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What You Need to Know if You Have Dark Skin

While our skin structure is all the same, everyone can benefit from a tailored skincare routine. Keep reading to learn about how to nourish and support dark skin.

I’d like to discuss skin colour, including how skin gets its colour and some things to consider when creating a skincare routine for dark skin. 

A little bit about skin tones

The basic anatomy of human skin is the same from person to person—no matter the colour of the skin. We all have an epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. 

Our epidermis is made up of five layers, including the basal cell layer. This layer contains melanocytes, which are cells that produce melanin,(1) a natural pigment that gives the skin its colour. Melanin is stored in melanosomes.(2)

There are different types of melanin. Eumelanin gives the skin a brown-black colouring and pheomelanin gives the skin a yellow-red colour. Different skin tones are the result of varying ratios of melanin types and number of melanosomes.(2)

While the structure of dark skin and light skin are the same, the eumelanin in dark skin tones provides increased antioxidant properties, which is great! These antioxidants help to protect the skin from photodamage caused by UVA rays.(3) Photodamaged skin shows premature signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, lack of elasticity and changes in texture. In other words, having melanin-rich skin can help to keep your skin looking youthful.

However, since the melanocytes are more active, darker skin is also more prone to hyperpigmentation. Extra melanin production can be easily triggered by inflammation caused by acne, irritation and sun exposure.(4)

So, while melanin provides some protection against UV damage, it’s still very important for people with darker skin tones to include sunscreen that provides UVA and UVB protection in their daily skincare routine! 

Studies also seem to suggest that darker skin has lower hydration levels, increased transepidermal water loss and lower ceramide levels.(5) 

So what does all of this mean when it comes to caring for your skin? 

Caring for dark skin

Now that you have some background information on melanin-rich skin, let’s discuss some things to keep in mind when caring for dark skin. 

First of all, developing a skincare routine is a very personal journey. 

Yes, all of our skin is made up of three main layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. And yes, there are five main skin types: combination, dry, oily, sensitive and balanced. But there are so many other factors that play into what our skin needs. Diet, exercise, allergies and season all have an impact on our skin. 

So the following are just suggestions and things to consider when developing a skincare routine for dark skin.

Niacinamide is your friend. This superstar skincare ingredient is known to help fight hyperpigmentation.(6) A 2008 study also suggests that niacinamide can help strengthen the skin barrier by increasing the production of cholesterol, free fatty acids and ceramides.(7) 

Harness the power of niacinamide in your skincare routine by cleansing with our Aloe Milk Cleanser. This non-foaming cleanser is gentle yet effective at breaking down makeup and impurities. It also contains aloe vera juice to soothe and moisturize the skin.

Add ceramides. An essential part of the skin barrier, ceramides help to strengthen the skin, slow transepidermal water loss, relieve inflammation and moisturize. The truth is, everyone (no matter their skin colour or type) can benefit from adding ceramides to their skincare routine. 

Our Skin Stuff Face + Eye Cream is an ultralight ceramide moisturizer. It’s also formulated with maple sap water to hydrate the skin and vitamin C from rosehip extract to help fight hyperpigmentation. 

Seal in moisture. Keep the skin hydrated and minimize transepidermal water loss by applying an occlusive, such as an oil-based serum. 

Moon Boost Serum is formulated with non-comedogenic superfood oils and extracts to help nourish your skin and keep it hydrated. Infused with seven vitamins, this revolutionary serum contains everything the skin needs to look and feel its best. 

Never skip the sunscreen. And I mean NEVER! Everyone needs a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects the skin against UVA and UVB rays. Finding the perfect sunscreen can be a long process but it is absolutely worth it. Take your time and explore all of your options. Make sure you look for a sunscreen that is non-nano, reef-safe and offers an SPF of at least 30. 

Final words

At Graydon Skincare, we understand that everyone's skin is different. Please use the recommendations offered here as things to consider when developing your perfect skincare routine.

If you have any questions about which products may be right for your particular skin concerns, email and one of our product experts will assist you. 


Let's all learn more about black history. Click here to discover eye-opening films that depict black stories and the ongoing fight for equity.

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