A Definitive Guide to Taking Care of Your Dark Olive Skin
You’re surely aware that your skin type should impact how you take care of your skin—after all, the exact same steps wouldn’t suit both oily and dry skin types. But what about your skin tone? Should you follow a different routine depending on the color of your skin? In short, yes. While some skin care steps are universal (i.e. cleansing and moisturizing), your skin tone may necessitate that you take unique steps to care for it. Anyone with dark olive skin, which is typically marked by a brown color and green or yellow undertones, will want to customize their routine based on their skin tone. If that’s you, keep reading, because we’re sharing our definitive guide for taking care of dark olive skin.
Step #1: Cleanse (It’s a Necessity)
Let’s get one thing clear, it isn’t possible to take care of your skin—no matter your skin tone—without a facial cleanser. Everyone comes into contact with pollution, dirt, and bacteria throughout the day, not to mention the oil that builds up on your skin’s surface, and that all needs to be washed away. Otherwise you’ll only be piling products on top of dirty skin. Reach for a cleanser that suits your skin type and be sure to get completely clean before moving on.
Step #2: Exfoliate Ever So Gently
The trick to exfoliating the right way? Sloughing away dead cells while still managing to be careful with your complexion. That means finding an exfoliation method that is gentle enough for your skin and being sure not to overdo it.
Step #3: Correct Dark Spots
Dark spots aren’t reserved for those with a dark olive skin tone—they can affect anyone—but it’s true that you may have to be more diligent than your fair and medium-skinned friends. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there are many everyday things that can trigger dark spots and patches in people with dark skin. Those triggers can include anything from pimples to bug bites. It’s safe to say you won’t be able to avoid the things that bring about dark spots entirely, which means you’ll need a different plan of action. Your best bet is to develop a skin care routine that helps to combat dark spots. You won’t need to make any major adjustments, but after making sure your skin is properly cleansed and exfoliated, apply a dark spot correcting serum. The L’Oréal Paris Youth Code Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector is a perfect pick, thanks to its ability to fade dark spots, age spots, sun spots, and post acne marks over time.
Step #4: Make Time to Moisturize
Take a look at any skin routine, for any skin tone or type, and you’ll see that daily moisturizing is a must. However, if possible, it’s even more important for darker skin tones to moisturize regularly. That’s because, as the AAD confirms, darker skin has a tendency to appear “ashy” when it is not moisturized. To keep your dark olive skin looking its most beautiful, smooth the Garnier SkinActive Hydrating 3-in-1 Face Moisturizer with Aloe on directly over your serum. Formulated with aloe juice, the non-greasy moisturizer will leave your skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Plus, as an added bonus, it’ll double as a moisturizing face mask for your next at-home spa day.
Step #5: Be Strict with SPF
There’s a common misconception floating around about darker skin not requiring sunscreen. If you’ve been under the impression that your skin tone negates your need for SPF, think again. As we’re all too happy to remind you, sunscreen is essential for everyone. While dark skin tones may not be a prone to sunburns, that doesn’t stop sun damage—which can actually be even more visible in darker skin tones—from occurring. The AAD recommends using a zinc of titanium-based sunscreen to protect your skin and help prevent further hyperpigmentation.
Additionally, you’ll want to follow the FDA’s sunscreen guidelines (which apply to everyone) and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher every day. Don’t think your sun protection duties end there, you’ll also need to reapply at least every 2 hours and wear protective accessories like sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.
Step #6: Cover Up with the Right Color
An olive skin tone doesn’t always make it easy to find face makeup that’s a match. That’s why you’ll want to turn towards foundation that’s offered in a wide range of shades—you’ll be more likely to find one with the right undertones for your skin. The Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation fits the bill, since it’s offered in 40 different shades.
Editor’s tip: If you have the chance to swatch a foundation on your skin to test the color, don’t use your hands or wrists to check that it’s a match. Your skin tone is likely not exactly the same in those areas. Instead, blend a small amount of the foundation onto your jaw—it’ll give you a more realistic idea of whether or not the foundation is right for you.