The skin is the largest organ in the body and consists of three primary layers.  Our skin plays a significant function in protecting us from the elements.  The skin can be a good indicator of something going wrong inside of us, and there we need to pay attention; especially if you have dark/black skin which doesn’t readily show physical marks.

Some skin issues are more prone to specific races; for example, a dark-skinned person is more prone to pigmentation/hyperpigmentation, acne/acne scars, or keloids just to mention a few.  Some families have skin problems genetically; being aware of this is good to help pay attention and be cautious for the future.  If you come from a family with a history of skin cancer, it is recommended that you do more to protect your skin.  However, we can be proactive and lay a good foundation for good skin care.

Having a troublesome skin issues can make us feel insecure about ourselves, especially if it’s on our face.

Having healthy, flawless skin is a journey that requires patience and consistency.

The following is a non-exhaustive list to provide you with a few tips to help get you started.

  • Know your skin type and the best way to care of it. Oily skin has different skin care needs than dry skin.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day; even better try to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.
  • Get a body spa. A great body spa is not only relaxing, it stimulates blood flow through the skin, deep-cleans the skin, eliminates toxins, boosts the immune system, and leaves you with a profound feeling of relaxation.  It also promotes a healthy skin glow.  Spa sessions can be pricey, so do it when you can and treat yourself.
  • See a facial spa specialist. A lot of us go around with damaged skin unknowingly from many years of poor knowledge and abuse of chemicals on our skin.  When you go for a facial spa, your skin should be inspected and tested to see what zones of your face are damaged and need recovery.  The specialist should provide you with recommendations for the best routine for you to follow for your skin type.
  • Use SPF 25 (or higher depending on your skin tone) sunscreen daily. The lighter or more sensitive, the higher the SPF you should use. If you are outdoors for long periods, ensure you protect your skin. Do your research and select sunscreen that is healthy and safe for the skin.  Please note –not all sunscreen is safe for your skin.
  • Take off your make-up at night. I have found that all-natural witch hazel is mild and compliant for many skin types.  This facilitates sweating which also clears toxins out of the body through the skin.
  • Be vigilant. If you notice any skin changes on your body, get right on it. It might be an outward manifestation of an internal disease.  The skin gives us a lot of clues; it shows signs from sexually transmitted diseases to autoimmune diseases. Don’t take its wisdom given through signs occurring through the skin for gran
    ted.
  • Get enough sleep. It allows all the cells in your body to be renewed. Life is busy, I get it.  You get to decide your priorities.
  • Go Do-it-Yourself (DIY). There are a few DIY regimens for skin care you can do at home using what is in your refrigerator, which can save you time and money, is natural and can give you healthy skin.  This might be a lady’s best friend for supple skin.  However, guys are not exempt.  Pay attention to the parts of your body that get the least attention or are hidden.  We tend to take care of those hidden parts the least.  A range of 1-3 times a week is recommended depending on the product and type of skin you have.  Some products are safe for daily use, suggest use of other products can be once a week.
  • Eat a nutritious diet. East fresh bright foods, and very dark colored foods (fruits and vegetables) are best.  They contain essential nutrients to help your skin.  This part is crucial.  Personally, I have seen my skin glow since I went on a green smoothie regimen which was mostly 80% vegetables; 20% fruits.  You can try to incorporate a glass of smoothie into your daily routine.  Eat healthy fats like avocado and oily fish, which are beneficial as well.  Remember to eat clean carbohydrates and proteins.  Clean meaning unprocessed foods from a good source.
  • Limit your caffeine consumption. I love my coffee, and I am sure you do too, however, caffeine is a diuretic and can dehydrate you.  You will find articles out there that argues against this fact.  Believe what you will, but anything that makes you produce more urine more than you should is a diuretic. Drink your coffee if you want; but drink more water when you do. Try not to exceed 2 cups of coffee a day.
  • Maintain a skin care regimen. Figure out what kind of skin you have before setting out on a regimen. An initial skin assessment in a facial spa should provide you preliminary knowledge to start with.
  • Use topical products that are kind to the skin. If you are unsure, you can try light oils like almond oil, which is inexpensive and provide significant benefits to the skin.  Other oils include olive oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil, just to mention a few.

With skin issues, many times people seek topical solutions first.  This approach is understandable being a physical organ we can see and monitor progress based on what we see.  However, it is good to know and understand that the skin is often a reflection of all that’s going on in your body and what you put inside your body.  Ensure to contact your doctor for any abnormal skin changes.  No matter what your skin looks like, beautiful skin is possible with the right habits, patience and consistency.  The secret is taking care of it from the inside out.

 

Dr. Tolu Oyewumi is a people developer, divergent thinker and voracious reader who is madly in love with learning. With her strong scientific and artistic talent, she invites you to look at the world through a different set of binoculars and microscope.

 

© 2015 Colorado Black Health Collaborative
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