3 Tips for Treating Acne in Skin of Color

For individuals with skin of color, treating acne is slightly different than individuals with other skin tones. Dr. Nadia Sundlass, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology shares her tips on treating acne in skin of color.


Tip 1: Treat both acne and the pigment changes it can leave behind

“In skin of color, acne typically resolves and leaves behind dark spots”, noted Dr. Sundlass. “The best way to prevent these dark spots is by preventing acne from developing, and treating it immediately when it does appear. Look for acne products that contain a retinoid and benzoyl peroxide. This combination of ingredients works very well for skin of color. The retinoid will help to unclog pores, reduce inflammation and prevent breakouts while the benzoyl peroxide removes the bacteria from your skin that causes acne. Avoid excessive sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum facial sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection to reduce dark spots.”


Tip 2: Do not use heavy makeup to cover the dark spots

Using heavy makeup and skincare products, especially in summertime, is like asking your skin to have more acne breakouts. Instead, stick with lightweight moisturizers and non-comedogenic makeup.


Tip 3: Avoid harsh cleansing of your skin

It’s common to want to scrub your skin harder when you have breakouts. Our brains try to tell us if we scrub harder the acne will go away faster. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. According to Dr. Sundlass, “Scrubbing harder or using harsh soaps can strip your skin barrier and actually worsen your acne. Instead, opt for a mild cleanser that will not clog pores – look for that non-comedogenic label again. Gently work the product into your skin and allow time for it to do its job before rinsing it off.”


If you follow these steps and are still struggling with acne issues, a board-certified dermatologist at Forefront Dermatology is here to help. With a dermatologist on your side, almost every case of acne and dark spots can be successfully treated with time and the correct treatment plan. Find a location near you today.