I’m African American with very dry skin. What can I use?

i'm in African American with very dry skin that also being to peel what can I use to get my skin back to normal

You bring up a good point which is that we all have a baseline skin type – oily, dry, etc. – but in addition, problems can look different in different skin types and colors. For example, irritation on a red head’s skin will often look pink or red, but that same irritation on darker African American skin might look dry or flakey.

If the very dry skin is on the scalp, face or other areas where oil and sweat glands are active, that dryness may be an overgrowth of the yeasts that are normal in small amounts on our skin. For example, what many people call dry scalp (seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis), is an overgrowth of the yeast pitryrosporum.

You may want to see your doctor, but if the dryness is on the scalp, eyebrows and base of the nose, try the non prescription selenium containing shampoos first and taking a probiotic capsule. Scrub the shampoo gently into those area, let sit for two minutes and rinse out. Having said that, we are all individuals, and if that irritates you, don’t continue it.

Chemicals in skin care products can also be irritating and show up as flakiness in African American skin. You may want to try products without a lot of chemicals like Vanicream or even just a light, pure jojoba oil. Or… sometimes dry skin is just that, in which case, try Amlactin which helps shed that dead skin and makes the skin smooth again.

Hope this helps,  Dr. B I

Learn more about facial moisturizers I recommend.

Read more information on skincare terms and ingredients.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!