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Hello everybody,

I'm a 19 year old dark skinned African American female with acne prone skin. I've been suffering from acne since I was 14, some periods being worse than others, and I have the feeling that I have never found the right skin care products for me. I was adopted interracially and figuring out the needs my skin (and hair!) have has been a bit of a challenge, so I am coming here to find out what other dark skinned AA folks use for their acne. Do I need something especially designed for dark skin? What else do I need to know?

Thanks!

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Skin color and skin type are NOT the same thing, though dark skin is more prone to keloid formation and pigmentation issues. You need to be looking for skincare products that suit your skin TYPE. Everyone needs a good but gentle cleanser, a good exfoliator to be used twice a week or so, and a good moisturizer. You do need a lower SPF. If your acne is not resolving despite trying products made for skin with acne, perhaps see your doctor about a prescription product???
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Let's look at the actual causes of acne: bacteria, overactive oil production, clogged pores, and inflammation. Those factors remain constant regardless of skin color or ethnic background. However, and remember inflammation as one cause of acne, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more common in people with darker skins, something that effects the treatment decisions quite a lot. Retinoids are good for combating this PIH more quickly, and as such as a good choice for people with darker skin, and the same is true for chemical peels as well.
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I just asked my friend from Ghana about this on Skype, since she knows way more about it than I do (I'm Scottish and Scandinavian :)). She said that she uses Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleansing Pads and Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash Clarifying Cleanser to keep her pores unclogged and her acne at bay, and that they work well for her (her skin does look good right now!). In addition, she also uses Burt’s Bees Tomato Toner for Oily and Troubled Skin. What you need to be careful of is not to use lightening ingredients in acne care products as they can lead to melasma. 

Rosie

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Black people usually have inflammatory acne, the most common kind of acne. While that is good news because it's easier to treat than some other forms of acne, we also have to think about pigmentation problems and keloid scarring afterwards. That means a more active preventative regime, because you really don't want those things. Benzoyl peroxide is an excellent choice for black skin because it's less trying than on Caucasian skin. Accutane is another good option in case of more severe acne, but it does have serious potential side effects so requires careful consideration.
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Nah, don't worry about that too much. I got loads of black friends, some since childhood and teen years, and I still sometimes stay over at their houses and get a look into their bathroom cabinets, LOL. There's nothing much that's different skincare wise, yeah, foundation shades and stuff obviously, hair, yeah, definitely, but acne wise, it's the same things they use that I've used. Yeah if you got keloids then you need to deal with those, which can be tough from what I've heard. Anyways my advice is a gentle anti-age cleanser, good moisturiser for oily skin, and exfoliate your skin regularly. 

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