Myths about Darker Skin Tones and the Truth Behind Them

Skin tone is a genetic trait that can range from light to dark. The skin of those with darker skin tones has a higher concentration of melanin, which gives it its color and protects the deeper layers of the skin from UV rays. This makes skincare for these individuals different from those with lighter complexions. There are many misconceptions about people with darker complexions, such as they must be dirty or have bad hygiene simply because their complexion is darker in color. These myths are not only untrue but also damaging to self-esteem and confidence levels for people who may identify as having dark coloring on their skin. In order to combat this lack of understanding among society, below you will find some common myths about people with dark-colored skin and what is the truth behind them:

Myth about Moisturization

“People with very dark complexions can use any moisturizer or sunscreen and it will produce the same results”.


While many people think that all skin types are the same, there are actually four different skin types distinguished by two factors, which are dryness/oiliness levels as well as sensitive/resilient levels.

Individuals with darker skin tones may have slightly tougher skin but still, experience dryness. They also tend to be more resilient than people who have lighter skin tones, hence why they may not always show visible signs of aging or wrinkling on their face. This does not mean that these individuals cannot take advantage of moisturizers. However, they should choose a moisturizer with vitamin C to enrich their skin tone and combat melanin production that can lead to hyper-pigmentation.

Myth about Exfoliation

“People with dark skin can exfoliate as much as they can because their skin is tough so it would not erode”.


This statement is not true at all. Excessive exfoliation is not good for any skin type. Although darker skin tones require frequent cleansing because their skin tends to trap more dirt and impurities, that does not mean they should exfoliate every other day. Such people need to choose the best exfoliator for black skin and use it twice a week to get the best results. This way they can get beautiful, clean, and attractive skin without the fear of erosion and skin damage.

Myth about Use of Serums

“People with darker complexions need special serums”.


Serums are not necessarily intended for one complexion versus another; while some individuals may benefit more from the use of them than others, everyone should incorporate serums into their routine if they so wish. The only way it would be considered “special” or tailored for specific skin types is if it has ingredients in it specifically designed for pigmentation factors which people who fall under the category of having darker skin tones tend to experience. These ingredients could be arbutin, kojic acid, licorice extract, mulberry extract, or bearberry extract.

Myth about Facial Cleansing

“People with dark skin should frequently cleanse and wash their face because they are always sweaty and unclean”.


Face should be washed at least twice a day. For darker skin tones, especially African American ones. Yes! They do get sweaty sometimes due to the harsh weather they have to experience. Using a face wash for African American skin will be great for such people. It will help remove dirt and sebum and give a cleaner look to their face. Talking about the frequency of washing the face though, it should not be very frequent as it can rip off the natural oils and moisture from the skin. Twice a day will work best for them.


The variety of skin tones means that each one needs different types of skincare. Although for every skin type, certain myths prevail in our society which does not have any authentic basis. In this article, we have helped to bust a few of these myths by sharing the truth about them. I hope it might have clarified all the doubts.