There’s no questioning the exponential growth of the skincare industry over the last decade. As editors, we see this shift in action every morning when we open our inboxes to find an utterly oppressive flurry of pitches touting the latest celeb-backed product lines, but even a quick scroll of your Instagram feed these days will turn up just as many images of face mask clad influencers as expertly art-directed outfit pics. Skin is most definitely in, and participating in skincare now means you need near-encyclopedic knowledge of acids, vitamins, and oils.
In the midst of all this growth, information, and innovation, there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the specific skincare needs of women with higher levels of melanin in their skin. This is due in large part to vague and often incorrect catchall skincare terms like “suitable for all skin types,” which still routinely discounts the needs of anyone outside the extremely Anglo control group to which skincare has always catered. But there’s really no reason every single human who has the desire shouldn’t be able to partake in a well-vetted skincare treat, and it’s our goal to continue demystifying skincare for everyone.
To help women of color on their way to complete skincare literacy, we assembled a dream team of dermatologists to run through the ingredients that best serve the nuances of those with gloriously melanated skin. We tapped Chaneve Jeanniton, MD, ocular plastic surgeon and founder of Epi.Logic skincare; Purvisha Patel, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare; and Tanuj Nakra, MD, board-certified cosmetic surgeon and co-founder of Avya Skincare, who gave us their hit lists of the best ingredients that tan, brown, and black women should be prioritizing. Read on for the expert intel.