Iman, the most beautiful example of anti aging for African American women, Some women become more beautiful as they age.
All you've gotta do is take a look at the lovely Iman, now in her early fifties and as gorgeous and glowing as ever, to believe the expression "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Read on for some tips and information to help your African-American skin age just as beautifully.
The melanin in black skin provides almost four times the sun protection factor (SPF) that white skin has. Since sun damage is one of the major factors that contribute to the appearance of aging, this is a reason that many darker-complected ladies often appear much younger than their fair-skinned counterparts.
Because brown skin ages in a different way, a different anti-aging plan of attack is required. It is a common misconception that black skin is tougher, or stronger and less vulnerable to trauma. This is totally false! That extra melanin, despite its added benefit of higher sun protection, makes darker skin more vulnerable, and it needs to be treated accordingly.
Now, just because your skin has a bit higher built-in sun tolerance, doesn't mean you can skip the sunscreen altogether. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays causes a spike in melanin production, and often appears as a change in the coloring of the skin, called hyper pigmentation.
Trouble spots include the under eye and throat area. Irregular pigmentation can also be caused by inflammation or irritation, such as a bug bite or blemish.
The combination of a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and a cream containing glycolic acid can help even out the darker areas.
Although it’s tempting, be cautious when consider using a bleaching product. Many are extremely harsh and harmful to the skin, and some even contain mercury, which is a poison.
Lightened spots can also occur as the skin ages. The condition is called idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, which is unrelated to vitiligo (which may ring a bell as the "Michael Jackson disease”) and, as yet, untreatable.
Another pigment issue that is exacerbated by the sun is dermatosis papulosa nigra, or DPNs. DPNs appear as small, darkened dots with a freckly or mole-like appearance. They are benign spots and can be removed relatively painlessly by your doctor.
As skin ages, skin cells can stick together and stop sloughing off as they once did. The result is a change in skin’s texture from soft and smooth to a bit bumpy and rough.
A key element to black skin care is exfoliation, whether by topical treatment microdermabrasion. Seek out African American specific facial treatments, or look for gentler products for more sensitive skin.
A universal sign of aging is the breakdown of collagen that results in sagging skin. It’s hard to avoid, but keeping that skin moisturized and protected from the sun will help keep skin firm and tighter longer.
Find a regime that works for you, and stick with it. Time waits for no woman, but that’s no excuse to not face it looking beautiful.
Author: Tanna Mayer
Updated: December 1 2014