For ages our society has perpetuated the idea that dark or brown skin tone is something that’s bad and needs to be ‘treated’ using home remedies to achieve fairer skin. But ever wondered why we have our unique skin tones? Or can skin tones even be changed? It’s time to shatter some prejudiced and unjust myths because all complexions are beautiful and deserve to be loved and taken care of.
Those with a darker or brown complexion have a skin tone that can be described as “light brown”, it’s lighter than dusky skin tone but darker than a fair skin complexion.
Genes play a significant role in determining one’s skin colour. Studies suggest that the skin tone most Indians have can be credited to the presence of a certain gene. South Indians also tend to have a darker skin tone as compared to North Indians which could be caused by proximity to the equator. The sun is much stronger with maximum UVB rays at the equator and gets weaker as we move away from it. Hence, the people living closer to the equator are likely to have a darker skin tone due to the presence of excessive melanin in the skin.
- Hyperpigmentation- Melanin is a pigment produced by certain cells called melanocytes in the skin. Due to the tendency to produce melanin upon exposure to sunlight, one of the most common skin concerns faced by wheatish skin is hyperpigmentation. Certain kinds of hyperpigmentation such as perioral melanosis or pigmentation around the mouth, melasma and periorbital melanosis otherwise known as dark circles can commonly be seen in those with darker or brown skin complexion.
- Acne- Such skin is predominant in regions closer to the equator. Heat, humidity and pollution can lead to excessive sebum production and clogged pores which can result in acne.
- Dullness– Excessive sun exposure and pollution can affect the skin adversely, causing it to appear dull and lack-lustre.
- Brightening ingredients are your pals- Dark or brown skin tone is likely to suffer from pigmentation, so it’s a good idea to add brightening ingredients like Vitamin C, Alpha Arbutin, Azelaic Acid and Kojic Acid to treat and prevent hyperpigmentation. These ingredients help reduce the amount of melanin produced and help treat hyperpigmentation of various kinds.
- Swear by sunscreen- A good sunscreen and a little bit of consistency can help prevent many skin problems such as hyperpigmentation, dullness and signs of aging like fine lines and dark spots. Apply sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 before stepping out every day.
- Exfoliate frequently- Gently exfoliating using chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs which can help get rid of dead skin cells and get rid of pigmentation by allowing newer cells to resurface. It’s important not to over-exfoliate and risk damaging your epidermal barrier, stick to exfoliating a maximum of once or twice a week to avoid irritation.
- Use ingredients based on your skin type- Keep in mind that ‘dark or brown’ skin is not a skin type, rather a type of complexion. You can have oily, dry, combination or sensitive skin type and it’s important to use products that are best suited for your skin types. For example, Salicylic Acid is a BHA that’s beneficial for oily skin and may be too drying for some other skin types.
- Avoid trying to look lighter if you have a dark or brown skin tone. Choose foundations and concealers which match your skin tone, doing so will allow your makeup to be more seamless and even-toned.
- Warmer tones suit dark or brown skin tones really well. Use golden or brown shades in your eye makeup to enhance your eyes. Avoid using silver or white-toned eyeshadows and highlighters.
- Using pink or peach lipsticks can make you look washed out, so choose a brown based nude lipsticks for the days you want a subtle or natural makeup look.
- Darker lipsticks and brown skin tone are a match made in heaven. Choose dark lipsticks like maroon, red, burgundy, brown or darker shades of pink for your makeup to stand out each day.
- Choose darker shades of blushes which match the tone of your skin. Avoid opting for light pink or peach-toned blushes to avoid looking pasty.
- Don’t skip the sunscreen- Regardless of your skin complexion, sunscreen should be an essential part of your skincare routine. As dark or brown skin is prone to hyperpigmentation, it’s important to take precautions and wear sunscreen without fail every day. Also, avoid stepping out in the sun when it’s at its strongest and consider using protective clothing to protect your skin from sunlight.
- Don’t try to look lighter- In spite of what our society has taught us, lighter isn’t always better. Stick to shades which match your natural skin tone when it comes to makeup. Instead of trying to change your skin tone, use the right products to enhance your natural features and get more even-toned skin.
- Don’t overdo it with brightening ingredients- Lightening ingredients such as bleaches and hydroquinone can help get rid of hyperpigmentation but these can be harmful to the skin. Choose safer brightening ingredients like Alpha Arbutin, Kojic Acid and Vitamin C which are a great way to treat and prevent hyperpigmentation. While these ingredients are useful to keep the skin bright and prevent dullness, it’s important to keep your skin type in consideration. Instead of focussing on just brightening ingredients, evaluate your skin type and create a good skincare routine to tackle multiple skin concerns.
- Don’t forget your neck- Be it skincare or makeup, many of us forget the neck. Don’t forget to bring your foundation down to your neck and blend it seamlessly. Similarly, include your neck in your skincare routine for the face.
- Bid adieu to light or bright tones in your makeup- Choosing the right tones for your skin can be a little tricky. It’s difficult to reduce all those with dark or brown skin into one colour category, considering other factors such as hair colour, eye colour and of course personal preference all weigh in when it comes to makeup. While there’s nothing stopping you from wearing that bold orange lipstick, it’s advisable to stick to darker tones when it comes to your makeup. Lighter and brighter tones often do not pair well with brown skin. In the end it all comes down to you, if you feel confident and like the look of a bright colour, then go for it!
- Deconstruct Clearing Serum with 2% Alpha Arbutin + 5% Niacinamide
This serum contains two effective ingredients that can help with dull skin. Niacinamide repairs a damaged barrier and prevents dullness, while Alpha Arbutin fights pigmentation and dark spots.
- Deconstruct Brightening Serum with 10% Niacinamide + 0.3% Alpha Arbutin
This serum consists of 10% Niacinamide and 0.3% Alpha Arbutin which helps treat uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. It’s effective in making the skin appear brighter and get rid of dullness which makes it perfect for those with dark or brown skin.
- Deconstruct Vitamin C serum with 10% Vitamin C + 0.5% Ferulic Acid
With 10% Vitamin C, this serum is a perfect addition for your dark or brown skin care routine. It can help tackle multiple skin conditions including hyperpigmentation, brighten the skin and provide photoprotection.
All skin complexions are beautiful, including dark or brown skin tone. Such skin tone is primarily genetic in nature, but environmental conditions may play a role in determining skin colour as well. While such skin tone is prone to certain skin problems like hyperpigmentation, these can be kept at bay using the right ingredients and having a good skincare routine.
- What is the meaning of dark or brown skin tone?
Dark or brown skin tone refers to a medium skin tone, which is similar to the colour of wheat. It’s lighter than dusky skin but not as light as fair skin and can be described as ‘light brown’ in colour.
- What are some products for medium dark or brown skin tone?
You can use products with ingredients like Vitamin C, Kojic Acid, Alpha Arbutin, Glycolic Acid and Azelaic Acid which help brighten the skin and prevent and treat hyperpigmentation which is a common skin concern for dark or brown skin tone.
- How can you treat dark or brown skin tone?
Such skin tone is not a skin condition and it does NOT require treatment. You can take care of your skin tone by having a good skincare routine and using brightening ingredients like Vitamin, Alpha Arbutin and Kojic Acid etc.