The Truth Behind "Clinically Tested" Skincare & Darker Skin Tones

Black woman putting on skin care

Have you ever seen a product that says, "It's Clinically Tested!" and thought it would work for you? I used to think that too, until I learned that many brands don't test their products on people with darker skin like mine. But why does this matter, and what can we do about it?

When you have a darker skin tone, it's different from lighter skin in some ways. It's great because it gives you some protection from the sun. But at the same time, it can make your skin more likely to have problems like breakouts and allergies, especially when you use skincare products. So, finding the right products for your skin becomes really important.

Why Testing Skincare Matters

Clinical trials for skincare products play a crucial role in checking how safe and effective these products are. They help ensure that skincare is safe to use, and actually does what it promises. These trials also help tailor formulations and new products that brands bring to market to address their customers needs. 

beaker glass with skincare ingredients

Now, let's talk about why people with darker skin tones sometimes don't get included in testing:

Reason #1: Existing Testing Panels Have Limited Representation

Many beauty brands rely on existing databases of panelists that lack diversity. Historically, these databases have primarily favored lighter skin tones for testing purposes. This perpetuates a bias that ignores the unique needs and concerns of individuals with deeper skin tones. This gap means that product effectiveness remains unverified for melanated skin, despite being targeted by certain products.

Reason #2: High Testing Costs

Finances play a significant role in this issue. Testing on a broader spectrum of skin tones can be expensive, and companies with tighter budgets often resort to using predetermined databases as a cost-efficient alternative. Financial constraints make it challenging to invest in creating a more diverse panel.

Reason #3: Complexity of Testing

Testing on different skin tones can be hard. Our skin can react in different ways to products. Some companies use simpler tests that are easier and cheaper, but they might not include all skin tones.

These reasons mean that sometimes people with darker skin tones don't get tested enough, even though we need good skincare products too.

How do we improve testing on darker skin tones?

Black women in a cosmetic chemist lab

We can't just wait for big companies to change. We can do something to make sure people with darker skin tones are included. Here's how:

Through our exciting partnership with Sula Labs, a Black-owned and women-led cosmetic Lab, we've initiated a groundbreaking approach. We send our products to a diverse group of testers, with a strong focus on individuals with deeper skin tones. They provide invaluable feedback on how their skin responds to each product and post their review so that we have a resource you can trust when searching for your next beauty product.

Do you want to help us make sure everyone gets the skin care they need?

Sign up and be part of our product testing community. In this community, you will receive FREE products to test and in exchange give us your feedback on your experience. Your voice matters, and together, we can make sure everyone's skin is represented. 


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