Beauty Editor Alice Coloriti on healthy, glowing summer skin.
The rich, deep beauty of your dark skin is special, and melanin is what makes all the difference. A pigment that gives your skin its colour, melanin is present in all skin types and colours, but darker skins have more of it. The plus side is that melanin offers you some protection from damaging UV rays, as your extra melanin is what helps absorb and disperse the sun’s rays. But while it does offer a little protection, dark skins can still get sun damage and skin cancer, so it’s important to always use sunscreen.
Be sun wise. When you go into the sun, you produce more melanin and if you don’t use sun protection, you’re prone to getting skin problems like bumps, rashes and dark marks. An excess production of melanin, produced in specialised skin cells called melanocytes, can lead to hyperpigmentation, where patches of skin become darker. There are numerous causes of hyperpigmentation, from post-pimple scarring to a skin condition like eczema.
If you’re worried about hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions, it’s best to make an appointment with a dermatologist who will diagnose and treat your skin accordingly.
As always, the first thing to do is exfoliate your skin. There’s no sense in moisturising your skin if you don’t first remove the layer of dead skin cells. The products will absorb better and hydrate your skin more effectively. I discovered local brand Bee Natural which makes products using pollen, beeswax, raw honey and propolis as their principal ingredients. They’re gentle on the skin and work well, too. I used Bee Natural Honey and Vanilla Body Scrub which is made with all-natural ingredients, including honey, brown sugar and vanilla, that wash away dirt and dead skin cells, leaving your skin polished and smooth. Using a scrub is essential to maintaining and replenishing your skin. But how often you exfoliate depends on your skin type. The oilier your skin, the more regularly you can use a scrub.
I applied the Bee Natural Head to Toe Healing and Beauty Balm. Like the scrub, this balm also contains gentle, natural ingredients that are super-hydrating: beeswax helps to reconstruct the skin and forms a protective barrier, keeping moisture locked in; raw honey opens up the pores so they can be properly cleansed; bee pollen nourishes the skin, keeping it healthy; propolis acts as an antioxidant and healing anti-inflammatory; and finally, cold-pressed avocado oil, which is packed with essential nutrients, conditions the skin.
To protect the skin, I used one of my favourite brands for skincare and sunscreen – Eucerin. Their products are especially good in terms of hydration and the sunscreen products are light in consistency and don’t irritate the skin.
Nandipha, Kathlego and Kitso, who modelled for us in the sun-kissed body shoot, give us their top five tips to keep skin hydrated and glowing
Nandipha Gumede @blaqjello
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! In winter, my skin is forever dry, but I’ve noticed in summer I have a natural glow, so I don’t have to do too much work. After taking a shower, I use unscented coconut oil and it stays locked in.
Always use sunscreen. I know black don’t crack, but I don’t feel like tempting fate. I use sunscreen before applying my foundation and even my foundation has an SPF to keep me protected.
Try not to wear make-up. All right I know I just mentioned foundation, but it’s a good idea to let your skin breathe when you can. So, if I’m not working, I usually don’t wear any make-up, not even mascara. Just clean skin, moisturiser and sunscreen, and I’m good to go.
Drink water. It may sound obvious, but it really works. Drink enough water to keep your skin and
My last tip is don’t let people make you feel self-conscious. We all have different skin types and skin tones, and what might work for you, may not work for me – and vice versa. If you’re unsure, get advice from a skin specialist. Also, get enough Vitamin D – get out in the sunshine for 15 minutes a day!
Exfoliate your skin regularly
Use bathing gloves every day as a light exfoliator.
Give yourself monthly exfoliating body-scrub treatments – I use a mixture of lemon drops, coconut oil and bicarbonate of soda
Drink as much water as you can.
Exercise to keep the blood flowing.
I like to use a shower gel like Sanex which cleanses my skin well.
I drink water as much as I can and try to eat fresh salads and non-oily meals.
Sunscreen is vital! Even when you’re dark skinned, you need to protect your skin the same as any other skin colour.
Always remove your make-up before you sleep.