Blemishes on your face can be embarrassing and affect your self-esteem. Your skin-care routine can mask or eliminate blemishes, giving you smoother, clearer skin. According to Susan C. Taylor, a dermatologist and author of “Rx for Brown Skin,” black women with persistent blemishes can take advantage of both new and older blemish-banishing techniques.
One of the most common causes of blemishes is acne, which affects between 40 and 50 million people in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Other causes include age spots, often called liver spots, which are the result of sun damage to the skin, and other skin conditions such as rosacea.
Vitamin A in skin care products can help to prevent and reverse the effects of sun damage. As Taylor explains, vitamin A remodels and re-forms collagen, which gives skin its structure and helps to keep it firm, along with elastin. Prescription vitamin A products, such as Retin-A, also promote skin peeling and help to clear acne marks and smooth out complexion.
Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids exfoliate the top layer of the skin to remove blemishes and other skin problems such as fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical peels are available in various concentrations -- from 0.5 percent acid to 20 percent or higher. Peels with higher concentrations can make discoloration on darker skin worse. A better option is to undergo several mild peels, advises Taylor.
Any attempt to remove dark marks will be undermined if your skin is exposed to the sun. Furthermore, products such as vitamin A and chemical peels increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Wear a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF whenever you’re going outside to prevent blemishes from becoming darker and to protect your skin.
It can be difficult to be patient about getting rid of blemishes and you may be tempted to use stronger products. However, they might end up making your blemishes worse or causing other problems such as dryness and irritation, warns Taylor. Start with mild products first and consult a dermatologist for further advice.
- “Rx for Brown Skin”; Susan C. Taylor; 2003
- American Academy of Dermatology: Acne
- AcneNet: Prescription Medications for Treating Acne
- American Academy of Dermatology: Facts About Sunscreens