All women have skincare issues. But sometimes, Black women have questions and the answers feel impossible to find.

Look no further. We sat down with Jill Riley, skin care expert and founder of nature-based skin and cosmetics company, Alapure.

Your question: What really causes adult acne?

Jill: It’s mainly hereditary and hormones, but the biggest thing with acne in my opinion is the buildup of the oil in the skin. You have the different layers of the skin. People with acne have overactive glands that produce too much of the natural skins sebum. Sometimes, clogs the pores. When it clogs the pores, bacteria can start to form, causing swelling or a little blackhead or a whitehead. Hello, acne.

However, other factors can come into play. It can come from stress, your diet, and your cleansing routine.

Your Question: What should women with acne use on their skin?

Jill: You want to make sure you’re using products that are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Lightweight products are also great.

Your Question: What is the most common issue Black women experience when it comes to their skin?

Jill: Hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of the skin caused my overproduction of melanin.

Your Question: The number one mistake women make when taking care of their skin?

Jill: Focusing on product solutions only. People get caught up thinking, ‘I need to buy a magic bottle of some concoction that’s going to help in this area’. They find themselves spending a lot of money for short-lived solutions. I don’t think women really think about how their lifestyle affects their skin and the aging process.

Your Question: What is the best way to remove hair?

Jill: A lot of this will depend on your budget and how long you want it to last. If you want something quick, shaving is the way to go, obviously. Waxing will last about 3-6 weeks, but it ranges in price. Laser treatment is the most permanent, but it is and always be the most expensive.

I will give a tip: the best time to shave for both women and men is after a steamy shower, at night.

Your Question: Which direction should we shave?

Jill: In the direction that the hair is growing. And always use a sharp razor and a highly lubricant shaving cream.

Your Question: Is it safe to reuse a razor?

Jill: I prefer you use disposable razors for a one-time use only. But, if you use a razor more than once, please clean it between every single use. Afterwards, use an antiseptic wash.

Your Question: Can you really get rid of dark circles under your eyes?

Jill: You can reduce them. Dark circles are also a form of hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, hyperpigmentation cannot be cured.

Dark circles, like other skincare issues usually have a hereditary connection or are attributed to another underlying root problem. If they’re not hereditary, then a good idea is to think of your lifestyle. Are you getting enough rest? Are you drinking enough water? Ask yourself these questions if you find that dark circles don’t run in the family.

Now, if you want to reduce them as much as possible, my go-to solutions would be using vitamin C and vitamin E. Another thing that’s good is hydroxyacid, the natural one. That’s a chemical that’s used to reduce wrinkles, but also it improves the texture and tone of the skin. . Glycolic acid is another form of hydroxy acid that helps. Retinol and vitamin A are also pivotal in this area.

Your Question: Do darker women need to wear sunscreen?

Jill: Absolutely. You still want to have that extra barrier there just to protect the skin.

Your Question: How often do I need to exfoliate?

Jill: Once a week. If your skin is oily or combo, you can make it twice a week. But, never more than that.

Your Question: Do cucumbers really do anything to help our eyes?

Jill: Cucumbers actually have a lot of antioxidants; including vitamin C. Antioxidants works against the breakdown of the skin. They also contain beta-carotene. The carotene is pretty much the pigment that gives things its color.

Cold cucumbers also help reduce puffiness and swelling. So yes, they do help our eyes.

Your Question: What could be the cause of puffiness under my eyes?

Jill: Honestly, excess salt in your diet. Salt retains water, so be very careful of how much salt you consume in your diet.

Your Question: Where do keloids come from?

Jill: Keloids go back a long way. But keloids are basically the result of healing skin with a buildup of elastin, which is a protein. But, it’s raised. They’re not harmful, but most of the time people hate the way they look.

Have other questions? Email us at!

This post was originally published on Beautifully Brown.