When it comes to your melanin-rich skin, not all products are one size fits all. Even though darker skin tones don’t startdark skin model holding lemon slice over eye showing signs of aging as soon as lighter tones, the signs will eventually show up and you’ll want to get a head start.

The one thing that may start to plague you before a wrinkle ever shows is those pesky dark spots. Even the slightest bit of damage can cause these skin discolorations, so this post will cover how to address those as well.

Also, even though the melanin in your skin is a way of protecting you from the sun, it doesn’t protect you fully. So, yes, you should be wearing sunscreen, too!

The biggest giveaway of your age is the dark circles or puffiness under your eyes. Have no fear, though, there are ways to combat this as well!

Just continue reading so you know how to assemble your own anti-aging routine.

dark skin model applying face cream in mirror


Wash but don’t overdo it. Even if your skin was oily when you were younger, the oil production starts to slow down as you get older. There are even some cleansers that will strip your natural oils so you want to use something gentle.

Buttah Skin Gentle Face Wash is especially for melanin-rich skin tones and doesn’t strip the natural oils. Infused with coconut and palm oils for conditioning the skin and lavender flower extract to soothe inflammation.

Toners were once used to balance the skin’s pH and remove residue leftover from cleansing but are now far more beneficial. You can choose from astringent toners, moisturizing toners, exfoliating toners, and toners that treat discolorations.

Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner is designed for sensitive skin, balances pH, moisturizes, reduces discoloration and inflammation, and will speed recovery from an acne breakout.

Serums/Treatments will be the next step in your routine. For this step, Buttah Skin’s Vitamin C serum will deliver the healing nutrients and antioxidants your skin needs. Named “Magic in a Bottle” it targets the dark spots and hyperpigmentation along with hydrating and protecting your skin.dark skin model holding serum

Moisturizing is where you will seal in the hydration. The two that are recommended were Best in Black Beauty Award winners. The first is Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydrating Cream for brightening, hydrating, and extra antioxidant protection.

The other is Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream contains Amino-Peptide Complex II, Hyaluronic Acid, and niacinamide to hydrate, firm, and regenerate surface cells. This one is also great to use at night when your skin works the most.

Which SPF is best for darker skin?

You may have been told because you have darker skin that it is your built-in mechanism to protect you from the sun. Even though there is truth to that, you can still get skin cancer no matter how dark your skin may be.

Research shows people of color tend to have a worse prognosis with cancer, on average.

So, on that note, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above. BlackGirl Sunscreen and Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor are both SPF 30 and Fenty Skin is best for dark skin with hyperpigmentation.

**Tip- When going out during the day give your skin some extra glow by using shimmer with gold flakes.


Exfoliating smoothes the skin and prepares for absorption of products and should be done about every 7-10 days. Over-exfoliating and over scrubbing can cause irritation and your sebum glands to produce more oil.

You don’t want to use physical exfoliators with large coarse particles. Only use soft exfoliators like sugar-rich or partially dissolve with use. Hey Honey Come Clean Propolis & Minerals Facial Scrub and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA are recommended because they are both gentle for all skin types.

Eye Creamsone eye of dark skin model

When it comes to the eye cream you use, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles are best addressed with Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream. This eye cream has vitamin C, collagen, and banana powder-inspired pigments that correct color and reflect light.

If you suffer from puffiness, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, and dehydration under your eyes, then the eye cream to try is Boscia Indigo Eye Cream. Of course, the wild indigo is the ingredient to accomplish the results.


At night is when your skin does its repairing and regenerating, so you will want products that intensify the processes. Your skin will also be absorbing the products even better while you sleep.

First things first, though, you will want to remove any makeup you may be wearing. To do this you will need to use micellar water, especially for any waterproof makeup you may be wearing. Just remember not to tug and pull on the delicate skin under your eyes!

Use your cleanser and toner the same as your morning routine, but you’re going to change up your products from here.


Retinol can be very beneficial when it comes to anti-aging, however, you are right to be cautious about using it on your darker skin. Not all retinol is the same and it could end up causing damage to your skin.

When picking out retinol, you’ll want over the counter because it’s more diluted and better for dark skin. However, if it says it is, it will probably be too strong for your skin.

You will also want it to have other skin-loving ingredients such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, or aloe. Vichy LiftActiv Retinol Serum also has hyaluronic acid for plumping your skin. The retinol in this serum will stimulate collagen production and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

When introducing retinol into your skincare, you will want to start slow and gradually increase the usage to your tolerance. Start with maybe twice a week at first and then increase to 3, 4, and so on.

Night Cream

Your skin does its heavy lifting at night so you want a night cream that will work with and boost the processes. If you have already been using retinol and can tolerate it pretty well, then RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream will deliver visible results. This formula also contains Shea butter, glycerin, glycolic acid, and sqalane to lift and firm your skin through the night.

If you are just introducing retinol into your routine, then you will definitely want to stick with Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream because it will be even more effective at night.

Find out the importance of night creams here.

For the last step in your nighttime routine, just apply your eye cream and you are ready for the “beauty sleep” you have heard so much about.


Even though your melanin rich skin has the advantage of delaying the signs of aging, you should still have a skincare routine in place to help delay them even longer. Following the steps above will do just that!

Please share your thoughts, opinions, and questions below.

6 thoughts on “Does Darker or Black Skin Need Different Anti-Aging Skincare?

  1. I really enjoyed your article Anti-Aging Skincare. I do not have dark skin but definitely take care of my skin, especially as a senior. I have used a good cleanser, gentle scrub, toner and moisturizer twice a day for a few years. About a year ago, my wife who is a filipina, took me to see a dermatologist in Manila. He examined my face and provided me with some specific products and instructions to improve my skin, which at that time was looking pretty old. The treatment consists of a cleansing soap, 2 liquids, one for day and one for night along with two creams, again one for day and one for night. These products cleanse, and will then peel off your outer layer of old skin exposing fresh new skin which is fed and moisturized. My wife, who is 65, has been using this method for many years and her skin is virtually flawless. For me, most of my wrinkles are gone and my face is very youthful looking, especially for a 75 year old. I believe that we all need to take cre of our skin, after all, it is the largest organ in our body.

    1. I am glad to hear you are taking such good care of your skin. I hope the importance of sunscreen was also stressed not only on the aging aspect but also on protection from skin cancer.

  2. You make a good point that darker skin may need more antiaging care than lighter skin. I liked how you went through the daily regimen using different products for specific benefits and results. 

    Since you have listed a lot of applications and treatments, does a person need all of them? Or is the plan for each person to do their own evaluation to decide what products they need? 

    Clearly, it could be costly to use all the items listed. 

    Thanks for bringing up this concern about aging and dark skin. 



    1. Taking care of your skin can be kind of expensive because if you want to do it right, each step is a must. The only step you may get away with skipping could be the toner but if you’re serious about anti-aging then you will do each step with the different products.

  3. This is a very interesting topic and something that I have often wondered about. So I am very pleased that I came across this helpful post. Having additional melanin to protect your skin, is great, but one cannot rely on that alone. One still needs to clean and moisturize your skin on a daily basis, regardless of your skin color, if you want to maintain your youthful looks for longer. 

    You have provided several options for the best anti-aging skincare products. 

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