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Skincare 101: A Brown Girl’s Guide to Glowing Skin

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Skincare is definitely not a one-size-fits-all. I’ve spent the last several years of my life testing out a variety of skincare products only to realize they aren’t for my skin type. Though certain skincare tips are universal, such as using sunscreen and washing our faces, it’s important to recognize that your skin type and skin tone play a huge role in how you should care for your skin. 

As someone with sensitive, acne-prone skin with a deeper skin tone, finding products that work for me and sticking with a routine has changed my skin for the better. Though I still deal with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and dry spots, my skincare routine has definitely helped my acne-flare ups, sensitivity, and discoloration. Here are my holy-grail skincare products for brown, acne-prone skin!

Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist and some of these products may not work for you. Be sure to do your own research before trying new skincare products to ensure you don’t have any allergic reactions. 

1. SkinCeuticals – Discoloration Defense Serum

Discoloration Defense is a gentle, daily-use dark spot serum that reduces the appearance of discoloration in the skin. With ingredients like kojic acid and niacinamide, this serum has been a holy grail for me in terms of lightening my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks and evening out my skin tone. Though this product is on the pricier side, I highly recommend it for those with brown skin who can afford the splurge (a cheaper alternative here).

2. Hero Cosmetics – Rescue Balm + Dark Spot Duo

Hero Cosmetics’ Rescue Balm Duo has made its way into my skincare routine this past year and I can safely say that it’s worth the hype. This post-blemish pair works 24-hours to calm and camouflage discoloration-prone skin. I use the original Rescue Balm at night to restore my skin and heal any existing spots, and the Dark Spot Retouch to color correct and give my skin a boost of moisture during the day. 

3. Good Molecules – Pure Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

As someone with dryer skin, this lightweight face oil effortlessly brightens, moisturizes, and plumps my skin. Rosehip oil is also naturally high in antioxidants and delivers Vitamin A to restore skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of dark spots. Unlike many oils, this product doesn’t leave an oily residue and only has one, natural ingredient. If you’re looking for a new moisturizer, this facial oil is a must-have for all skin types. 

4. Good Molecules – Yerba Mate Eye Gel

Another Good Molecules product I love! Rich in yerba mate and antioxidants, this eye gel energizes tired and puffy eyes and helps reduce the appearance of dark circles. It works great under makeup or alone, and a little goes a long way. It’s one of my favorites!

5. Tower 28 – SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

I started using this facial spray a month ago (after seeing it on TikTok) and it’s one of my new skincare staples. Specifically formulated for sensitive skin, this facial spray can be used in place of a toner to maintain and prevent redness and irritation. Its main ingredient, hypochlorous acid, is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. This facial spray is an essential for those with easily-irritated skin. 

6. Glossier – Balm Dotcom

Last but not least, Glossier’s Balm Dotcom is my all-time favorite lip balm. Not only does it keep my lips soft and hydrated, but it also comes in a variety of fun flavors. Packed with antioxidants and natural emollients, this balm also doubles as a skin salve – perfect for the winter (or all year round). I’ve hoarded quite a collection of balms these past few years, and my favorite flavors are mint, rose, and lavender! 

All of these products have truly helped me improve my skin and have the brown-girl seal of approval. Here’s to beautiful, glowy, melanin-rich skin! 

Trushaa Ramanan

Washington '25

Trushaa is currently a sophomore at the University of Washington studying Informatics. She enjoys designing, listening to music, binge watching Netflix shows, and redecorating. She aspires to work as a UX designer and make technology more accessible and impactful for everyone.