Ultimate Guide for Dark skin tone

Achieving a Radiant Skin

Dark skin tones are naturally beautiful and radiant, but maintaining an even complexion can sometimes be a challenge. However, with a customized skincare routine, achieving that desired glow is possible.

Hyperpigmentation is a common concern for dark skin tones, and there are products and ingredients specifically designed to address this issue. Look for skincare products that contain ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and kojic acid, as they have been found to help brighten and even out the skin tone.

Additionally, incorporating products that enhance the natural glow of dark skin, such as illuminating serums and moisturizers with light-reflecting particles, can further enhance the complexion.

Remember, it's all about finding the right products and ingredients that work best for your skin type and concerns. So, simplify your skincare routine and embrace the beauty of your unique complexion.

Understanding Dark Skin Tone

Dark skin tones encompass a rich spectrum of hues, ranging from deep browns to ebony shades according to Fitzpatrick skin types V and VI (*1).

While dark skin tones are less prone to sun damage and wrinkles due to higher melanin production levels, they are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and scarring. Therefore, maintaining an even complexion requires targeted skincare tailored to address these concerns.

To achieve a harmonious complexion, it's essential to adopt a skincare regimen that addresses the specific needs pf dark skin tones. Here are some steps to incorporate into your skincare routine:

  1. Cleansing: Start your routine with a gentle cleanser- oil and water-based to double cleanse, that is suited for your skin type (find more about your skin type). Use a pH-balanced water-based cleanser that removes impurities without disrupting the skin's natural moisture.

  2. Exfoliation: Incorporate exfoliation into your routine at least 1-2 times a week to remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover. Dark skin tones often benefit from chemical exfoliants like beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and poly hydroxy acids (PHAs) to help fade dark spots and even out skin tone.

  3. Toner: Apply toner after exfoliation to prep the skin for more product layering. Opting for toners often hydrate the skin before applying any product over the skin.

  4. Serums: Use serums targeted towards addressing hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and uneven skin tone. Ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, azelaic, and kojic acid can help brighten the skin and fade dark spots.

  5. Moisturize: Always hydrate your skin with moisturizers. Opt for lightweight or non-greasy moisturizers. Look for ingredients with ceramides and glycerin.

  6. Sunscreen: Never forget your sunscreen! Debunk the myth that dark skin doesn't need sunscreen. Apply sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days or when indoors. Use high broad spectrum SPF preferably SPF 50 to prevent sun damage.

*1 - Type V skin is typically dark brown with brown or black hair. It tans very easily and almost never gets sunburnt
Type VI skin is typically black. Never burns and is deeply pigmented

woman holding a skincare product
woman holding a skincare product
Cleanser Product Recommendation for Dark Skin Tone

OILY SKIN COSRX Good Morning low-pH cleanser

COMBO SKIN MIXSOON Centella cleansing foam cleanser

SENSITIVE SKIN ISNTREE Green Tea Fresh cleanser

DRY SKIN MIZON Cicaluronic Hydrating cleanser

white tube on glass table
white tube on glass table

What are PHAs?

PHAs also known as Poly hydroxy acids are a newer generation of chemical exfoliants that are similar to AHAs (alph hydroxy acids) but with larger molecular sizes. This means that they penetrate the skin more slowly, resulting in less irritation, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin. PHAs provide gentle exfoliation, helps improve skin texture, and promote a smoother, more even complexion. For dark skin tones, BHAs and PHAs are ideal exfoliants for uneven skin tone. PHAs work by gentle exfoliating skin surface, helps in hydration, promotes skin brightening, and contribute to premature aging.

Exfoliant Product Recommendation for Dark Skin Tone

OILY SKIN PAULA'S CHOICE Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid exfoliant

COMBO SKIN COSRX BHA Blachead Power liquid exfoliant

SENSITIVE SKIN LA ROCHE POSAY Effaclar Clarifying solution exfoliant

DRY SKIN LANEIGE Cream Skin Refiner

clear glass bottle on white wooden round table
clear glass bottle on white wooden round table

What are Toners?

Toners are liquid skincare products made for skin hydration after cleansing the skin. They help remove any leftover impurities, balance the pH levels and prepare the skin for subsequent layering of products. For sensitive skin, toners that are alcohol free can help avoid irritation. For dry skin, toners with intense hydration ingredients like pathenol and hyaluronic acid are very much beneficial, and we've included a few skin types and products to look out for :)

Toner Product Recommendation for Dark Skin Tone

OILY SKIN MADAGASCARE Centella Tea-Trica Purifying toner

COMBO SKIN PAULA'S CHOICE Skin balancing Pore-reducing toner

SENSITIVE SKIN MIXSOON Centella Asiatica toner

DRY SKIN SOMEBYMI Beta-Panthenol hydrating toner

person holding amber glass bottle
person holding amber glass bottle

What are Serums?

Serums are lightweight, highly concentrated products that deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. They are formulated with smaller molecules, allowing them penetrate deeper and target specific skin concerns. For example; acne, anti-aging, hyperpigmentation or dark spots, uneven skin tone or melasma. Few tips; look out for non-greasy serums for oily skin, but remember for skin concerns NEVER EXPECT OVERNIGHT RESULTS: BE CONSISTENT! BE PATIENT!

Serum Product Recommendation for Dark Skin Tone

OILY SKIN PAULA'S CHOICE 10% Niacinamide Booster serum

COMBO SKIN MARY & MAY Houttuynia Cordata + Tea Tree serum

SENSITIVE SKIN MARY & MAY 6 Peptide complex serum

DRY SKIN SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Blue serum

a dropper bottle filled with yellow liquid sitting on top of a table
a dropper bottle filled with yellow liquid sitting on top of a table

Moisturizers & SPF!

Moisturizers and SPF are very essential in every skincare routine, as they help maintain hydration, protect against UV radiation, and prevent premature aging. We all love that extra hydration after all skincare steps. When choosing a moisturizers look at products with ceramides, and SPF with maximun protection (SPF 50 +++). Let's looks at product recommended by us :)

Moisturizer Recommendation for Dark Skin Tone

OILY SKIN IUNIK Centella Calming gel moisturizer

COMBO SKIN JUMISO Waterfull Hyaluronic cream moisturizer

SENSITIVE SKIN PURITO Dermide Relief Barrier moisturizer

DRY SKIN ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid moist cream moisturizer

Sunscreen Recommendation for Dark Skin Tone

OILY SKIN ROUNDLAB Birch Juice Sunscreen SPF 50+

COMBO SKIN PURITO Daily Soft Touch Sunscreen SPF 50+

SENSITIVE SKIN BEAUTY OF JOSEON Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics SPF 50+

DRY SKIN ABIB Sedum Hyaluron sunscreen SPF 50+


Do's and Don'ts for Dark skin tone


·Moisturize regularly: dark skin tone can get dry or ashy especially in extreme weather (like winter), use products containing hyaluronic acid and ceramides.

· Use gentle product and prevent hyperpigmentation: dark skin is easily hyperpigmented or has dark spots. So don’t use harsh products to avoid irritation, avoid popping pimples, use acne patches or benzoyl peroxide cleanser to reduce inflammation

· Always wear sunscreen: we will debunk the myths that dark skin doesn’t need SPF! Wear sunscreen every day cause it also helps with hyperpigmentation or dark spots. Exfoliate the skin 1-2 times a week using preferably BHAs or PHAs.


· Forgetting to wear SPF: dark skin is not immune to skin damage, so wear sunscreen even when indoors.

· Using harsh exfoliants: for dark skin AHAs can be too aggressive for the skin, so opt for PHAs which are calmer exfoliants.

· Forgetting to stay hydrated: never neglect moisturizers because you have oily skin, rather opt for lighter moisturisers. Have lots of water, green tea, and fruits they are highly beneficial for the skin.


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