A Complete African American Skincare Guide For Men.


Not all skincare tricks and tips work well with all skin types, above all, skin colour will certainly determine what skincare routines and which products to use. And, African American skin by the amount of melanin that one has in the body. Black skin has more melanin than light skin colour.

Exposure to UV rays also makes the body produce more melanin. But how can we care for black skin? Caring for the skin involves a lot more than just using soap and water so that it can look healthy.

There are also some measures that you can follow to care for the skin. Black skin is also very prone to discolouration and hyperpigmentation. The hair texture of black men makes them have problems with ingrown hairs and razor bumps. 

These mostly happen after shaving. A good skincare routine is an ideal way to start dealing with these problems.  Some of the things you can do to take care of your skin are cleansing, moisturizing, toning, and using aftershave for the beard or beard cream. 

Know your skin type

The first thing that you need to do is to find what problem you have and the type of your skin. When choosing how to take care of your skin depends on the skin type that you have. This also helps you to choose the perfect products for your skin type. There are different skin types:

  • Normal skin: This is skin that is well-balanced. It is not very dry, too sensitive, or too oily. 
  • Oily skin is the one that has more oil and this type of skin is prone to acne
  • Dry skin: This is the type of skin that is rough and feels tight. Dry skin may also peel. 
  • Sensitive skin is the kind of skin that is dry, irritated, and itchy. The skin is also prone to inflammation. Sensitive skin usually reacts badly to harsh soaps, skin care products that contain irritants or exposure to the sun.
  • Combination skin is the kind of skin that has some areas which are oily and others that are dry.


Cleansing is a very important step when it comes to taking care of the skin for all skin types. You need to wash the skin properly; you can do this in the morning as well as in the evening. The way you do the cleansing and the type of products that you use also depends on the type of your skin. It is essential to choose a cleanser that will not cause your pores to clog. Choose cleansers that are non-comedogenic. 

You should also get facial cleansers so that you can cleanse the skin in the morning and during the night. For oily skin, you may cleanse up to 3 times a day.  You need to choose face washes and cleansers that contain ingredients like salicylic acid. Avoid getting cleansers. 

You can cleanse your skin by: for sensitive skin and dry skin you need to get cream cleansers and for oily skin and normal skin you should get foaming washes because they are best suited for these skin types.

  • Wetting your skin with warm water (make sure that the water is not too hot or cold)
  • Apply the cleanser to your face using your hands or a cotton cloth
  • Massage the cleanser on your face 
  • Pat the skin dry using a towel


Exfoliating is very important for the skin and is sometimes more helpful than just washing the skin. For people with oily skin, exfoliation helps in getting rid of extra oils in order to prevent acne on the skin and also gets rid of dead cells. Exfoliating the skin also helps in getting rid of blackheads and other impurities. 

Exfoliation also helps also positively affects the growth of facial hair. When you exfoliate before shaving, it makes the skin smoother and makes shaving easier. It also reduces ingrown hairs. When choosing exfoliating products, you need to get ones that do not contain harsh ingredients that can irritate the skin. 

You also need to choose products depending on the type of your skin. For oily skin, you should get light exfoliants that are free of oils and products that help to control oils. For dry skin types, you should get products that also help in dealing with dry skin on skin.

You can exfoliate the skin once or two times a week but this also depends on the type of your skin. Exfoliating the skin daily is not healthy because the exfoliants may cause harm to your skin. 

Toning the skin

A skin toner can be applied to the skin using a pad or cotton ball. Toners are also helpful in removing dirt and impurities on the face. This is used after washing. Skin toners also reduce skin pores. When choosing a toner, you need to get one that has a gentle formula, especially for sensitive skin. You can use a stronger toner if you have blackheads

A toner also adds moisture to the skin so that the elasticity of the skin is restored. This also reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Toners also improve the pH level and give you an even skin tone. It also prepares your skin for other products that you will apply like moisturizers.


Black skin is prone to hyperpigmentation and discolouration.  Dry skin can become flaky and very dehydrated. When it comes to moisturizers men need to use facial moisturizers that can be used even after shaving.

When choosing moisturizers, you also need to make sure that they do not have alcohol or irritants in them that cause irritation on the skin.

When choosing a moisturizer, you should choose moisturizing products that contain beneficial ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerine. These ingredients help to attract water to the skin but also make sure that the skin does not lose water.

There are facial moisturizers, body moisturizers, and aftershave moisturizers. There are some moisturizers that ensure the nourishment of your skin and help in relieving inflammation.

The type of your skin will determine the kinds of moisturizers that you use. If you have oily skin you need to get non-comedogenic moisturizers that are free of oils and will not cause your cause to clog.

Dry skin types may require very hydrating moisturizers and for sensitive skin, you may need to consider getting moisturizers that are free of harsh ingredients and oils.

You also need to take care of some ingredients like Vaseline which can be found in other moisturizers because these may cause clogging in some skin types. 

  • Take an amount of the moisturizer and apply it to your face
  • Massage the moisturizer gently until it completely absorbs into the skin
  • Wait until the moisturizer is completely dry before applying makeup or other skin care products

Things to be on the lookout for in black skincare routine for men

Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that comes when there is excessive melanin produced in the body.  It can also happen because of sunburn, acne, and scarring. Dark skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation than lighter skin tones.

There are many products that help to deal with skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation. Before using these products, you need to talk to your dermatologists or doctors about the products.

In order to reduce hyperpigmentation, you need to protect your skin, from the sun because sun exposure can worsen pigmentation. Therefore, you can use sunscreen for protection.

Ingrown Hairs: The texture of the hair in black skin makes them prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps. This does not happen in all black men but in some. This usually happens after shaving because the hair may curl back into the skin and then grows inward. This causes a bump in the skin because of bacteria and fluid.

This can be reduced by using a proper method and certain measures when shaving facial hair. in order to get rid of the bumps wash the area with a warm and clean cloth together with an exfoliant (gentle) to wash the area in a gentle manner. 

This helps to make the ingrown hair come to the surface by opening pores. Using products that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid can be very helpful in reducing ingrown hairs and preventing razor bumps. This is because salicylic acid and glycolic acid can kill bacteria. They also prevent inflammation,

Dry Skin: Dry skin in men can cause a grey-like appearance. This is because the skin becomes very dry and tends to be flaky. Dry skin can be treated by using hydrating products like moisturizers, lotions, and face washes that moisturize your skin. When getting these products, you should get the one that will not strip your skin of all the natural oils.

When getting a cleanser make sure that it is gentle and non-irritating. You should also use warm water for the face and not hot water. This is because hot water causes the skin to dry out. Therefore, always make sure to hydrate your skin every day using moisturizers.

You should also get noncomedogenic moisturizers and choose moisturizers that have antioxidant properties, soothing properties, or calming properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can African American men get clear and glowing skin?

First and foremost, you need to find products that work for your skin type as what might work for me might not work for you. However, there are some steps you can take to achieve your dream of achieving clean and smooth, glowing skin.

Wash your face with sulfate and paraben-free cleanser or face wash before bedtime as during the day, your face is exposed to the elements and can dry out your skin.

Then apply moisturizer and go to bed. Within a couple of weeks, you will be able to notice the difference as a lot of men skip this routine. Other steps can be to exfoliate but no more than twice a week as over-exfoliating can dry out the skin and make matters worse.

Doing these steps consistently will equip your skin with ideal nutrients to help remove toxins and achieve clear and glowing skin.

Can I, as an African American man, use skincare products that contain retinol?

Retinol has anti-ageing capabilities such as minimizing breakouts, brightening dull skin, and renewing collagen production. But use a product that is of high quality as sub-standard Retinol used in skincare products can do more harm than good so be careful! Below are some skincare products with retinol that have been the most effective in my experience. They are listed on Amazon with free delivery.

How should I shave my skin to minimize ingrown hairs and scarring?

Before shaving, exfoliate the skin. this helps remove dead skin and allows for a closer shave. Select a shaving gel according to your skin type such as sensitive or normal. Then apply to the region and let it sit for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

This softens the hair allowing it to be shaven easily and preventing ingrown hairs. After you have shaved and are happy with the results, wash your face with cool water to lock the moisture in.

Here we used cold water instead of warm water because warm water can dry out the skin and shaving is a procedure that dries out the skin so our main focus is to lock in as much moisture after shaving as we can.

Here we have listed some exfoliators/scrubs, shaving gels, and moisturizers that go hand in hand to provide the best results in my personal testing and are listed on Amazon with free delivery.


Shaving Gels



In conclusion, taking care of your skin is essential for both your health and appearance, regardless of your gender or ethnicity. For African American men, understanding their unique skin type and adopting a consistent skincare routine can help promote healthy and radiant skin.

From cleansing and moisturizing to protecting against sun damage and ageing, there are many steps you can take to maintain optimal skin health. By incorporating the tips and recommendations outlined in this guide, you can achieve a clear, smooth, and youthful complexion.

Remember to consult with a dermatologist if you experience any skin concerns or issues that require professional attention.

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