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Just One Thing: Beware of 'Black Don't Crack' Mentality in Skincare

by Andrea King Collier /
Image: A beautician illustrates how to apply skin cream
A beautician illustrates how to apply skin cream, on March 18, 2015.SIMON MAINA / AFP via Getty Images

Just a few years ago it was almost unheard of for black women and men to see a cosmetic surgeon, because everybody knows (and as the saying goes), “black don’t crack.”

But black and brown skin truly can sag and bag due to sun exposure, poor nutrition and slacking on your skin maintenance routine.

Charles Boyd, MD, a Harvard-bred, Michigan-based board certified plastic surgeon says that overall, folks of all ages, races, and ethnicities are having more cosmetic work done today than ever before.

Boyd says that procedures are no longer taboo or reserved only for celebrities these days and most are getting more affordable. But Dr. Boyd points out there are many things you can do before going under the knife.

“One can enhance their appearance with Botox and cosmetic fillers,” says Dr. Boyd.

According to Dr. Boyd the latest FDA approved product called Kybella is an injection that removes your double chin, which can be a common problem for blacks as we age.

Often there is a strong genetic component to how we age. So if your mother or father had bags under their eyes "watch out." Dr. Boyd says he is able to achieve some remarkable results now with fillers that are done right in the office with little to no down time.

Dr. Charles Boyd
Dr. Charles Boyd is double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Reconstructive surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.Facebook

“Younger people as well as baby boomers, are looking for enhancement methods to be the best that they can be,” says Dr. Boyd, adding that there are many things that can be done as good prevention.

“One mistake that women of color make, is not starting a daily skin routine early on,” he explains. “Once you have a system of healthy skin care, it will help prevent the appearance of aging.”

The best way to preserve African American skin, is to remember the mnemonic GRASS: which stands for Growth factors, Retin A, Antioxidants, Sunscreen and Special products like serums and moisturizes for your skin. There is no one thing that is the magic bullet.

Dr. Boyd recommends using products with natural ingredients like Vitamin A, C and E, peptides and other extracts can contribute to a healthy complexion. In some cases, they can promote collagen building, which are the building blocks of the epidermis.

Dr. Boyd recently launched his own line of skin care products, Boyd Aesthetics using natural products formulated to work well for black skin.

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