Black Skin Care Basics, What You Need to Know

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In a world of acids, serums, exfoliants and chemical jargon it’s hard to know what exactly we’re applying to our skin. Enter Angela Mavalla—also known as The Skinfluencer to her 13k+ Twitter followers and 12k+ Instagram followers. The 26-year-old UK-based Pharmacist and skin-care educator is using her expert insight to take things back to basics for us. Through knowledge and empowerment, all delivered digitally, the Skinfluencer is helping Black women their best skin yet.

We spoke to Angela to get the low-down on how to achieve healthy, glowing skin but also to find out more about her skin-care work and content.

Meet Angela

Armed with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Masters of Pharmacy (MPharm) Angela seriously knows what she’s talking about. Her own experiences with problematic skin also helped her gain a more rudimentary understanding of various products and encouraged her to share the solutions with other women struggling with their skin. “I had troublesome skin during puberty and my years at University. I tried every product under the sun, until I took the initiative to use the scientific knowledge I had learned to better the health of my skin.” Angela’s pharmaceutical practice has also influenced her work in skincare — “my ability to consult people on their skin definitely started with my Pharmacy profession.”

Working girl – Angela at her pharmacy

You have two skin care guides: Skin Secrets and How To: A Skincare Guide. Skin Secrets is based on your own experiences and is rooted in holistic practices. Could you talk us through the book a little more?

Yes I do! This ebook is a straightforward guide to all things skincare. I explain the science behind skincare in bite size and interactive ways. It is a great starting place for skincare newbies, or anyone interested in learning something new.

What about your recent release How To: A Skincare Guide, what can you tell us about that?

This is an interactive guide on the most popular questions I get asked regarding skincare. You learn practical tips on dealing with different skincare concerns.

Both guides have more of a focus on melanated skin and were written with Black women in mind. Why was it important for you to create guides specifically for us?

Historically, women of colour have been left out of mainstream conversations, including those involving skincare. We have spent a very long time being told that our skin colour and, hence [skin] concerns are not the standard, period. So writing a skincare guide aimed at WOC specifically was in some ways an ode to all of us learning to love ourselves, all over again, and to accept us for exactly what we look like.

So writing a skincare guide aimed at WOC specifically was in some ways an ode to all of us learning to love ourselves, all over again, and to accept us for exactly what we look like.

Black Skin Care Basics

What would a basic skincare routine for a Black woman consist of?

A perfect routine typically involves lots of hydration, SPF protection and weekly exfoliation for a healthy skin barrier.

What products do you recommend for acne on Black skin?

Mandelic Acid (the most gentle skin active) has been found to be particularly effective on darker skin tones. Salicylic Acid is also great for oily skin.

What is the best way to eliminate unwanted dark spots?

My personal favourite ingredients are Mandelic Acid, Kojic Acid and Alpha Arbutin. It’s also important to be patient when treating hyperpigmentation. Anything from 6 months to a year is normal.

Any tips for glowing skin?

Hydration is key! Don’t take humectants (ingredients that draw water into your skin) for granted. A lot of skin damage is actually caused by unprotected exposure to the sun so SPF and retinol are my personal favourites for keeping skin plump and preventing sun damage. Don’t be too hard on your skin either — it does so much for you without you even knowing.

Are there any black-owned skincare brands you’d like to shout out?

I am a huge fan girl of The Glow Pot. They have all of my faves! I also love Bea Skin Clinic—their mineral SPF is absolutely flawless. [Both brands offer international shipping].

P. S. With your skin looking swaggy you might also want to try out one of these eyebrow looks.

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Kristen Bingle
Kristen Bingle

I've been natural since 2014. Since then I've been obsessed with watching hair tutorials and learning more about how to keep my hair healthy — and sharing that with others. I'm based in London, work in Marketing and love herbal tea.

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