Freelance contribution from Sally Jenkins
The skin of the African American male is a beautiful palate. However, caring for it is different than any other skin tone, as darker skin will show uneven shades faster than any other type. Dark skin also overreacts to shaving, becoming more irritated. Caring for the African American male skin is as easy as following a few basic tips to provide a smooth, healthy glow.
Cleaning the Surface
Every man should start a skincare routine with a basic face cleanse. Most African American men are prone to oily skin, according to the New York Times, though there are the dry, sensitive and combination types as well. Learning the skin type will help in choosing the right type of cleanser. The face must be washed in the morning before shaving and before bed. Men with oily skin often use a cleansing cloth midday to remove oil. Natural men’s face washes are preferred over those with chemicals, as chemicals will irritate skin that is already prone to exaggerated irritation. For example, the benefits of apple cider vinegar on the skin far surpass any chemical on the market today.
Trimming Hairs and Exfoliating
Washing the face before shaving helps pull away dead skin and loosens hairs, providing a cleaner shave. Many men exfoliate after washing the face, as this pulls away additional oils and preps dry spots for lotions after shaving. Follow a shave with a natural aftershave. The antiseptic properties of a good aftershave will block inflammation from the razor. Pluck nose hairs gently, skipping the wax. Waxing nose hairs is dangerous and never recommended. Choose a face exfoliator with natural scrubbing particles, again avoiding the chemicals that readily cause irritation.
Every African American face needs moisturizer, no matter the skin type. Remember, the face has been exfoliated and shaved, which means that the skin has been raked. Moisturizer replaces what was lost during that process and provides an even skin tone. Natural moisturizers are created for every skin type, and work to block ashy or flaky skin spots.
The best products for African American men are all natural, because the darker skin is more prone to irritation. Chemicals will burn the skin, causing razor burn and noticeable flaws on the face. A few extra minutes in the beginning and end of the day will create a gorgeous glow that gets attention.