Handsome black man looking in mirror adjusting his tie

Best Skincare Routine for Black Skin

Posted by Otis Skincare on

Choosing the right skincare routine for black skin can seem overwhelming.

It’s hard to know where to start and which products will work best for you.

Your melanin rich skin tone can be prone to dry skin, dark spots and uneven skin tone. Whilst strong hair texture can lead to ingrown hairs and razor bumps.

So, from the best way to clean and moisturise your skin - to how to avoid ingrown hairs and sensitivity - here’s everything you need to know to keep your black skin looking beautiful.


Handsome black man washing his face at a white sink with chrome taps 


How to take the best care of black skin

The answer is to adopt a simple daily skincare routine

And choose gentle products that will hydrate and nourish, leaving your dark skin looking smooth and even with a luminous, rich glow.

We designed our skincare routine to make it easy for you to always look good.


Best products for black men’s skin 

How skin reacts to different skincare products has a lot to do with how much pigment is in your skin.

Pigment cells are very sensitive and if they come into contact with an ingredient which is too harsh then you can get hyper-pigmentation and dark spots.

So it's better to look for products that have gentle, natural ingredients.


black man holding OTIS SKINCARE Daily Hydrating Moisturizer


These are the challenges you can face, and we’ve listed the natural ingredients to combat them. They all work really well on black skin:


  • Ingrown hairs and razor bumps 

    Whilst anyone can get them, black-skinned guys tend to have stronger, curlier hair which is more likely to curl back on itself, making you more prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps.

    To avoid them altogether gently exfoliate regularly to keep your skin clear and free from dead skin cells, and also adopt a good shaving technique.

    Ingredients to look for: A gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid to exfoliate, Tea Tree Oil to purify, and Aloe Vera to soothe your skin.


    • Uneven skin tone 

      When the skin’s surface is damaged in any way melanin is released. Of course, the more melanin in your skin the more likely it is that dark spots can occur.

      The damage can come from a variety of things including ingrown hairs and sun damage.

      Using a lightweight, hydrating moisturiser will help reduce the appearance of any dark spots and scarring, making your skin tone look more even.

      And gently exfoliating your skin regularly will accelerate cell renewal and stimulate your skin’s natural repair mechanism. smoothing out skin texture.

      Ingredients to look for : Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil to moisturize and improve skin texture, along with a gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid to exfoliate.


      • Excess Oiliness 

        Men in general tend to have oilier skin than women and dark skin can be even more oil rich.

        This is great as you get older because it means that you won’t get wrinkles so easily.

        But it can also lead to issues like acne and breakouts.

        The answer is to use a lightweight moisturiser with hyaluronic acid that will help skin stay hydrated and balanced - but without causing any shininess.

        Ingredients to look for: Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate deeply, and Tea Tree Oil to reduce oil production.


        Handsome black man wearing white shirt looking in mirror and smiling


        ACTION PLAN: Best skincare routine for black skin 

        First things first... 

        #1 Clean with a non-drying face wash 

        Your first step - morning and evening - should be washing your face.

        This will keep your skin looking clear and healthy, as well as removing dirt and oil build up which can clog your pores and cause acne and blemishes.

        But it’s important to avoid over cleaning.

        You don’t want to strip away your skin’s natural oils, because this can compromise the protective barrier of your skin.

        And just using a bar of soap will quickly cause skin irritation and leave your face feeling dry.

        The answer is to use a face wash that will effectively clean your skin, and at the same time keep those natural oils in place.

        The solution?

        Our Daily Face Wash.

        It contains Glycerin - to stop your skin from drying out – along with hydrating ingredients like Aloe Vera.

        It also includes Tea Tree Oil to purify and regulate sebum production to keep oily skin in balance.

        And as you’ll see below it gently exfoliates your skin too.

        Giving you fresh, clean, healthy skin in one easy step!

        Best Face Wash for Black Skin 



        #2 Exfoliate gently 

        Gently exfoliating regularly is one of the best things you can do for black skin.

        Exfoliation 'unglues' dry dead skin cells that can make your face look ashy, clog your pores and cause ingrown hairs and razor bumps. 

        It also accelerates cell renewal and stimulates your skin’s natural repair mechanism. So …

        • your skin tone looks more even and glowing
        • there’s less chance of ingrown hairs when you shave
        • your pores appear smaller
        • and your moisturizer absorbs easily, keeping your skin well hydrated and healthy

        It also increases blood circulation to your face, bringing nutrients to the skin’s surface. Giving you a healthy, vibrant and glowing complexion.


        Avoid using a facial scrub to exfoliate your face! They're too harsh for facial skin, damaging the surface and causing your skin to become dry and irritated.

        The best solution: Gently exfoliate every day using our Daily Face Wash which contains a mild Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Lactic Acid.

        It does a really thorough job of getting rid of dead skin cells - but without causing irritation. And it’s so gentle that you can use it every day.

        Our Daily Face Wash cleans, exfoliates and re-energizes your skin in one quick step. 



        #3 Shave with care and look after your beard 

        Your black skin is more prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps. So special care is needed when you shave.

        The answer is to prep your skin well, use a nourishing, protective shaving cream, adopt a good shaving technique and apply a moisturizer afterwards.

        A good nourishing shave cream will protect your skin, help reduce irritation and lubricate to allow the razor to glide more freely.

        Our Protective Shave Cream includes Shea Butter and Glycerin to nourish and protect, as well as Apricot Stone Oil to soften the hair for a smoother, easier shave.

        It leaves your skin beautifully hydrated.


        Best Shave Cream for Black Skin



        Our Protective Shave Cream also contains Aloe Vera to soothe your skin, and purifying Tea Tree Oil to help reduce any redness and irritation.

        Like all of our products, Protective Shave Cream is dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic and non-irritating.
        It has also undergone and passed the rigorous European Cosmetic Regulations.

        Plus it’s cruelty free.


        We’ve got more on the best shaving practices for black skin here – “Best Shaving Tips for Black Men".

        Looking after your beard 

        No beard grows perfectly by itself. You need to take care of it. Most importantly you want to keep the follicles nice and clear to encourage strong, even, healthy growth.

        That starts with washing your beard – to keep it looking (and smelling!) clean and fresh - and exfoliating away the dead skin cells. This will keep your hair follicles clear, discouraging beard dandruff and stopping ingrown hairs.

        Comb your beard on a regular basis too, especially when it's short. This helps to prevent hairs from growing in on themselves.

        Regular trimming will keep your beard looking sharp and in your chosen shape. This can mean trips to the barber shop or you can get expert yourself in using trimmers.

        Once you get the basics down, trimming your beard at home is pretty straight-forward. We’ve got some handy tips here – “How to Trim Your Beard Like A Pro”


        #4 Moisturize with a lightweight, mattifying moisturizer 

        After you wash your face and shave it’s time to seal in the hydration with a moisturizer.

        Black skin tends to be oilier which can lead to shine.

        So the trick is to use a mattifying moisturizer on your face that keeps your skin hydrated while also combatting any oiliness.

        We designed our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer to be incredibly hydrating, but it also absorbs really easily so it won't leave your face looking shiny.

        Best Moisturizer for Black Skin 



        It's also packed full of the best anti aging ingredients.

        Because whatever your age, and whatever your skin type, using a moisturizer every day is a must if you want to keep your complexion looking smooth and youthful.

        Our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer is perfect for black skin:

        • it hydrates and smooths your skin throughout the day, but with no shininess whatsoever
        • it evens out your skin tone
        • and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, especially the fine lines around your eyes.

        It’s packed with the moisturizing superstar Hyaluronic Acid to deeply hydrate your skin, smoothing out skin tone, and rich in anti-oxidants to keep it looking even.

        And it does it all without making your face look greasy and shiny!


        Pay special attention to your eye area 

        Considering the eye area has virtually no oil glands and is the first to show signs of aging, it’s essential to keep the skin here well hydrated.

        The best solution: you don’t need to buy a separate eye cream. Our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer  is perfect for the delicate eye area as well.

        It will hydrate and soften the skin and diminish the look of any wrinkles. And with anti aging peptides it improves circulation, stimulates collagen and protects the delicate under eye skin from free radical damage, reducing the bags under your eyes .


        #5 Protect your skin from sun damage 

        Whilst black skin has more natural protection from the sun, because of the amount of melanin, it's still not enough to go without sunscreen.

        Sun damage has been linked to a variety of skin issues, including skin cancer, and is the main culprit when it comes to premature aging. So even though you’re not going to burn so easily you still need to protect your skin from UV rays.

        The problem is that many sunscreens, especially physical ones which use minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, tend to leave a white cast on dark skin tones.

        A clear or tinted option will help solve that issue. But really it’s best to experiment with different brands to find one that works for your skin – protects, feels comfortable to wear and doesn’t leave a chalky look to your skin.  

        Then apply it every morning and, if you can, reapply it during the day too.

        UPDATE: We’ve discovered an excellent ultra-matte sunscreen in clear gel form.

        It’s from the French skincare brand SVR and the product is called ‘SUN SECURE extreme SPF 50+’. The gel is very protective and leaves your skin looking completely matte, but it does have a heavy fragrance so it may not be for everybody!


        Problems with acne 

        The high level of oil in your skin is great for keeping wrinkles at bay, but it can lead to issues like acne and breakouts.

        It’s really important to use a light moisturizer to keep your skin hydration levels balanced.

        Don’t be tempted to use an astringent or toner to reduce oiliness, as that will just have the opposite effect. The astringent will just dry out your skin, which makes it produce even more oil to compensate.  

        That said, acne responds really well to treatments containing salicylic acid - which unclogs pores - as well as benzyl peroxide – which reduces inflammation.

        Just remember to only target the area where the breakout is happening, so you won’t dry out the surrounding skin.

        The marks and scars left behind an acne breakout can also be a real problem on black skin.
        However, there are lots of excellent treatments available that work really well at getting rid of acne scarring on dark skin. Check out: "How to Treat Acne Scars for Smoother, Clearer Skin".



        What is the best moisturizer for black skin? 

        Use a lightweight mattifying moisturizer that includes Hyaluronic Acid. This will keep your skin well hydrated and balanced, but without causing any shininess.


        What is the best exfoliator for black skin? 

        Gently exfoliate every day with a face wash that includes a mild Alpha Hydroxy Acid, like Lactic Acid. It will get rid of the dead skin cells, but without causing irritation. And it’s so gentle that you can use it every day.


        What skincare ingredients work best on black skin? 

        Black skin can be very sensitive, so try to focus on natural ingredients.  Shea butter, Jojoba Oil, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E are all excellent moisturizing ingredients, along with a mild Alpha Hydroxy Acid to gently exfoliate.


        How do you prevent ingrown hairs on black skin? 

        Gently exfoliate your face every day to get rid of dead skin cells. Make sure to adopt correct shaving technique, using a rich shave cream that softens hair, protects skin and prevents irritation. Follow with a moisturizer to keep your skin smooth and hydrated.

        Ingredients to look for are Shea Butter (to protect and nourish), Tea Tree Oil (to purify and stop irritation) and Apricot Stone Oil (to soften hair).

         Tube of OTIS SKINCARE Daily Face Wash in the sunlight


        The Takeaway

        Putting a simple skincare routine in place will make it easy for you to always look good.

        And using the right skincare products will leave your dark skin looking hydrated and smooth and even - with a luminous glow.

        #1 Clean with a non-drying face wash  
        #2 Exfoliate gently
        #3 Shave with care using a nourishing, protective shave cream - and take care of your beard
        #4 Moisturize with a lightweight mattifying moisturizer
        #5 Protect your skin from sun damage


        So there you have it gentlemen – the best way to keep your black skin looking glowing and beautiful.


        All you need to stay looking handsome. 




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