Taking care of your dark skin is a must, especially when you have a dry skin type. Dark skin contains more melanin than lighter skin tones which protects the skin from sun damage, but it's also the same substance that dark skin more prone to discoloration and pesky dark spots. To prevent these issues, make sure you get a moisturizer that works best for your skin type and tone.
Why Should I Use Face Moisturizer?
For those with dark skin, the face is more vulnerable to drying out or having oily patches that can lead to breakouts, dark spots, and blemishes. Moisturizer can treat various skin conditions like rosacea or eczema, along with offering sun protection to avoid harsh tanning and skin cancer.
Facial moisturizer is like varnish on a piece of furniture. The varnish polishes and protects the furniture from any outside damage like water or dirt, just like moisturizer protects the skin from dry wind or bacteria. Once your skin's stratum corneum, or "shield," is dry and brittle, it's highly susceptible to exposure and water starts to evaporate from the dermis. When this happens, you can get fissures on the skin and infections start to happen.
If you regularly use a moisturizer that's best for your skin type, it can fortify the functioning of the stratum corneum which contains fats, oils, and skin cells that help keep the skin hydrated. Whether you have a dry, oily, combination, or normal skin type, you should consider what kind of moisturizer you'll most benefit from.
What Kind of Moisturizer is Best for My Skin Type?
Dark skin can have all sorts of issues, and depending on its condition, you should choose a facial moisturizer that'll work best without doing any more damage.
For dry skin, creams are more ideal since there is more oil included, and because it's a thicker consistency, it'll be more moisturizing and easily absorbed through the skin barriers eventually reaching the tissues.
For oily skin, look for lighter lotions with exfoliating ingredients like lactic glycolic and salicylic acids. Creams aren't practical if you already have oily skin since they will just block your pores and bring about more acne.
If you have combination skin, which is one of the hardest skin types to find good moisturizers for, lotions that are fragrance and acid-free is best to attend to your skin's multiple needs.
Lastly, if you have normal skin, a thin layer of lotion or ointment on your face won't hurt to help protect your skin from outside forces.
What to Look for in a Face Moisturizer
Darker skin tones can benefit more from certain ingredients included in lotions, creams, or ointments to help lock in moisture and defend against damage.
When you're looking for a good face moisturizer, consider searching for products that contain humectants, which are products that draw water to the skin. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, dimethicone, and urea are examples of humectants that are usually in water-based topical solutions. Also, alcohol-free and fragrance-free formulas are more ideal because alcohols and perfumes can dry out and irritate the skin. Retinol and Vitamin-A should additionally be avoided since they strip the skin of moisture.
Components such as shea butter, cocoa butter, African black soap, and tea tree oil are highly recommended elements that you should hunt for, and they're included in most moisturizers for dry skin.
Moisturizers that also act as a sunscreen is a huge win. While darker skin tones have more melanin - which is a pigment that dissipates the damaging effects of UV light and helps prevent skin cancers – it still requires protection from the sun, as all skin tones do. Anything with an SPF 15 is decent enough to defend your skin against harmful UV rays fully, and if you have any other skin issues such as discolorations and dark spots, an SPF of 30 is recommended.
How to Use Facial Moisturizer
Lots of us make skincare mistakes, and a lot of them come from applying moisturizer wrong. If you apply moisturizer properly, it's pretty useless and won't benefit you at all.
First, after you wash your face with a daily cleanser, take a quarter-sized dollop and spread it evenly on your face. You don't have to use a lot since too much product can clog up your pores and leave you with a greasy feeling. As you spread the moisturizer, take care not to rub it in your face as this can irritate the skin. Gently dab and pat the cream on your face and feel free to expand towards your neck and hairline.
When applying near the eyes, try to be extra mindful that you don't be too rough since that skin is much more tender than other areas of the face. Lastly, make sure you let your skin fully absorb the moisturizer before applying makeup or other products to avoid greasiness.
Shea Moisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Moisturizer
As a user of this product, I have to say that this has worked wonders for my skin type. This is a great cream for dark skin tones, helps keep the skin hydrated and protected, and balances oily and blemished complexions for a smooth and non-greasy finish.
This cream is practical for pretty much any skin type with varied amounts of usage depending on your skin's condition. I have combination dry/oily skin that gets worse in the winter and summer, but this moisturizer does the trick, especially if you have acne prone dark skin from excess oil buildup and clogged pores. The tamarind and tea tree oil ingredients in this cream work to fade away dark spots and soften the skin.
- Contains powerful yet natural ingredients such as tamarind extract and tea tree oil
- Non-greasy formula perfect for oily and combination skin types
- Absorbs quickly, doesn't clog pores, and a little goes a long way
- Not recommended for those with allergies to tamarind or tea tree oil
- Goes on a bit sticky at first, and smell is a bit medicinal
- Has a strong formula thus not too ideal for sensitive skin types
Era Organics Facial Moisturizer
You can pamper your skin with all the necessary vitamins, minerals and amino acids it needs to stay healthy and protected. This face cream contains some of the top superfoods for your skin such as Aloe Vera, Manuka honey, coconut oil, shea butter, hemp seed oil, and more.
It doesn't just hydrate on the surface, but also on the base of your skin that lasts pretty much all day. The cream's non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and doesn't build up, along with leaving any residue that clogs your pores.
This face moisturizer specializes in repairing damaged cells and encouraging new cell growth to restore your skin's natural PH balance. It additionally has anti-aging properties that stimulate collagen production and improves elasticity.
- Hypoallergenic formula which is good for sensitive skin and safe for children
- Suits all skin types whether dry, oily, combination or normal
- Even treats other skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosacea
- Some may experience discomfort if allergic to coconut oil or hemp seed oil
- Smells a bit unpleasant, but smell dissipates once applied to the skin
- Size may be a bit small for those who need to use it at least twice a day
Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer
Being gentle enough for sensitive skin, this face sunscreen/moisturizer aids in moisturizing and defending the skin from the harsh UVA/UVB rays of the sun. Its lightweight consistency doesn't leave your face feeling all oily and greasy all while keeping the skin hydrated all day.
Thanks to the moisturizer's broad spectrum SPF 30 and helioplex technology, it helps protect against premature lines and wrinkles while blocking out 98% of the sun's rays. It is a great formula for those with dry, oily and sensitive skin being that it's gentle, free of artificial fragrances, and oil-free.
Against the popular belief that darker skin doesn't need as much sunscreen, dark skin tones will more than benefit from this moisturizer since it evens out the skin tone and prevents the signs of aging with its antioxidants and vitamin E ingredients.
- Lasts all day without residue or greasy feeling
- Absorbs and dries quickly, perfect underneath makeup
- Doesn't require a huge amount to keep face moisturized
- Goes on white, not clear, but disappears after application and absorption
- Better used during summer, may not be enough for those who need more in the winter
- Smell is a bit strong like powerful sunscreen
Saint Ives Timeless Skin Facial Moisturizer
This moisturizer excels in giving dry skin a visibly softer and smoother appearance in a week due to collagen and elastin proteins imbued in its creamy formula. These ingredients reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while hydrating the skin at its base.
The cream is dermatologist tested to be non-irritating and contains natural safflower seed oil and is non-comedogenic, which means it won't block your pores or feel too oily on top of your skin. It's recommended to apply it every morning and night to achieve a smooth, glowing complexion and is an effective cream for normal to any skin type.
Because St. Ives is dedicated to natural ingredients, this cream is hypoallergenic making it safe to use around or on children and sensitive skin.
- Although low priced, is still excellent quality
- Easily absorbs into the skin and doesn't clog pores, doesn't feel too thick
- Has a nice scrubbing sensation as it is applied
- Not recommended if you don't like fragrances in your moisturizer
- Contains potential irritants for those with highly sensitive skin such as the exfoliating ingredients
- Consistency is a bit watery, more of a whip than a cream
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer
Because fragrances in moisturizers can irritate dry and sensitive skin, this face lotion from Cetaphil is a lightweight formula and free of any artificial fragrances so that it leaves your skin feeling hydrated and smooth.
It's also oil-free and non-greasy so that it doesn't sit on top of the skin and block the pores which can cause even more issues. This moisturizer is made for daily use and protects the skin from the sun's harmful UVA rays, which can cause premature lines and wrinkles, and UVB rays that cause harmful sunburns and skin cancers with its broad spectrum SPF 15.
The lotion is non-comedogenic and PABA-free, so you don't have to worry about harsh chemicals irritating your skin and encouraging more breakouts.
- Prevents skin damage, freckling, and uneven coloration, good for darker skin tones
- Little to no smell to ensure no irritants come from fragrance ingredients
- A little goes a long way, absorbs quickly and lasts all day
- Bottle it comes in is a bit wasteful
- Formula is strong so not recommended to apply around eyes
- Not ideal for extremely sensitive skin types may benefit from more organic formulas
Of all the face moisturizers for black skin mentioned, the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Moisturizer meets most if not all the important elements that you should have in an effective product.
Since darker skin tones are prone to being dry, this moisturizer contains many hydrating ingredients such as tamarind, tea tree oil, and African black soap. It's also great since dry skin types benefit more from creams than thinner formulas, and this moisturizer doesn't clog up your pores leaving you with a smooth and clean finish.
With a non-greasy formula and powerful yet natural ingredients, this African Black Soap moisturizer is an optimum choice for those with dark skin tones.