Beautiful African skin

African and Black Skin

Africans and people of African heritage are a diverse group of people with a huge range of shades of brown skin. However diverse, African skin has unique characteristics:

  • It produces more melanin (pigmentation), which gives it a warmer shade
  • It has fewer visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles
  • It has greater natural protection from the sun, and lower risk of skin cancer
  • Possible problems include hyperpigmentation (uneven darkening of the skin colour), blemishes, more stubborn blackheads, etc.
  •  Keloids (Raising of the skin where cut/injury has been)

The melanin in African (& black) skin, produced by the melanocyte cells, is responsible for pigmentation. Melanocytes’ production is stimulated by the enzyme tryosinase. The more melanin is produced by the melanocyte cells, the darker the individual. Melanocytes can be very reactive, and many factors can cause it to produce more melanin. Factors like sunlight, aging, some skincare products and cosmetics, pregnancy, some mediation, amongst others.

As a result of this, African skin often suffer from skin discolouration problems such as hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, vitilago, blemishes, melasma amongst others; and react more adversely to common conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.

It is worthy to note however, that apart from the amount, size and distribution of melanin, there isn’t any real difference between African and Caucasian skin. Good skin care comes with knowing and caring for your skin type (whether oily, combination, normal, dry, acne-prone, sensitive etc), and developing healthy practices… regardless of how dark or light your skin colour is.