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Survey Reveals Challenges for Black Americans in Discovering Effective Skincare Products

by Kyla Cruz

Skincare brands are still facing substantial challenges in developing products that cater effectively to people of color, as indicated by 48% of Black Americans surveyed in a recent study. The research, conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Aveeno®, delved into the perceptions and accessibility of skincare among 2,000 Black Americans.


The findings unveiled a mixed sentiment, with 60% acknowledging progress in skincare brands' efforts to address the needs of people of color, while almost half still feel there is room for substantial improvement.

The survey aimed to explore the levels of confidence among respondents and the role of skincare accessibility. The results uncovered that a significant majority, constituting 64%, contend with various skin concerns such as rosacea or eczema. Among this group, a notable 44% grapple with these issues on a daily basis.


Consequently, the impact on self-esteem is evident, with 37% revealing that they experience insecurity about their skin conditions on a daily basis. Notably, a staggering six in 10 respondents affirmed that these skin-related challenges adversely affect their confidence levels when their skin is not in optimal condition.


A closer examination of generational differences highlights that Gen Z and millennials face the most pronounced dent in their confidence when their skin doesn't meet their expectations, with 64% and 61% respectively acknowledging this struggle. Additionally, a significant 80% of all respondents perceive their skin as sensitive, even if they don't grapple with specific concerns.


This sensitivity revelation often happens early in life, with 66% of those with sensitive skin identifying this by the age of 19. However, the study also noted that 31% of respondents have never sought consultation with a dermatologist.


For those dealing specifically with sensitive skin or eczema, the repercussions can be quite profound, with 38% indicating that these conditions significantly impact their lives. Jipsha Thakrar, Aveeno® Research and Development Manager, noted, "Eczema is the second-most prevalent skin disease to affect Black Americans and it often goes undiagnosed. Despite this, our research shows that Black Americans are not seeing dermatologists on a regular basis. It is important that everyone has access to doctors and resources to properly take care of themselves and their skin."


The challenge of seeking adequate medical assistance is multifaceted. More than a third of respondents struggle to find doctors who comprehend their unique skin health needs (34%).

The survey revealed that Black Americans seek providers who possess a profound understanding of their skin (45%), affordability (41%), and proximity (34%). Factors such as availability of timely appointments (25%) and the perception of not requiring dermatological care (20%) have also contributed to the limited interaction with dermatologists.


Beyond medical consultations, the predicaments persist in the realm of skincare. The survey illuminated that 40% of participants find it challenging to locate products that effectively cater to their skin needs, while 37% struggle to decipher the beneficial and detrimental ingredients in skincare products. Gen Z respondents displayed a particular emphasis on comprehending the composition of their skincare products, with 37% highlighting the importance of ingredient knowledge.


Jipsha Thakrar emphasized the significance of addressing these challenges, highlighting that skin sensitivities and concerns can substantially influence daily life. Thakrar underlined that while these conditions are natural, effective care is pivotal. She highlighted the potential of products enriched with ingredients like oats to provide nourishment to sensitive, dry, and eczematic skin, thereby enhancing the quality of life for individuals with compromised skin across various age groups.


Products like all-natural Shea Butter should be at the top of your list when searching for skincare products. Although the product is not processed and easily dispersed from a tube, it is beneficial to take the extra time to mash the product, turning it into an easy-to-use substance. I believe the main issue with African Americans is that we believe everything should be easy to use and easily accessible.


The truth of the matter is that most of these large companies have the budget to take up shelf space, and there is not much regulation from our Federal government regarding what ingredients can or cannot be used—whether for our skin, hair, or even our bodies. So, it is up to you, the consumer, to take the extra time to carefully read the ingredients list and avoid anything where the first three ingredients may contain alcohol.


Although Aveeno conducted this study, their products are not suitable for African American skin; however, they are easily accessible, which may lead many to believe otherwise. Be vigilant, head to private markets, and find all-natural products to use. It may take more time, but your skin will thank you in the long run.

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