Inside and out.

That’s where you wear your beauty. Your eyes glow with warmth and your smile is sunshine, your heart touches people and lets them know they’re loved. The body you’ve been blessed with is strong and comfortable. Now what about your largest organ? In “Black Skin” by Dija Ayodele, you’ll see how you can care for it best.

Short shorts, tank tops, bare shoulders, barely-there sleeves. You want to wear them all this summer, and you want to look good doing it. So how do you make sure your skin is in the best shape possible?

Dija Ayodele is a skin care expert and the first thing you should know, she says, is that “flawless skin is for babies.” You’re an adult and you’ll never achieve a “flawless” complexion again. But she has advice on how you can turn heads with a glow.

For centuries, Black women have been “actively told that Black is not beautiful.” Ayodele offers history to prove it: more than a hundred years ago, slaves were treated like they “were beastly and put on show as spectacles…” For many Black people in the past, that led them reach for chemicals to lighten their skin, which breaks Ayodele’s heart. She hopes today’s readers can learn to love their skin by becoming experts on it.

There are many of similarities between Black skin and white skin; the differences are cultural and “physiological.” Black skin has more melatonin that helps protect from the sun, but don’t get lazy: Ayodele says you should use a sunscreen because Black skin is still prone to sunburn. Also, “Black will crack if you’re slack!” so use a really good moisturizer.

Know the difference between skin type and skin condition. Stop smoking, quit your bad diet, cut down on alcohol, stop stressing, and get some sleep. Be prepared for the things that can go wrong with your skin, and learn about keloids and hyperpigmentation. Bust some myths, know which products to leave in the store and how to find a professional if you need one, and build a regiment. 

Your skin will thank you for it.

Show your shoulders, flash your fingers, flaunt your feet. Summer fashions practically demand that you do, but what if your skin isn’t ready for all that? Reach for “Black Skin” and get some help that will take you far beyond your surface.

But this book isn’t just for those who are looking for beauty. 

Author Dija Ayodele helps you understand why you sometimes believe your skin has a mind of its own. She tackles acne, skin tags, and vitiligo as well as ashiness and over-dry spots, and her advice is wide-ranging and easily understood. Best of all, she makes readers feel like their skin is a precious gift. Having that kind of information doesn’t at all replace a dermatologist, but it’s the next best thing. 

Not just for women, this book also includes a chapter for men and children, too. Reading “Black Skin” is something you’ll want to do, from the inside out.

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