People with black skin seem to have more active acne compared to people with other skin tones. In addition, once the acne heals, people with black and darker skin types tend to experience more post-acne dark spots and keloids (raised) scars. The best way to prevent both acne and post-acne dark spots is to begin treatment early before the acne gets worse.
What is the best treatment for acne in people with black skin?
Not every acne product is safe for darker skin types. Retinoids (such as Adapalene (Differin, Epiduo), as an example, make the skin more sensitive to the sun. Without proper sun protection, these products can increase the tendency to develop dark spots and hyperpigmentation, which can be treated with a Dark Spot Remover but are better to prevent in the first place!
The safest acne ingredients for people with acne and darker skin types are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These ingredients are on the top American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) acne treatment guidelines ingredients list.
- Salicylic acid is a naturally derived, beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). Salicylic acid helps to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. It can clear pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads and help fade dark spots.
- Benzoyl peroxide is the single most effective topical anti-acne ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) fights the bacteria that causes acne, unclogs the skin pores, and prevent acne breakouts. It is very safe for black skin. *Note: Benzoyl peroxide can bleach clothing, sheets, pillowcases, and towels but will NOT cause white spots on your skin.
Special acne treatment tips for people with black skin
1. Look for micronized benzoyl peroxide. This type of benzoyl peroxide penetrates better into the skin pores and thus is more effective and less irritating to your skin.
2. Never pick, pop, or squeeze or acne pimples. These will increase your risk of getting dark spots and scars.
3. If you have a lot of pimples or your forehead, near your hairline or over your temple,s you will need to make changes to your hair care routine. Look for hair care products that contain water or glycerin instead of oil.
4. If you must use and hair gel, use it only in the middle of your scalp and ends of your hair.
5. Never apply cocoa butter or shea butter on your face, back, or chest. These products can clog your pores and cause more acne breakouts.
6. Try to avoid thick, oily makeups. It may be an effective way to hide blemishes, but these makeups will frequently make your acne worse. The best makeups for dark acne-prone skin would be mineral makeups that clearly labeled “oil-free” “non-comedogenic or “for acne-prone skin.”
7. Stop using harsh exfoliators or elector skin brushes. These will damage the protective layer of your skin and will actually cause more breakouts and more brown spots. The best way to wash your face is with a medicated mild cleanser and your bare hands.
8. Always pat dry your skin with a clean towel.
9. Beware of baseball caps, headbands, or any other hat that is in contact with your skin. If you do not wash them frequently, they will accumulate sweat, dirt, and oil that will cause more acne.
10. And the most important part. If you have black skin and acne, you need to start a soon as possible with an effective anti-acne treatment that is personalized to your acne severity and skin type. The MDacne treatment takes into account your skin type, and provides personalized products, with the right ingredients to bot reduce your active acne and help fade your brown spots.
To find the right acne treatments for your unique skin, take the free skin assessment by clicking here.