The beauty of the black or brown skin is the rich melanin pigment that gives that chocolate/ caramel glow that is peculiar to the black race. The darkness of our skin is not only powerful, it is entirely beautiful.
Melanin is something magical. It is the pigment created by cells in the body called melanocytes. It is responsible for the colour of hair, skin and eyes. It is simply nature's paint. The purpose of melanin is to absorb and protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, so the darker the complexion the less likely you are to suffer from skin damage such as premature aging and skin cancer. While melanin is a natural protector, on the flip side, sun exposure can intensify the pigment, and anything from a tiny bug bite, a scratch, or a pimple can leave a dark mark because the skin over produces melanin.
That said, it’s a no brainer that it is of utmost importance that we care for our skin an d this doesn’t necessarily mean we need to break the bank in order to get expensive skin care products or engage in some arduous or complicated skin routine. Quite on the contrary, less is usually more. The simpler the product, the better. Learn about what is in your skin care products and of it works for you, stick with it.
Proper skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help in delaying natural ageing and also prevent a number of skin problems. Here are some tips on basic ways to care for our skin and our bodies in general;
- Moisturize is the word.
Let’s be honest, a hot shower feels great and refreshing, but it strips the moisture right out of your skin. Taking some time to put on some moisturizer will make sure your skin isn’t only clean but protected from the stresses of the day and feeling great. It is important to choose a moisturizer that works for your skin.
- Love the sun but not too much.
One major way to take care of the skin is to protect it from the sun. continuous exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles, and other skin problems, not to mention increase in the risk of skin cancer.
To protect your skin from the sun:
- Find the shade.In hot summer months, sun rays are strongest between the hours of 11am and 4pm, so it would be best to avoid the sun during this time. Or avoid sitting/lying directly under the sun around these times.
- Use sunscreen.Many black people are under an illusion that they do not need to use sunscreen, and this is not true. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously and apply daily. You may also want to consider a daily moisturizer that is at least SPF 15.
- Kick the Habit- Avoid Smoking.
Collagen and elastin are fibers that give the skin elasticity and strength, smoking damages these fibers. As a result, the skin looks older and tend to show wrinkles faster. Smoking also reduces the oxygen and nutrients that are important for healthy skin.
- Did someone say healthy foods?
A healthy diet is paramount for the overall wellbeing of every individual. Eating well helps you look and feel your best. A healthy diet consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. It is also very important to drink plenty of water as it helps keep your skin hydrated.
- Does my face look stressed in this?
Proper stress management improves healthy skin and a healthy state of mind. When one is over stressed, the skin becomes more sensitive and this can trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. It is important to get enough sleep, make time to do things you enjoy, and set reasonable limits.
Your skin is the window to your body, and it goes a long way to reveal the state of your health. It is going to be with you throughout your entire life, so you might as well take proper care of it.
Sweet sweet Melanin, how we love you! Love yourself, love the colour of your skin (whatever that may be). Say it loud, say it proud, say it for the whole wide world to hear…. I AM BLACK AND BEAUTIFUL!