African American Skin Care for Acne


African Americans who suffer from acne have special concerns regarding skin care for the acne-prone areas. African Americans are more likely to develop hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, in acne-prone areas. The risk of scarring is increased, which includes the risk of raised Keloid scars. When caring for acne-prone African American skin, it is important to pay close attention to the effect that products and cleansing routines have on your skin and your acne.

Step 1

Clean your skin with a gentle cleanser once or twice a day, states the Mayo Clinic. If you have extremely oily skin, you can wash more often; however, washing more often may cause acne to become worse.

Step 2

Apply non-comedogenic sunscreen, moisturizer and cosmetics to acne-prone areas. Acne is most common on the face, back, shoulders, neck and chest.

Step 3

Limit the use of pomade around acne-prone areas. If you must use pomade, apply it only on areas where the oil-based product won’t touch your face. A condition called acne cosmetica is caused by the use of pomade, states AcneNet.

Step 4

Use skin-lightening products if you notice darkening of your skin. Follow directions on the package, as these vary from one product to another.

Step 5

Resist the urge to pick at pimples. Picking at acne-prone areas can cause scarring, such as Keloid scars, in African Americans. Additionally, there is a risk of infection.

Step 6

Consult with a dermatologist regarding over-the-counter medications or prescription medications that can be used to control your acne. Some over-the-counter medications are too harsh and drying for African American skin and may aggravate acne.

Tips and Warnings

  • Women of color should limit or eliminate the use of cream-based cosmetics, as these may clog pores and aggravate acne.
  • AcneNet warns that people with dark skin should be extremely cautious about their choice of skin-lightening products because of potentially dangerous products that can worsen acne or cause other dermatological conditions. If you have never used one of these products, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.