I am a African-American woman who has never worn sunscreen. I am told that everyone should use some form of protection for the skin. Does that include those of us that have a lot more melanin?
— Kia, age 42, Long Beach, California
A: African-American skin has larger cells in the epidermis than Caucasian skin. The eye may not see the damage as quickly on darker skin, but the damage is still there. The difference in dark skin and light skin is that it responds differently, but both suffer the same risk of skin cancer. New York–based skincare guru Mamie McDonald suggests you use a sunblock of at least 25 to 50 SPF daily. I have become a big fan of Innovative Skincare in Perfect Tint (InnovativeSkincare.com), as it provides protection from the sun but has a soft tint that prevents it from looking ashy on darker skin tones.
Q: Dear Damone,
I am 39 years old with good skin. I think I have tried every beauty product out there, from drugstore to very high end. My question is: Does the price of the product matter?
— Theresa, age 39, Oklahoma
I have found that sometimes it is true that you get what you pay for. The shelf life may last a bit longer, and the quality of the product can make quite the difference with some products that carry a higher price tag. I will say, however, that some beauty products in drugstores have improved greatly, as more companies are realizing the consumer wants more for less money. I still think the best way to find out what works for you personally is to try it.
Dermatologists pick their favorite products under $20
Q: Dear Damone,
I have good skin but light freckles on my face. What kind of foundation or makeup would you recommend for me to wear?
— Elizabeth, Maineville, Ohio
You say you have good skin, but light freckles on your face, as if freckles are bad? I notice you don't give your age, but I'm willing to bet you are on the younger side. My hope is as you age, you become more comfortable with things about yourself (like freckles) that you can't change and embrace them. Many people would trade freckles for good skin any day. If you insist on covering them, then a heavier foundation is your only option. Now I have to turn the question over to you: Why wear a heavier foundation if you have good skin? There's nothing wrong with foundation—just don't use it to cover up who you are. Good luck!
The step-by-step foundation guide
What aspect of your beauty routine do you need help with? Ask Damone your question.