SKIN | Fighting The Signs of Aging in African Skin

Gabrielle Union 41; Halle Berry 48; Angela Bassett 56

Gabrielle Union 41; Halle Berry 48; Angela Bassett 56

Let’s Talk Aging in African Skin

Sun plays a large part in aging our skin. While the old adage- “Black don’t crack” is true to a certain extent, black skin still does age.
The high amount of melanin in African skin, which causes its dark colour, helps in defending the harmful sun rays, causing fewer wrinkles. However, aging African skin starts to loose elasticity, becomes dull and sags. A lifetime of sun exposure can also result in hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) and age spots.

Fighting Wrinkles and Skin Aging

There is no “best” anti-aging ingredient for fighting wrinkles, or “best” anti-aging product; rather, there are several great ones. Using a combination of these ingredients in skin products will yield the best results.
It is best to start incorporating these anti-aging ingredients in your skin care regimen, while you’re in your late twenties and thirties, for best results; but using them helps no matter your age, in any case.
Avoid using products that come in jars, as they tend to lose their efficacy and become oxidized once the jar is opened.

What To Look For in Products

As previously mentioned, there are many great ingredients that come in different types of skin products with different types of labels or categories: cleansers, toners, serums, gels, moisturisers, lotions, anti-aging, anti-wrinkle and so on. In this article, we will talk about only a few of the most commonly found and used ones.


This in our opinion is actually the most important product to use, yet the most undermined here in Africa, judging by the lack of availability in many stores. It’s The Holy Grail of Products for fighting signs of aging. Regardless of your age, skin tone, skin type or location, everyone needs to wear sunscreen! Best to use Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30 and above. When used liberally and daily, before skin is exposed to the sun, it is your best defense against discolouration, wrinkles, dullness and loss of elasticity. Great sunscreens include: Clinique Super City Block SPF 40, La Roche Porsay Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer with Sunscreen, Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50, Clinique Sun SPF 30 Face Cream (Dry skin), Clarins Sunscreen for Face Wrinkle Control Cream SPF 50+

AHA and BHA:

Great for any skin type. Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHA) and Beta Hydroxyl Acid (BHA) are great gentle exfoliants that help remove the surface layer of built-up dead skin cells, revealing healthier, smoother skin, thus eliminating some wrinkling and acne blemishes for those with acne-prone skin. They may appear on product labels as glycolic or lactic acids (AHA) or salicylic acid (BHA). Skincare products containing AHA in concentrations of 5%-15%; or BHA in concentrations of 1%-2%, are effective. Some products containing AHA or BHA include: Olay Regenerist Night Renewal Elixir, Derma E AHA Alpha Hydroxy Acids Beauty Fluid, Alpha-H Liquid Gold, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid, amongst others.


This is a term used for Vitamin A. It’s a great antioxidant, and helps skin create better, healthier skin cells; as well as increase the amount of skin support substances. It aids skin’s collagen production, resulting in firmer skin, improved texture and preventing of hyperpigmentation. This ingredient is great for anti-aging, and deserving of very strong consideration for anyone serious about keeping their skin in good shape. It may appear in skincare products in the form of retinol, retinyl palmitate, and retinylaldehyde. Products that contain Retinol include: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Night, Alpha Hydrox Retinol Night ResQ, amongst others

Vitamin C:

One of the most beneficial vitamins you can apply to your skin. It is known to increase skin’s collagen production, reduces wrinkles, reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, strengthens skin’s barrier response, enhances skin’s repair process, reduces inflammation, and helps skin better withstand exposure to sunlight. It is most commonly found in skin products in the form of ascorbic acid. Other forms include magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, L-ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, ascorbyl glucosamine, and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate. Products containing Vitamin C include: The Body Shop Vitamin C Radiance Powder, The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver, La Roche-Posay BioMedic Potent-C 10.5 Concentrate, amongst others



Other great ingredients with anti-aging properties include Vitamin E (tocopherol), Vitamin B (niacinamide), Ceramides, Pomegranate, Green or White Tea, Linoleic / Linolenic Acids / Phospholipids, Genistein, Grape Seed, amongst others.