By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Black don’t crack,” you know it refers to the seemingly ageless skin that Black people have well into their senior citizenship. Black people often retain their youthful and vibrant look well into old age, but this is not simply biology–it has to deal with good skincare habits.

“Skincare is essential for everyone,” said DiAnne Davis, a medical and cosmetic dermatologist. “Your skin is the largest organ on your body and not only does it give you your complexion, but it also helps protect you from ultraviolet rays [and] infection, and regulates your body temperature.”

The Cleveland Clinic reports that “melanin is a substance in your body that produces hair, eye and skin pigmentation. The more melanin you produce, the darker your eyes, hair and skin will be.” According to the Cleveland Clinic, “the amount of melanin in your body depends on a few different factors, including genetics and how much sun exposure your ancestral population had.”

Davis said that if Black people want to maintain their peak beauty, they should use sunscreen and utilize skin care regimens. 

“As an African-American woman, I have definitely heard the saying ‘Black don’t crack,’” said Davis. “While the melanin in our skin provides sun protection, with increased sun exposure, changes still occur over time. Due to sun exposure, Black people may notice the discoloration of their skin in their 30s, 40s, or 50s without proper care.”

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends African Americans do the following to maintain or improve the quality and appearance of their skin:

  1. Gently wash your face using lukewarm water
  2. Wash your face before bed, in the morning and after sweating
  3. Use products that match the needs of your skin– is it oily, dry or a combination of both?
  4. Apply sunscreen every day
  5. Reduce stress

Sunscreen slows down aging and helps prevent skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation confirms that even though skin cancer is less common in people of color, it is still a genuine concern because it often goes undetected until its latter and most deadly stages. Only 67 percent of Black people, versus 92 percent of White people, survived a five-year melanoma study.


NKVSKIN aims to supply skin care products that are healthy and effective. NKVSKIN is owned by Nikia K. Vaughn, a licensed esthetician located on North Charles Street in Baltimore, Md. With this company, Vaughn aims to encourage the overall well-being of her clients. NKVSKIN offers a gel-to-foam cleanser, vanilla rose facial oil, rise and shine vitamin C serum and a host of other products. Services include education on how customers can incorporate their skincare products into their daily routines.

For the winter months Vaughn recommends buying any of their facial serums for even-tone skin and their everyday moisturizer.

“Black skin care is absolutely necessary, especially as we approach winter,” said Vaughn. “Our skin gets drier during the wintertime as we are blasting the heat so we can keep warm and hopping in and out of warm showers. This prevents our skin from retaining the moisture it needs.”

To combat this, Vaughn recommends people keep the temperature down in their homes and use a humidifier or cooling mists to keep moisture in the air. When getting out of the shower she recommends using a humectant– skincare that helps retain moisture–before applying any oils.

D’Luxe Aroma Co.

D’Luxe Aroma Co. is a skincare company founded by Oddette Staple-Brown and headquartered in Crofton, Md. Brown created the product after finishing esthetician school where she discovered which ingredients could cause flare-ups and eczema or which ingredients were healthy for the skin. D’Luxe Aroma Co. sells Body wash, body butters and soap made with “100 percent vegan products.” 

Fancy Free 

Growing up around a hair salon, Iyonna Woods’ upbringing fostered a passion for the beauty industry. During her 15 year career as a  laboratory scientist, Woods gained the skills and found the tools to launch Fancy Free Hair and Skin. Some of the products sold by Fancy Free include castor oil, a clay wash and even whipped shea butter for hair and skin.

Topicals Skincare

Topicals skincare, co-founded by Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng in 2020, was created to change how consumers think about skin care through mental health advocacy and science-backed products. Topicals constantly improves its formulas and utilizes peer-reviewed clinical studies to help consumers with of all skin types. 

Shea Radiance

Funlayo Alabi is the CEO and co-founder of Shea Radiance, a skincare company that aims to create products that help women be more comfortable in their skin. Shea Radiance is a Baltimore based company with products available all throughout the U.S. The company offers butter creams, whipped body creams and African Black soap.

Alabi recommends the moisture bundle which satisfies three of her most important skin care rituals: cleanse, hydrate and seal. The moisturizer hydrates the skin after a thorough wash and the body butter seals the moisture resulting in a 24 hour hydration. 

“For healthy Black skin, I recommend staying hydrated by making sure to drink water regularly, use great natural products like shea butter for your skin in addition to using water based moisturizers,” said Alabi.

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