As much as we would love to believe in the line “Skincare is universal”, it does not hold enough truth. Skincare deserves to be meticulously differentiated for each and every individual out there, especially for women of colour. Due to the skin of women of colour being vastly different than that of other women, adopting a routine that targets their specific skincare needs is a must.
WHO ARE WOMEN OF COLOUR?
As the name suggests, women of colour are often women belonging to groups other than that of Caucasian women. Indian women like us and you fall in this bracket too! For eons, the universe of skincare and makeup only catered to fair-skinned Caucasian women but in recent times, skincare and makeup catering ONLY to women of colour has found itself at the top of all lists.
WHY DO WOMEN OF COLOUR NEED SPECIFIC CARE?
As Indian women, our skin tones have a wide spectrum that ranges from fair tones to wheatish tones to dusky tones- all extremely beautiful in their own ways. The Fitzpatrick Scale is responsible for calculating the amount of melanin present in our bodies and segregates skin according to the result of exposure to UV radiations and on the basis of colour constitutions. On a scale of 1-6, Indian skin falls under 3-4. Indian skin tends to be a little thicker compared to other skin types, hence requires unique care.
Melanin is a natural pigment that is responsible for giving our skin its rich colour. You could be using the best skin care products in the world, but if they do not cater to melanin-rich skin, all your efforts would be rendered useless. Due to its presence of 3-4 on Fitzpatrick Scale, Indian women of colour need a lot of unique TLC.
WHAT ARE THE SKIN CONCERNS THAT WOMEN OF COLOUR ARE PRONE TO AND HOW SHOULD THEY BE ADDRESSED?
Owing to its distinctive nature, the skin of women of colour most often deals with skincare issues that are different as compared to caucasian skin. No concern is universal in nature. But as a whole, women of colour are prone to a plethora of issues. Most of these skincare concerns are mostly caused due to genetics or due to the weather conditions they live in.
The most widely battled trouble is none other than pigmentation, this is because women of colour are especially prone to pigmentation. Whether it chooses to manifest on the cheeks, near the lips or near the eyes. Overexposure to the sun or genetics could both be large contributing factors to this pesky one. If you wish to read about pigmentation in depth, you can read our blog here.
Addressing it: Due to this being a concern that in many cases is specific to women of colour, it should be addressed rather carefully. Many a time, women of colour mistaken pigmentation for a darker skin tone and subject their skin to excessive damage by using lightening and bleaching products on their skin. They should be avoided completely as they disrupt the barrier of your skin.
Using ingredients that have the innate abilities to brighten and revitalise your skin like Vitamin C can prove to be beneficial. Since pigmentation is also caused due to sun exposure, using sunscreen at regular intervals is a must.
2. DARK CIRCLES
Those puffy undereyes and darkened undereyes make us grab our concealers more often than we would like to. Dark circles are caused not just due to overworking those eyes or pulling all-nighters. Did you know that women of colour tend to be plagued by dark circles more because we have a higher amount of melanin being produced, which accumulates at the under eye.
Addressing it: Genetics being a root cause of dark circles too, makes them a little harder to deal with. However, offering some cool and soothing relief to your eyes and under eyes on a daily basis does work effectively to reduce those bags and darkness over time.
Exploring facial massage tools that are created specially to offer relief to undereyes is a secret key to combatting dark circles. These tools target specific areas that our fingers are unable to and result in refreshed eyes.
Read more about dark circles here.
3. OVERLY OILY SKIN
Excess of sebum production is an issue that is caused due to multiple factors like genetics and exposure to harsh environments. This leads to our skin feeling and looking oilier than normal and we know what overproduction of oil can lead to- acne! An issue most women of colour deal with, oiliness truly does cause chaos.
Addressing it: There are a gazillion ways on the Internet that tell you how to address oiliness. But not all of them cater meticulously to women of colour. One of the newly celebrated ways to do this is with double cleansing. Using 2 gentle cleansers that effectively clean and reduce oil is much better than using 1 harsh cleanser that could damage your skin in the long run, right?
Along with this, opting for ingredients in your routine that work exceptionally well for oily skin like Niacinamide which regulates oil production and balances it out and Saliclylic Acid which breaks down compounds of fat on the surface layer of the skin, reducing excess sebum.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR SKIN- THE WOC WAY
If it is one thing women of colour must adhere to it is paying articulate attention to their skin and not falling prey to generic claims. Your skin is rich and deserves to be treated with luxury and the utmost care. Following a skincare routine that targets all the concerns you, as a woman of colour faces is of prime importance.
Ensuring you double-cleanse your skin not only helps you to achieve clean skin but also skin that has a little lesser oil production than before! This process also helps the rest of the products in your skincare routine to penetrate deeply into your skin, making them extremely efficient at their jobs! Having skin that tends to be a little oilier than usual requires the use of an oil-based cleanser followed by a foaming cleanser.
1. OIL BASED:
This cleansing oil is brimming with rich ingredients that not only cleanse the grime and makeup away, but also nourish and moisturise the skin. Squalene and its emollient properties make the skin supple and protect the skin barrier while Macadamia Nut Oil works to reduce the production of natural sebum, mattifying your skin.
2. FOAM BASED:
The second step in the double-cleansing process with this foaming facewash which removes even the most stubborn of products like sunscreen, all while invigorating the skin and making it look fresher than usual. Enriched with Grapefruit which works to refresh your skin and Tea Tree Oil which calms down any inflammation and soothing.
Opting for an exfoliator that offers gentle exfoliation and does not disrupt the barrier of the skin, exposing it to unnecessary sun damage is an ideal choice. This exfoliator by Swisse has the goodness of Bamboo Stem Powder that softly buffs away all the dead skin leaving behind skin that gleams. The presence of Fruit Acid Complex which is a natural form of Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids helps reveal a brighter complexion.
A toner that works to balance the pH of your skin along with targeting concerns of pigmentation would be an ideal choice. This toner by Zyna offers immediate refreshment to your face. Witch Hazel, Cucumber and Aloe Vera work in tandem to improve and even out your skin tone. Pentavin, the key to it all- deeply toughens the skin barrier and protects it.
Do not be mistaken that just because women of colour have skin that gravitates towards the oilier side they should be skipping out on moisturiser. A nourishing moisturiser has the power to offer deep nourishment to your skin whilst regenerating it. This moisturiser by Ilana Organics is filled with Hyaluronic Acid which is touted for its exemplary hydration properties, locking in the moisture to give you healthier skin.
A serum has the power to target specific concerns and help you achieve the skin of your dreams. Women of colour need specific concerns like excess oil production and dullness of skin targetted. This powerful serum by Alanna which has the goodness of rich ingredients like Sea Buckthorn and Kumkumadi Oil which also clear clogged pores. Nag Kesar and Mulethi work on reducing oil production if your skin is a little oily.
7. UNDER EYE CARE:
Being melanin-rich does have its cons too! Being women of colour, our eyes need some extra attention and affection. The right products used can target each and every concern pertaining to those eyes. This under eye oil by Bliscent works wondrously to reduce dark circles and those baggy under-eyes. Boosting with potent ingredients like Pumpkin and Tamanu Oil which even the skin tone and Moringa Oil which penetrates deeply to correct dark circles.
We know you have heard this one enough, but rightfully so! Sunscreen is the most-needed of them all- for each and every woman of colour. With pigmentation and exposure to UV rays attacking us more often than we would like, our one-stop solution to all of that is this sunscreen from Moms Co. Along with the presence of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, Organic Carrot Seed Oil and Red Raspberry Seed Oil shield your skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
With the great power of skin that looks absolutely ethereal comes the responsibility of showering some extra attention and nourishment on it too! With the correct ingredients and products- taking care of your skin if you are a woman of colour comes like a breeze.
- Sakshi Rawte