NDG Book Review: ‘Black Skin: The Definitive Guide to Skin Care’

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By Terri Schlichenmeyer

Inside and outside.

This is where you wear your beauty. Your eyes shine with warmth and your smile is a ray of sunshine, your heart touches people and lets them know they are loved.

The body you have been blessed with is strong and comfortable. What about your largest organ? In “Black Skin” by Dija Ayodele, you will see how you can best take care of it.

Short shorts, tank tops, off the shoulders, short sleeves. You want to wear them all this summer, and you want to look great doing it. So how do you make sure your skin is in the best shape possible?

Dija Ayodele is a skincare expert and the first thing you need to know, she says, is that “perfect skin is for babies.” You are an adult and you will never achieve a “flawless” complexion again. But she has some tips on how you can turn heads with a bang.

For centuries, black women have been “actively told that black is not beautiful”. Ayodele offers the story to prove it: over a hundred years ago, slaves were treated as if they “were beasts and presented as spectacles…” For many black people in the past, this led them to seek chemicals to lighten their skin, which breaks Ayodele’s heart. She hopes that today’s readers can learn to love their skin by becoming experts.

There are many similarities between black skin and white skin; the differences are cultural and “physiological”.

Black skin contains more melatonin which helps protect against the sun, but don’t be lazy: Ayodele says you should use sunscreen because black skin is always prone to sunburn. Also, “Black will crack if you’re soft!” so use a very good moisturizer.

Know the difference between skin type and skin condition. Stop smoking, stop your bad diet, reduce your alcohol consumption, stop stressing and get some sleep. Be prepared for the things that can go wrong with your skin and learn more about keloids and hyperpigmentation. Bust a few myths, know what products to leave in the store and how to find a professional if you need one, and build a regiment.

Your skin will thank you for it.

Show your shoulders, show your fingers, show your feet. Summer fashion practically demands it, but what if your skin isn’t ready for it all? Reach “Black Skin” and get help that will take you far beyond your surface.

But this book is not just for those seeking beauty.

Author Dija Ayodele helps you understand why you sometimes think your skin has a mind of its own. She tackles acne, skin tags and vitiligo as well as ash spots and excessive dryness, and her advice is extensive and easy to understand.

Even better, it makes readers feel like their skin is a precious gift. Having this kind of information is no substitute for a dermatologist at all, but it is the next best thing.

Not just for women, this book also includes a chapter for men and children. Reading “Black Skin” is something you’ll want to do, from the inside.

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