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Ethnic Skin Care Dermatology

Skin Care for People of Color - 6 Tips

By 2050, more than 50 percent of the United States population will be people of color; this includes African Americans, Latinos, Asians and others. These skin types have unique needs and require special care and now, most spas and salons offer specific products and procedures designed for more challenging skin. To help make your skin care experience more favorable, here are my 6 tips for skin care for people of color:

Avoid Aggressive Scrubbing

Ethnic skin is not darker because it has more pigment cells. Instead, the melanocyte cells that produce pigment are larger, and thus have more melanin. Scrubbing the skin too aggressively can over stimulate the skin and cause hyperpigmentation or blotchy skin. Plus, scrubs containing rough-edged granules, such as crushed walnut shells, polyethylene beads or apricot pits can irritate darker skin. Instead, choose scrubs that contain natural pumice or round jojoba beads that will not tear the skin.

Don't Pick!

Avoid the blunt trauma caused by picking at the skin. Easy, gentle extractions are better. My best recommendation is to use a sebum softener such as an enzyme or alpha hydroxy acid that will aid in removing blackheads with ease.

Use Salicylic or Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Skin of color is often more prone to ingrown hairs, which can lead to irritation, infection, and discoloration. Using a salicylic or alpha hydroxy acid serum will cause cell turnover and reduce blockages that cause ingrown hairs (note: use a mild scrub prior to shaving to loosen hairs).

Use Ice on Acne

Minimize swelling and inflammation as soon as an acne lesion forms by icing the affected area. When inflammation is reduced, the risk of the skin discoloration is lessened. Fill a small, plastic cup to the very top with water and freeze it, and when a lesion comes up, roll the iced cup over inflamed area for 10 minutes.

Avoid Overstimulation

Over stimulating the skin can result in damaged cells that cannot be replaced, causing the skin to appear white (a condition called hypopigmentation where the color will not return). Avoid using aggressive microdermabrasion treatments and keep cell turnover regular with superficial, light peels. Home care topicals with epidermal growth factors and peptides will aid in strengthening the skin.

Use Sunscreen

Just because darker skin contains more melanin does not mean it will not burn. UVA and UVB rays affect all shades of skin. Always include a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 in the daily regimen. The good news is that due to the amount of melanin in skin of color, it is more resistant to developing skin cancer and shows less signs of aging, both major issues for

Caucasian skin.

More and more leading-edge companies are aware of the issues involved with skin of color and now formulate products especially for their skin needs. The best options combine natural products partnered with scientifically proven ingredients which really work to keep even the most challenging skin looking young and fresh.

Skin care for people of color shares many of the fundamentals of skin care for people with lighter skin. However, there are some things you can do to treat your skin particularly well if you are of color. By avoiding aggressive scrubbing, not picking, avoiding overstimulation, and using sunscreen, you will be on the road to better skin.

To learn more click here to read about Ethnic Skin Care at Crutchfield Dermatology

About the Author

For more information on skin care products for people of color, visit www.RhondaAllison.com.


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