Skin Care Tips for Dark Skin Types

By Fareesa Sandoval, MD November 20, 2017 2 Comments

skincare tips for dark skin

When it comes to skin care, many individuals with darker skin (typically Fitzpatrick skin type of V or VI) face a different set of challenges than their lighter skinned counterparts. Individuals with darker complexions should choose their skin care products thoughtfully and follow a daily regimen that is tailored to their unique needs.

Here are four skin care tips specifically for dark skin types:

Proper Sun Care

In regards to sun damage, the extra melanin in darker skin typically helps to prevent sunburns. However, individuals with even the darkest of skin can develop sun damage and are also still susceptible to melanoma and other skin cancers. It is important for people of all skin types to practice sound sun care by wearing a high SPF sunscreen. Get in the habit of applying your sunscreen each day before you leave home and reapply often when staying outdoors for an extended period of time.


Regular moisturizing may be the most important cornerstone of any skin care regimen for darker skin. If needed, moisturize your skin several times per day. High-quality, thick and creamy moisturizers with ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or urea are very helpful to lock in the moisture.


Cleansing the skin is an important step in skin care for individuals of every skin type. However, individuals with darker complexions should take care to not over-cleanse. For many, cleansing the skin once daily will be enough. Also, make sure to choose a gentle cleanser that will not dry out the skin.

Preventing hyperpigmentation

Darker skin is prone to heal from injury with hyperpigmentation. Examples of injury to the skin include acne, bug bites, surgical scars, as well as rashes like eczema. Though in many cases, it cannot be prevented, avoiding further trauma to the area (such as by scratching or picking), is important. It is also important to consider this risk when deciding on surgical or cosmetic treatments. For instance, certain lasers carry a very high risk for hyperpigmentation and should be avoided entirely in darker skin.


Fareesa Sandoval, MD

Dr. Sandoval is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the American Academy of Dermatology, the Dermatology Foundation, the Texas Medical Association, and the Travis County Medical Society. Dr. Sandoval’s interests include adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer management, and cosmetic dermatology.

2 Responses to “Skin Care Tips for Dark Skin Types”

  1. Hannah says:

    Hello Dr. Sandoval,
    I’ve been having reoccurring issues with hyperpigmentation within my skin. I have used all the suggested products that are out on the market, and still, my face is still blemished. I need help in finding a solution to my skin issue. I have dark skin and oily combination skin.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Hannah,

      I’m sorry to hear about that, addressing hyperpigmentation for patients with darker skin tones can be difficult at times. I think the best route would be to have you come in for an in-office assessment with Dr. Sandoval. If you are in the Austin area, please give us a call at 512.328.3376 to setup an appointment.

      WD Staff

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