About Acne Skin Care for African Americans
People with darker skin tones can have a difficult time using many acne treatment products, as the treatments can be drying and irritating to the skin. This can lead to flaking, peeling and unevenness in skin tone, leaving the skin looking blotchy and inflamed. Fortunately, there are acne treatments and methods that will help keep African American skin clear and vibrant, without causing the skin to become dry or irritated.
Cleansing without Drying the Skin
Most acne cleanser are drying to the skin and are designed to eliminate excess oil on the skin. While this can be helpful in clearing up acne in the short-term, the skin will attempt to overproduce oils to compensate for drying nature of the soap. This unpredictability can cause darker skin types to have blackheads and skin irritation. In order to cleanse skin without using a harsh soap or cleanser, a non-comedogenic oil can be applied to the skin, such as castor oil. Castor oil will bond to the impurity in the pores, allowing the impurity to be removed more easily. To apply castor oil to the skin, massage in 1 tsp. of the oil for 3 minutes, then drape a hot towel over the skin. The heat and steam from the towel will open the pores and flush out the oils and impurities. Oil cleansing can be used on darker skin types twice per day.
Keeping the Skin Exfoliated
Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells and impurities that could clog pores, leading to acne breakouts. For darker complexions, exfoliation helps keep skin more evenly toned because it removes dead skin that could make skin look blotchy. Use a natural exfoliate, such as baking soda, which buff away dead skin gently without damaging the face. Massage a paste of baking soda and water onto the skin for 2 minutes, them rinse the skin well with water. Repeat once per day.
Toning the skin helps promotes sin cell turnover, which helps darker skin types maintain an even complexion that is also acne-free. There are many toners on the market, most of which contain alcohol, which is highly drying to the skin. Using a natural toner, such as lemon juice, tones the skin without drying it out. Apply lemon juice directly to the skin twice per day, allowing it to air dry.
Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most common acne treatments around, but can be too irritating for people with dark complexions. Fortunately, natural tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide in clearing skin, but without the unwanted side effects, such as peeling, flaking or burning. To use tea tree oil, dip a cotton swab into the oil, then again into water to dilute it. Dab the diluted oil onto your skin up to three times per day.
For a more intensive overnight treatment, calamine lotion can be applied to the skin to dry up puss-filled acne blemishes and cystic acne breakouts. Calamine lotion is effective in drying up acne without overly drying the surrounding skin. For darker complexions, using calamine lotion will allow the skin to remain hydrated and will prevent flaking on the skin. Dip a cotton swab into calamine lotion, then apply it to the active acne pustules and cysts. Leave the calamine lotion on your skin overnight and wash it off in the morning.
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