Aging is the one thing that everyone has in common. Many women, no matter their race, worry how to keep a glowing and youthful looking complexion. So we thought we would talk toAntonia Burrell – skincare expert and founder of the Antonia Burrell skincare range. With over 18 years in the industry, Antonia has accumulated a hoard of famous and royal fans (HRH Princess Tatiana of Greece, Princess Maha of Qatar and actress Sadie Frost to name a few) and has won a plethora of awards, with her brand being named the best skincare brand for Black and Asian women at this year’s Psychology Positive Beauty Awards. So when we had the idea of wanting to show black women how they can look after their skin in every decade, she really was the only woman for the task…

BB: Could you please tell us how black skin differs from other races? 

AB: The main difference is the AMOUNT, SIZE and DISTRIBUTION of MELANIN (the cells that product the pigment/colour in the skin). Therefore, darker skinned women have different concerns like post-inflammatory pigmentation and uneven skin tone. They are not so concerned with biological aging, as darker skin also ages slower due to the high sebum content in the skin.

BB: Are there any misconceptions about black skin? 


Skin is skin… no matter what the colour, just like blood is blood… no matter what the colour of the person’s skin, it’s still red and essentially made up of the same chemical composition, however, there are variations. If you think of it in this way – what you eat – your diet – no matter what the ethnicity of a person, we all need the same nutrients to live and maintain a healthy life style. So, we all need anti-oxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and water to be healthy. This also applies to the skin. Everyone needs the basics to maintain a good skin like cleansing well and using the correct products for your skin type, regardless of colour. It’s down to experts like myself to offer advice, clarity and homecare regimes on such things.

I think a lot of women think that because their skin is darker then it can “take it” and I know a lot tend to over exfoliate. This actually makes the skin darker.

BB: One rule that applies to every black woman no matter their age? 

BA: For me this rule applies to ALL WOMEN. I recommend exfoliating daily or as recommended with my Luminous Light Polishing Powder to support renewal and gently polish the skin.



BB: What are the biggest misconceptions about the skin for those in their 20s? 

AB: Generally 20 something’s are blessed with skin that’s plump and youthful, so you likely don’t need a full-coverage foundation. Opt for a tinted moisturizer instead or a sheer coverage BB cream. Most of us tend to over-powder our faces as well.

BB: What are the common problems those in their 20s face? 

AB: The number one complaint among women in their 20’s is acne. Most 20-somethings break out because they use dehydrating products that strip their skin of natural oils. This causes oil glands to overproduce, resulting in blemishes.

BB: Could you recommend a good skin routine for those in their 20s?

AB: Focus on cleansing thoroughly and understanding your skin type. Consult a skin expert and invest in the knowledge you receive.

BB: Best ingredients/products for looking after your skin in this decade? 

AB: Pick a good quality natural moisturiser and try to ensure that it contains a SPF and that it gives you both UVA and UVB protection. Apply it all over your face and on your neck. At night time, you can choose something with a vitamin A-derivative, which is good for brightening and treating acne.



BB: What’s the difference between the skin in your 30s compared to your 20s?

AB: Even if you’ve taken good care of your skin, you’ll probably start noticing fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the eyes and mouth. Dark-skinned women might notice discoloration and uneven skin tone; fair-skinned women might see some hyperpigmentation (brown/age spots) and duller.

BBWhat are the golden rules for looking after your skin in this decade?

AB: Exfoliation and brightening products is the key here in your 30′s and have regular facial treatments.

BB: What products/ingredients do you recommend to those in their 30s? 

AB: Try to use products that contain salicylic acid and avoid harsh scrubs.

Use a good clay based mask once a week to really deep cleanse, firm and polish.

Hydrate with a non-alcoholic toner.

BB: What do you suggest those in their 30s should avoid in order to maintain good skin? 


40s & 50s


BB: Could you tell us the common problems those in their 40s face in terms of skincare? 

AB: The loss of collagen and skin elasticity in your 40s mean you’ll find your skin sags a little more and seems less resilient.

BB: Are there any products/ingredients you recommend for women in this decade? 

AB: Difficult to say…it really depends on the skin. But I generally recommend a good mask, brightening serum and suitable moisturizer for your skin-type.

BB: What is a good skin routine for those in their 40s & 50s? 

AB: Your skin repairs itself while you sleep, so if you don’t get enough of it, it will show – in the form of a pale, ashy skin tone and more pronounced wrinkles and under eye circles. Shoot for 7 – 8 hours a night. Tapping all over the face gently with the two middle fingers from both hands for about a minute a day will work wonders to plump and firm the skin. Focus on jaw line and under the chin.

BB: What should those in their 40s  and 50s avoid in order to maintain healthy skin? 

AB: Maintain a good antioxidant diet.

60s and over


BB: Could you please tell us about what changes the skin is going through in these years? 

AB: No matter how well you care for your skin, it’s not going to be the same at age 60 as it was at age 20. There’s no getting around it. The skin has a natural aging process that involves a slowdown of cell division in the middle layer of skin, also known as the dermis. This process breaks down collagen and elastin fibers that thicken skin. Age-related changes in the hypodermis, the inner layer of skin, can also lead to thinning. The primary alteration occurring in the hypodermis is the degradation of fatty cells leading to skin thinness.

BB: What are your golden rules of skincare for women in this age bracket?

AB: Since dry skin is more prone to thinning, providing it with extra moisture is never a bad idea.

In addition to aging and family history, another big risk factor for thin skin is sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) light causes collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis to break down at a faster rate. So, one of the best ways to prevent or delay skin thinning is to cut back on your time in the sun by spending less time outdoors when the suns rays are at their most intense.

BB: Best products and ingredients for taking care of the skin in these years? 

AB: Water, sleep, good facial oil and serum… must be correct for the skin type.

All of the answers above were written by Antonia Burrell and illustrations are by Jerome J Rand.

This post was originally published on Black Ballad.

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