Skincare for Colored People

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau; 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; however, many spas and salons do not offer products and procedures specifically designed for more challenging skin, nor are they qualified to properly diagnose a condition or recommend a course of treatment.

To help make your skin care results more favorable, here are some skin care tips for people of color:

Don't Pick:

Avoid the blunt trauma caused by picking at the skin. Easy, gentle extractions are better. Use of a sebum softener, recommended by your dermatologist, such as an enzyme or alpha hydroxy acid should 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 exfoliate and reduce blockages that cause ingrown hairs (note: use a mild scrub prior to shaving to loosen hairs). A consultation with a dermatologist who has expertise in ethnic skin care treatments is always recommended before use of these products.

Avoid Aggressive Scrubbing:

Ethnic skin is not darker because it has more pigment cells. Instead, the cells that produce pigment are larger, and therefore have more melanin. Scrubbing the skin too aggressively can over stimulate the skin and cause hyperpigmentation or blotchy skin. Scrubs containing rough-edged granules, such as crushed walnut shells, polyethylene beads or apricot pits can irritate darker skin. Even scrubs that contain natural pumice or round jojoba beads may injure the skin. Consult your dermatologist for the proper technique on how to cleanse and maintain your skin.

Use Sunscreen:

UVA and UVB rays affect all shades of skin. Yes, darker skin contains more melanin – No, this doesn’t prevent it from burning. Including a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30, even in the winter, should be part of your the daily routine.

Consulting a dermatologist, who has expertise in ethnic skin care, is always recommended before use of any of the above products or treatments.


Beautiful skin is within reach!
Article by
Las Vegas Dermatologist