counter act free radicals, the bad guys will win and speed up the aging process.

Your goal should be to avoid free radicals such as processed foods, refined sugars, and carbs.

To combat free radicals, eat fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, nuts filled with linoleic acid, and lean meats containing collagen.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #3:  Use a Gentle Cleanser

Gentle cleansers protect your skin because they avoid skin irritation and maintain hydration. Look for cleansers that also support a healthy skin barrier and pH level.

Depending on your skin type, there are many cleansing lotions, foaming oils, gel cleansers, and clay cleansers to choose from. Most are formulated to remove grime and debris from your skin while protecting your skin barrier.  

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #4:  Include Retinoids (Vitamin A)

Retinoids help increase your skin’s production of collagen, fade dark spots and improve dull skin.

Retinoids work by increasing the rate at which your skin cells turn over. This slows the breakdown of collagen and keeps your skin firm.

Avoid sun exposure while using retinoids by wearing sunscreen,  protective clothing, and hats when outside.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #5:  Vitamin C Serums

Like eating vitamin C, using vitamin C topically is great for collagen production and fighting UV damage.

Also known as L-ascorbic acid, it works as an antioxidant protecting your skin from free radicals and environmental irritants such as pollution and smoking. It also boosts your skin’s collagen production and fades dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Use vitamin C serum on your skin for maximum penetration and absorption.

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Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #6:  Vitamin E for Elastin Production

Vitamin E plays an important role in preventing UV-induced free radical damage to your skin. It is also an antioxidant that is essential in fighting inflammation and promoting healing.

Vitamin E, found naturally in your skin’s sebum, decreases with age and with increases in UV exposure. This can cause structural changes to your skin and its collagen production.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #7:  Moisturize with the Right Lotions or Creams

Moisturizers with niacinamide, collagen, and hyaluronic acid promote hydration and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #8:  Find a Dermatologist

Finding a dermatologist that specializes in skin-of-color can help you achieve more youthful looking skin.

Depending on your skin care needs, many professional treatments can help you achieve younger looking skin. If you have skin issues that cannot be treated with over-the-counter products, there are prescription options and treatments that work for skin-of-color.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #9:  Treat Dark Undereye Circles with an Eye Serum

The skin around your eyes is even more sensitive and fragile than the skin on the rest of your face. For this reason, it’s important to use gels, serums and creams around your eyes that were designed for this area.

People-of-color – particularly those of Asian and African decent - are predisposed to having dark under eye circles. This is because genetically, we have very thin lower eyelid skin. This allows our veins to show, making the skin under our lower lids appear darker.

A good dark under eye circle serum will help diminish (along with getting proper rest, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and aggressively rubbing the areas on the eyes) the dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #10:  Avoid Alcohol-Based Skin Products  

Alcohol is often used in skin care products to cleanse the skin. Ethanol is one type of alcohol that is commonly used in skin care products. Studies show that ethanol can dehydrate the skin. This is linked to premature aging for most skin types.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #11:  Choose Mild Chemical Exfoliants

Choose mild chemical products like lactic and glycolic acid to avoid irritation and inflammation.

If you have concern about irritation from a new chemical exfoliant you’re trying: start with a lower amount of the product than suggested and then increase the amount as your skin grows accustomed to the exfoliation.

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Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #12:  Limit Smoking and Alcoholic Beverages

  • Smoking damages your skin cells and leads to premature aging.
  • Smoking narrows your blood vessels, reducing the among of oxygen your skin receives.
  • The free radicals that your skin absorbs when smoking can cause sagging skin under your eyes and at your jawline.
  • Separately, reducing alcohol consumption limits the impact its dehydrating effects can have on your skin in causing wrinkles and fine lines.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #13:  Exercise 3-4 Times Each Week

Exercise helps improves circulation throughout your body. Cardio helps to regenerate cells reducing the cell death that is normally associated with aging.  

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #14:  Drink Water

Drinking water helps your skin stay hydrated. This helps flush your system of toxins that can age the skin.  It also helps your skin maintain its elasticity.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #15:  Avoid Harsh Whitening Products

Obviously, using whitening products isn’t Loving Your Brown Skin. In addition, it’s actually harmful to you. The chemicals found in whitening products weaken your skin’s epidermis and can cause chemical burns. The thinning of your skin can also lead to premature aging.

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Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #16:  Don’t Forget Your Neck and Chest

We are all concerned about our faces showing signs of aging because that’s what people see first when they look at us. But, don’t forget about your neck and chest.

Skin on your neck often shows signs of aging even sooner than your face because this skin is thinner. So, be sure to use the same anti-aging skin care routine that you use on your face, on your neck and chest.

Also, limit excessive, prolonged exposure to the sun.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #17:  Get Enough Sleep

Getting an adequate amount of sleep daily will help your skin cells regenerate. Human cells need at least 6-8 hours of sleep to recover. This may be the simplest way for you to reverse the signs of aging.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #18:  Use Facial Exercises and Massages

Facial exercises such as face yoga can be used to slim and tone facial structures as well as help fight signs of aging. Note: Facial exercises and massages are only beneficial with long term, consistent use.

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Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #19:  Daytime and Nighttime Products

Consider using a daytime and nighttime skin care routine. Many products have been shown to work effectively when used at a specific time of day. Night creams are normally formulated to be thicker and to lock in moisture so that your skin doesn’t dry out while you are getting your beauty sleep.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #20:  Exfoliate This Often

The frequency at which you should exfoliant depends on your skin type.

 i. If you have acne-prone skin:

  • Exfoliate every day using a gentle acne treatment system that includes exfoliation as part of the treatment.
  • Do not use a physical exfoliant as doing so may lead to hyperpigmentation, even more acne breakouts, and acne scars.

ii.  If you have oily skin:

  • Exfoliate every day (if using a gentle chemical exfoliant)
  • We generally don’t recommend a physical exfoliant so as to avoid damaging the skin. However, if you must => Exfoliate every 3-4 days (if using a physical exfoliant)

iii. If you have normal skin:

  • Exfoliate every 1-2 days (if using a gentle chemical exfoliant)
  • We generally don’t recommend a physical exfoliant so as to avoid damaging the skin. However, if you must => Exfoliate weekly (if using a physical exfoliant)

 iv. If you have dry or sensitive skin:

  • Exfoliate every 2-3 days (if using a gentle chemical exfoliant)
  • Do not use a physical exfoliant as doing so may lead to hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and skin damage.

Anti-Aging for Skin-of-Color Tip #21:  Have Patience

Lastly, it is important to allow products to work. As you are building your skin care regimen, keep it simple. Also, avoid using too many new products at the same time. Allow a product at least 8 weeks to perform before moving on if you do not see your desired results. Also, it is important to keep track of changes to your regimen so you can watch for any negative (or positive!) side effects.

The Bottom-Line

Implementing lifestyle changes along with an anti-aging skin care regimen designed specifically for skin-of-color will help you get started in reversing the signs of aging skin.

 And, always… Love Your Brown Skin®.

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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.

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