The Go-To Skin Care Routine for Black Women

The Go-To Skin Care Routine for Black Women


Khadija B.
November 3, 2021

Skincare should be an important facet of anyone’s life, and for black women especially, it’s essential to create a routine you’re proud of.

With the uniqueness of melanin-rich skin, you want a regime that’s perfectly customized to your skin tone, but knowing exactly what products and processes to rely on can be tough.

What is a good skincare routine for black women? Skincare routines should be personalized to their user, with black women facing issues like dryness, discoloration, and pigmentation, as well as the usual problems that come with each skin type.

To create a routine that’s right for you, think about what you want to target and your skin type, then start developing it from there.

No matter the color of your skin, having a detailed routine for taking care of it is a must, and for black women, that means developing one that’s unique to your needs.

With our help, you’ll be able to develop a day and night routine that will have your complexion looking beautiful and feeling healthy, now and in the future.

How Does Black Skin Differ?

SKIN3 1 1

Skin tone is important to consider when creating a skincare routine and when you have darker skin, even more so.

Black skin has a higher rate of melanin in it which means it can be susceptible to inflammation and damage, and those with darker skin tones are susceptible to acne, pigmentation changes, discoloration, dermatitis, and eczema

Regardless of skin tone, the most crucial thing a woman can do when developing a skincare routine is knowing her skin type.

The most common types are oily, dry, combination, and normal, and each of them require something specific to get the best out of them and prevent issues.

With some knowledge about black skincare and how to cater to your skin type, you can then start selecting products that will work for you.

The purpose of a skincare routine is to protect the skin, make it appear and feel healthy, and minimize the effects of skin issues and conditions, so that should be your goal when formulating a routine.

Creating a Daytime Routine

Creating a Daytime Routine

Simplicity is key with most things in life, and the same goes if you’re a black woman looking to create a thorough skincare routine.

These are some of the possible components of a daytime routine that you might be helpful, so check out what they do.


Many women assume that they only have to cleanse at night because they’ve just been sleeping, but you’re exposed to a lot of oil, dirt, and bacteria even while you’re in bed.

Start the day with a gentle cleanser while you’re in the shower and remove whatever’s built up, giving your face a clean slate.

Serum application

If you want added protection during the day, serum should be added before your moisturizer.

Serums made for daytime use are weightless and traceless, so there should be no sign of them on your skin once they’ve settled in.

They’ll help to protect against the elements and give you a boost of moisturization that will stay with you all day.

Spot treatment 

Just as its name suggests, spot treatment can be used to treat specific spots or issues that you’re having.

If you want to quickly reduce the size of a pimple or get rid of some dead skin cells that have been built up, you can apply these in the morning.

Most women don’t need to use spot treatment every day but find it helpful in zapping the last-minute issues that pop up.


Daily moisturization is essential, whatever your skin tone, and you should choose a formula that’s specific to your skin type.

Even if you’re wearing makeup that day, a moisturizer should go on underneath your primer so that it’s working beneath the skin, hydrating, protecting, and repairing throughout the day.

Sun protection 

The biggest misconception about black skin is that it doesn’t need any protection from the sun.

While it’s true that rates of skin damage are lower, you’re not impervious to it, and need to ensure you’re using an SPF30+ sunscreen each day you plan on going in the sun.

To save time, choose a moisturizer that already has some protection built-in or lather the two together and apply them that way. Don’t neglect your neck and decolletage as well.

Essentials for a Nighttime Routine

Essentials for a Nighttime Routine

When the day is done, your skin has a completely new list of demands, and this is the prime time for recovery and nourishment so there’s a lot to do.

Consider adding these to your skincare routine to give your beautiful black skin what it needs.

Makeup removal

You should never go to sleep with your makeup on, and even if you only had some tinted moisturizer on, this applies to you as well.

A good makeup removal product will be the first cleansing step, with water and oil-based options available depending on your skin type.


Whatever you’ve spent your day doing, you should cleanse your face at the end of it.

Cleansers wash away impurities, remove dirt from your pores, and give you a clean slate to work with, and most of them can be used in the shower so they’re incredibly easy to remember.


A toner is the next step, helping to remove any built-up contaminants in the pores, shrink their size, prevent acne from appearing, and smooth out your skin tone.

However, most toners have alcohol in them which can be drying for those with already dry skin, so if this applies to you, look for a gentler alternative.


A good AHA or BHA exfoliant can be applied after your toner, but they’re generally not recommended to be used every day.

These help to remove dead skin cells and smooth out the skin’s texture, and come in different forms like scrubs or lotions, depending on your goals and how sensitive your skin is.


A facial mask can be applied at least once a week, and they come in many varieties depending on what your skin needs at the time.

Face masks can be formulated from mud or clay, contain only natural ingredients, and come in the shape of a sheet that lays over your face or something wet that dries over time, so there’s a lot to choose from.

A facial mask can be used for everything from relaxation to hydration, plus they’re a whole lot of fun as well.

Serum application

Serums are concentrated formulas for your skin that have specific purposes like anti-aging, acne treatments, and evening skin tone, so you’ll usually find a lot of important ingredients packed into a small package.

For the best results, apply a serum to the skin before you get to the moisturizer stage and give it a few minutes to settle in before moving on.

Eye cream

Women with specific concerns about their eyes can also apply an eye cream, designed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, soothe puffiness, and reduce the appearance of dark circles under them.

Although not necessary, they can make a dramatic difference when applied every day.


The most important step in any skincare routine is moisturizing, so make sure you’re choosing a night-specific formula that will replenish the skin, hydrate it, and help it to recover from the day.

Moisturizers can be formulated to target just about any concern and skin type so you have loads of options to choose from, as long as you’re not using the same one you applied in the morning.


A must-have for black women, applying retinol to the skin each day can reduce hyperpigmentation and discoloration, along with any other superficial skin concerns they might have.

Some moisturizers and serums have retinol included in them or you can get it as a standalone product.

Face oils 

These oils are to be used in conjunction with your moisturizer but aren’t always a requirement.

Designed to give an extra boost of hydration, they have super intense concentration, but if you already suffer from oily skin, they could do more harm than good.

Tips for A Black-Friendly Skin Care Routine


The first time you look around the skincare market, it’s a daunting experience.

For black women especially, trying to navigate a market that tends to cater to other ethnicities and not your own is a challenge.

If you want to know how to find black-friendly beauty brands and products worth buying, read on for some tips.

  • Choose black-friendly brands: Shop for brands that cater to black women, and are made by black women. They’ll likely have a better understanding of the unique requirements and obstacles that occur with darker skin tone, plus you’ll be giving them your support.
  • Go slowly: When you’re using a new skincare product, introduce just one thing at a time and give your skin time a few weeks to see how it reacts. This way, you’ll know whether it’s had a positive or negative effect without it being mixed up with something else that you’re trying out as well.
  • Wear sunscreen: Don’t neglect the sunscreen just because you can’t see the effects of the sun as clearly on darker skin. Exposure to UV rays can permanently damage the skin, cause skin cancers, and speed up the signs of aging, so make sure some form of SPF protection is part of your daily routine.
  • Get on top of acne: At the first sign of acne, do something to treat it and then come up with a prevention plan. The longer you leave acne to develop on the skin, the worse the damage will be, and it can be especially noticeable on darker skin tones.
  • Healthy from the inside out: Think about how water intake and nutrition impact your skin’s health and do what you can to improve it. Drink more water, exercise each day, and give your body and skin a boost with a range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and Omega-3 fatty acids to make it healthy from the inside out.

Love the Skin You’re In

Where once the skincare market only catered to a small portion of women and skin tones out there, today it’s more diverse and inclusive than ever before.

For black women, developing a skincare routine that they’re comfortable with and one that achieves actual results has never been easier, so take some time to think about how you can give your skin what it needs.

Related Questions

Shopping for skincare products and cosmetics that are designed for black women is easy to do these days, with a plethora of options out there to suit their unique needs.

If you still have questions about what products to choose and why read on for some commonly asked ones that might be able to help.

Is SPF30+ Enough for Black Skin?

SPF30 1 1

Women with black skin will find that SPF30+ is sufficient protection against UV rays, with anything more likely being excessive.

Although the rate of skin cancer is lower in darker-skinned people, your skin will still be exposed to harmful UV rays and be damaged if you don’t wear sunscreen outside.

What Does Toner Do To Black Skin?

Toner is a skincare product that removes dirt from pores, reduces the size of pores, prevents acne, and alleviates signs of hyperpigmentation, making it a smart choice for black women.

There should be no negative effects for dark-skinned people who want to use toner and it will be just as effective as it is on lighter skin.


Khadija B.