Here we go with the first question for Dr Murad. I think Yvonne’s question will be useful for lots of people; pigmentation and acne scarring is a huge issue and especially in darker skin colours when it often becomes more noticeable. If you want any background information on this Q&A series then please see the introductory post here. If you want to browse all of my posts related to dark spots and hyperpigmentation, you can see those here.
My question is how do you avoid and reduce blemish marks on black skin? If Dr Murad can help answer this, he will have helped ease the concerns of millions of black and women of colour worldwide as this is one of our major skincare concerns.
Many times people believe that the solution to all their skin care concerns can be found in one product. The truth is that when you want to correct skin care concerns such as acne, fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage or others, it is important to look at it from an Inclusive Health approach. This three-pronged approach includes using topical skin care products, eating a plant-based diet and taking appropriate supplements, and taking time to find your Sense of Self-emotional and spiritual balance in your life. Pigmentation can be more noticeable in darker skins and it can be more prone to scaring. It is important to build up the skin’s barrier function from the inside out.
Age spots, post acne spots and freckles are all signs of melanin coming to the surface of damaged skin. Building stronger, healthier skin cells helps diminish the occurrence of unwanted pigmentation, as does being sun-smart. Once spots reveal themselves, reach for topical products that are high in Vitamin C, which has been shown to be effective in reducing hyperpigmentation and providing powerful antioxidant protection.
Our Environmental Shield range has loads of products that repair and heal the skin, reducing the appearance of scars and breaking down pigmentation and dark spots in the skin while preventing any new damage from forming. It is also extremely important to always protect yourself in the sun to prevent further pigmentation and prevent existing pigmentation from getting worse. It is important to use a sun cream every day, even when it’s cloudy or dull outside because UVA rays, (the ones responsible for premature ageing, skin cancer and pigmentation), are active all year round and at the same strength no matter what the weather.
Depending on your age and your skin concerns you could either use the Blemish Control Range which is for younger skin or you could use the Anti-ageing Blemish Control Range which is gentle yet effective in removing blemishes from the skin whilst also treating fine lines and wrinkles.
I would also recommend the Exfoliating Blemish Treatment Gel in the evening after cleansing. This formula is made up of Hydrogen Peroxide to kill bacteria, Salicylic Acid to address the blemishes and Glycolic Acid to provide natural moisture for the skin while generating cell renewal which is proven to lessen the appearance of scars.