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Skincare for Black Men: Addressing Self Care

September 08 2022 – Cole Patterson

Black men have always wondered about their skin but expressing concerns out loud suggests he is less manly.  In the past, being worried about beautifying his face outside of a clean shave and the fresh haircut wasn’t looked upon as masculine.  Seeking impeccable skin or having a flawless image seemed too girly for most black men. 

Sadly, the stigma implied he would be compromising his manhood if he makes a fuss about his skin or mentioning a pimple on his was a firm “no-no” for black men.  When black men experienced issues such as oily skin, ingrown hairs, breakouts, and blackhead not many options are available.  Usually, black men live with blemished skin because nothing on the market catered to black men skin therefore worst case he'd have to sneak and use his girlfriend, sister, or mother products.   

Aside from hair care products black men have been ignored by the beauty industry for there personal care needs dealing with skin issues.  Yet some home remedies  passed down from generational grooming rituals from elders have been effective to help black men skin concerns.   Ironically other than the usual oily skin and hyper-pigmentation issues, black men rarely make a fuss about their skin.  However, problems outside of the normal of these two problems internally such as hormonal imbalances can shake things up a bit.  

Most men are under the impression if their skin is free of blemishes or “have great skin;” there’s no use for skincare products.  This is further from the truth because skincare is about self-care and taking the initiative is considered good hygiene practice. Even black men who don’t have problems with their skin such as blemishes, breakouts, and blackheads can benefit from effective skincare to manage and maintain healthy skin to age gracefully.  Preventative skin care is beneficial to help slow down the aging process and protect the skin from free radicals to fight against premature aging.  

For the beginner, the basics cleansers, toners, exfoliants, and moisturizers are a good start but it's not good enough for black men.  Quality ingredients and active formulations are recommended to address specific problems, concerns, and issues.  Here are a few questions to consider when determining your skin type and conditions. 

    1. When I wash my face is there a silk shine present?
    2. How often do I wipe my face to remove oils from my face?
    3. When I wash my face does it feel itchy or tight? 
    4. If I gently pull my skin does it bounce back instantly? 
    5. How often do I get breakouts if any? 

The five questions above will help you to figure out your skin type and the condition of your skin.  It is important to understand that skin type is oily, dry and skin condition is acne or eczema for example.  The 2 are extremely different however a skin type can cause a skin condition.  Learning about your skin shouldn’t fall in your hands but understanding your skin is in your hands.  Taking care of your skin should not be difficult and time-consuming it should be simple and easy.   Having an all-in-one solution and using multifunctional skincare products will help fulfill all the obligations required in a skincare regimen for maintaining healthy and youthful skin.  Aging is inevitable but aging gracefully is a choice that you initiate by incorporating effective products that can help you reach your skincare goals.   

Black men are stepping up to indulge in skincare products because their mentality is changing as they realize preserving one's youthfulness is just as beneficial as total body wellness.  The popularity of the black man is forcing more companies to diversify their audience to gain profit from black consumers.  However, marketing to black men should not imply that companies have the best interest of black men hold black men in their best interest yet nothing more than a consumer.  

Building a community shaped around black men and the socially there’s no surprise why skincare companies are marketing their products directly to black men.   Skincare companies are advertising to appeal to the black consumer through influencers, celebrities, and personalities.  Yet, don’t be fooled by the trickery do your research.   Most companies replicate the exact business model of women skincare companies without considering the mechanical nature of a man and the physiology of his skin which differs in so many ways.  A skincare brand marketing to black men must consider all areas of his lifestyle and culture.  First, black men need to understand their skin type and skin conditions considering their lifestyle as well culturally and socially.  

Here’s a quick tip for black men to understand their skin and how its pigment works differently which affects their skin type, tone, and condition.    

The physiology of the skin is structure the same epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.  The epidermis is consists of 5 layers with the innermost layer closer to the dermis is where the cells responsible for a pigment called melanocytes are produced.  Melanocyte produces melanin giving the skin its complexion and tone.  According to Fitzpatrick, phototype and/or classification to determine the amount of sun exposure pigmented skin can handle depending on the amount of melanin pigment in the skin.  

Although structurally skin consists of the same layers, therefore, opposing no difference in functionality, however, the amount of melanin in the skin alters the conditions of the skin ever so slightly.  Highly pigmented skin tones are more resilient appearing thicker than lighter skin tones however both skin tones can be highly sensitive to certain conditions.  Figuring out which skincare product represents you and what their value proposition is can help you make wiser choices to deciding which company best represents you as a whole and caters to your skin type, texture, and tone.   

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