The Best Acne Treatment for Black Skin

For best results, when dealing with black skin acne, you will want to reduce the oil so the acne-causing bacteria can no longer thrive. To improve your pore’s shape and function, be sure to exfoliate the skin. Lastly, you will want to disinfect the skin so the acne-causing bacteria are eliminated.

Treating acne on black skin is not much different from treating other skin colors. Although an African-American may have dry, normal, or oily skin, many deal with oily skin. The melanin in the skin is what creates the darker skin tone and protects the skin from sunlight.

This is why African-Americans generally appear younger then white-skinned individuals who are the same age. This melanin also tends to be more sensitive to many of the chemicals that are found in acne products. Sometimes finding the right combination of products and acne routine requires a little experimentation until the perfect match is struck.

The Best Acne Treatment for African American Skin

Face Wash

You will want to use a water-soluble, non-comedogenic face wash that is gentle to avoid clogging of the pores and future breakouts. If you feel any tingling sensation while using a product, that does not mean that the product is working, rather it means your skin is being irritated by that particular product. Everyday bar soap is a big offender.

Cetaphil on the other hand is a wonderful gentle acne cleanser that you might want to try. Be sure you only cleanse your face twice a day, otherwise, you might cause the acne to become worse.


When dealing with acne, it is best to select a 1% to 2% beta hydroxy acid (BHA) product to exfoliate the skin. BHA is a great option for cutting through the oil that resides inside of the pore.

If you’re allergic to products containing BHA, then select one which has up to 8% alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) instead.


Benzoyl peroxide is the most effective topical option on the market when battling acne. It has the ability to penetrate the hair follicle and kill off the acne-causing bacteria. In addition, the irritation factor is on the low end of the scale. However, this may be too drying for some African American skin and ultimately cause it to peel, which could cause permanent skin damage.

Tea tree oil is another option to consider. However, it is not as effective as benzoyl peroxide. If your skin exhibits sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide, then you might want to give an acne product containing tea tree oil a try. The problem in finding one with a high enough concentration (5%) will probably be the impossible dream. Therefore, you may need to apply a drop of tea tree oil directly to the offending blemishes.

Steer clear of alcohol as this is extremely drying. Yes, it’s a great disinfectant, however the chance of irritating your skin and making matters worse far outweigh its disinfectant properties.

Products containing sulfur are another option, however, sulfur, like alcohol, tends to be too drying. If you opt to use this, do so sparingly.

Topical Retinol & Antibiotics

Topical Retinol & Antibiotics¬†To be safe, so later you’re not sorry, a trip to your dermatologist might be appropriate. He or she could give you a prescription for a topical retinol-based product, which is considered to be safe for dark skin. Antibiotics might also need to be prescribed to help control the bacteria and infection associated with acne.

Acne Treatment Options For Absorbing Excess Oil

First of all, avoid acne products that exacerbate the problem, which would be anything that contains oils or emollients. Incorporate a clay mask into your regimen, as clay is a great oil-absorbing product. If you have sensitive skin, then opt for a white or rose-colored clay mask instead.

Oil-absorbing sheets are a wonderful invention to help keep your face shine-free. All you need to do is blot a sheet onto your face where the excess oil is located and the sheet magically lifts the excess oil away. Never rub the sheets across your face as this will only rub dirt and oil into the pores, and the end result will be more clogging of the pores.

Acne Treatment Challenges

One of the biggest challenges to concern yourself with when treating acne on black skin is avoiding irritation and pigment changes.

African Americans tend to have inflammatory acne rather than noninflammatory acne. This is actually good news, as inflammatory acne can be easier to treat. However, there is a downside. Care must be taken when rendering an acne treatment for african american skin to insure scars, dark spots and hyperpigmentation are not left behind.

Many of the traditional acne treatments dry out the skin, thus causing it to ultimately peel. This is a death sentence for black skin, as it may cause permanent skin damage like scars and hyperpigmentation.

Black skin also lends itself to being more susceptible to keloid scarring. Keloids are mainly made up of an excessive growth of fibrous tissue; collagen and feel somewhat firm, yet rubbery. They tend to be pink, red or brown in color.

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