Taking good care of your child’s melanin-rich skin will make them look and feel healthier and more comfortable. However, finding the best kid-friendly products and the right skin care routine for your family can be challenging, especially since many options are on the market.
Every child has individual skin issues and properties, from dry skin to acne, but certain concerns are common among children with highly melanated skin. Fortunately, there are several tips you can follow to ensure your child’s skin is hydrated and nourished.
Use a Gentle Cleanser
Cleansing your skin twice a day is recommended for all skin types, but you have to be careful about the kinds of cleansers you use on children with highly melanated skin. As with all skin care for melanin-rich skin, your cleanser should be nourishing rather than astringent. Stick to mild, hydrating cleansers such as micellar waters.
Face washes are notorious for being filled with stripping ingredients such as sulfates, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol, and artificial fragrances that dry out the skin. Always read the labels on your child’s skin care products and avoid drying ingredients.
All skin types have specific concerns, and melanin-rich skin tends to be prone to hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and acne scars. Certain ingredients in skin care products are better at tackling these issues.
For example, cleansers with glycolic acid are great for hyperpigmentation and discoloration because they even out skin tone and resurface the skin. However, these should not be used on children without first talking to a dermatologist. If you use glycolic or any other exfoliating acid, you must be extra vigilant about sun protection, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF.
It is always a good idea to use products that have been made specifically for dark skin, particularly if you are looking for skin care for melanin-rich children who have much more delicate skin than adults.
Hydration should be a key part of any skin care or beauty regimen for kids with melanin-rich skin, particularly because research suggests that dark skin loses moisture more quickly than skin with less melanin.
However, not all moisturizers are created equal, and you need to make sure you are using child-friendly products that offer melanin-rich skin nourishment but don’t clog pores. There are several different types of ingredients you should look for in your skin care products:
These ingredients draw moisture from both the environment and deeper layers of your skin to hydrate and soften your skin. Examples include honey, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe vera. Oils are not humectants.
Occlusive ingredients help keep your skin hydrated by forming a protective layer on your skin’s surface that prevents moisture loss. Occlusives are very powerful but can be too heavy for oily or acne-prone skin, meaning they are usually best avoided by teenagers. Examples of occlusives include cocoa butter, petrolatum, and lanolin.
Emollients also smooth and soften dry skin and have some occlusive properties, meaning they are protective. However, they also help heal already damaged skin and decrease inflammation, so they are often used to treat skin swelling conditions such as eczema. Examples of emollients include shea butter, jojoba oil, and squalane. Some ingredients, like vitamin E, have both humectant and emollient properties and can draw out moisture and seal it into the skin.
Most people do well with a skin care routine that includes a combination of humectants, occlusives, and emollients. Melabebe’s moisture & hydration crème uses a mixture of ingredient types to perform multiple functions effectively. Natural skin care for children and adults is crucial for your skin’s health, and this gently nourishing cream is the ideal daily moisturizer.
However, you should be aware of what your child’s skin needs. For instance, if they have dry, irritated skin, you should include emollients in their routine, while if your child has oily skin, you should be careful about the amount of occlusives they use. To get a perfect balance, pay close attention to how their skin reacts to different products and stay natural and mild when in doubt.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
It is a common myth that people with dark skin do not need to wear sunscreen. However, this idea is both misleading and dangerous. While it is true that having a high presence of melanin in your skin can help protect your skin from some of the signs of sun damage, such as fine lines, it does not protect you from serious conditions caused by exposure to harmful UV rays, like skin cancer, and children are particularly vulnerable to sun damage.
Sunscreen is one of the most crucial skin care products for melanated children. To protect your child’s health and skin, they should wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, even when it is gray and cloudy out. Opt for a sunscreen that is sheer or has been made specifically for dark skin as this will be less chalky and won’t leave a white cast.
Exfoliation involves removing the dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. There are two main types of exfoliation; mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliants are probably what most people think of when they think of exfoliating, scrubs, and skin brushing, while chemical exfoliants are typically acids such as salicylic acid, AHAs, and BHAs.
Gentle exfoliation can have fantastic effects on adult skin, leaving it smoother, brighter, and even reducing signs of dark spots. However, children do not need to exfoliate as their skin is great at regenerating. When your kids hit their teenage years, they can think about trying some mild exfoliants but remember, darker skin can be extra sensitive to drying, so it’s best to seek advice from a board-certified dermatologist before experimenting especially on sensitive skin.
After exfoliation, make sure you have fully washed away all product residue and then use a gentle, natural moisturizer such as Melabebe All-in-One Moisture And Hydration Crème. You should never exfoliate when your skin is damaged, for example, if you have sunburn.
Seek Products and Advice Made for Melanated Children
Melanin-rich skin comes with huge benefits, but it also has its challenges. Use products specifically tailored for dark skin to keep your child’s skin looking healthy, nourished, and silky smooth.