June 22, 2024

The very best skincare products to use on dark skin

According to Dr Amiee, one of the most important steps in your skincare regime should be your sun protection.

“I always recommend SPF 30 or higher and antioxidant protection,” she said. Not only will the correct protection help to avoid skin damage but it will also help to prevent conditions like hyperpigmentation.

On Monday evening, Black Skin Directory partnered with GLAMOUR and Il Makiage to host Black Skin Decoded, a virtual evening event dedicated to black beauty.

Throughout the evening, top dermatologists, pro makeup artists and wellness experts discussed key issues that affect black skin from hyperpigmentation to scarring and shared valuable advice on everything from how to select the perfect foundation shade, to how to choose a great aesthetic doctor, to the best skincare products to use.

In fact, during the first session of the evening, Skincare 101 hosted by Black Skin Directory founder Dija Ayodele, as well as Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, Dr Amiee Vyas and Dr Anjali Mahto, there were so many incredible recommendations that were targeted to treat specific skincare concerns, we thought we would make a list of them all to make it easier for you to find…

While many choose not to wear sun protection due to finding them greasy, or else finding that they leave a white cast on the skin, the experts recommended a number of products that have their seal of approval.

Heliocare Gel Oil-Free SPF 50

According to Dr Ejikeme, this has a super light texture and won’t leave a white cast on the skin.

Epionce Ultra Shield Lotion SPF 50

This product is perfect for drier skin types as it moisturises the skin while providing UVA and UVB protection.

Obagi Sun Shield Matte SPF 50

Perfect for acne-prone skin, this formula is non-greasy and won’t clog pores. “It does leave a bit of a cast,” warns Dr Ejikeme. “Don’t be afraid of the cast – especially if you’re going to wear makeup over the top. ” Noted!

Neostrata Sheer Hydration SPF40

According to Dr Aimee, this broad-spectrum sun protection is also great for acne prone skin as it helps to control oil production throughout the day.


All of the experts agreed that the most important step in treating pigmentation was to tackle the cause. In many cases, the cause of pigmentation is acne and breakouts that have left marks and dark patches on the skin. So if your hyperpigmentation is a result of acne scarring, you might want to try products that contain the following ingredients as well as in-clinic treatments…

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is a great ingredient to exfoliate the uppermost layers of dead skin, which can contribute to blocked pores, but it’s important to use glycolic acid sparingly and for a short period of time, rather than a staple in your regime. Also, unless your dermatologist says otherwise, always opt for a product that contains less than 10% glycolic acid.

Mandelic acid

Mandelic acid is similar to glycolic, but the molecules are slightly larger. “You can use it in slightly higher concentrations and it gets great results,” said Dr Ejikeme.

Salicylic acid

This acid should be your first port of call if you are trying to control oil production in your skin. “Over the counter salicylic acid at 2% is a great addition into your skincare routine,” advised Dr Ejikeme.

Cyspera and Cosmolan

If you have treatment-resistant pigmentation, your doctor or dermatologist may prescribe a topical cream to treat it (two common creams are called Cyspera and Cosmolan).


We all know retinol to be the wonder wrinkle-defying, skin-clearing ingredient, but as our expert explained, retinol can often cause dryness and inflammation if used incorrectly, which in turn can cause hyperpigmentation. If you’re just starting to experiment with retinol, Dr Ejikeme recommends products that contain a retinol derivative called Retinaldehyde, which is gentler on skin. Some products that contain Retinaldehyde are Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 Serum and Avène Physiolift Night Balm.

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