Do Different Races Need Different Skin Care Regimens? January 19 2014, 2 Comments
The primary determining factor for proper and effective skin care is really skin type, not skin color. The products you choose for your skin care regimen should be dictated by whether your skin is oily, dry or combination with only secondary consideration being given to color (people with pale skin need to be more vigilant about sunscreen).
What Makes Our Skin Different Colors?
The pigments Carotene, Hemoglobin, and Melanin are involved in determining everyone's skin color.
- Carotene, the least common skin pigment results in a yellowing of skin and typically occurs in people who simply eat too many foods high in carotene (think carrots!)
Hemoglobin is the complex molecule responsible for transport of oxygen throughout our bodies. It is the primary protein in red blood cells. Well-oxygenated hemoglobin has a reddish hue and produces a rosy complexion.
- Melanin is the primary determinant in human skin color and it varies not only by amount, but density and distribution. Melanin has a dark brown/purple/black color that is intensified by denser compaction of the melanin granules in your skin's upper layers.
Aren't There Some Differences?
Yes, but they are minor. For instance, people with darker skin tend to have more issues with hyper-pigmentation and scarring, but fewer instances of rosacea and later onset of age spots and wrinkles. Melanin also makes darker skin much less susceptible to sun damage although PEOPLE WITH DARK SKIN SHOULD STILL WEAR SUNSCREEN! Just like any other skin color, exposure to the sun will result in aging, dryness sunburn and discoloration for people with darker skin tones.
Black men especially have issues with razor bumps due to frequent shaving, but this is a result of having a thicker and curlier hair texture and not truly a difference in skin. These bumps can and do occur in men of other races who have thick, curly hair and is especially common in those of Middle-Eastern and Hispanic descent as well.
There's Trouble All Over
Just think about it, everyone suffers from the same set of skin problems, oily skin, dry skin, aging, wrinkles, discoloration, dryness and acne. We all have to take care of our skin in the same way with proper diet and exercise as well as paying attention to the needs of our particular skin type when cleansing, moisturizing and applying SPF protection. All skin needs similar nourishment to remain healthy, so it would be smart to focus on the needs of your particular skin type rather than the color of your skin when developing a skin care regime. The only exception most people would raise to this rule is the use of SPF protection, but really all people should be applying a daily SPF and the difference is a matter of degree not usage. People with lighter skin must be vigilant about SPF, but everyone should be using something.
Everyone should avoid artificial chemicals and additives in their skin care products and avoid using or overusing some natural extracts that can irritate the skin like peppermint, menthol, alcohol and eucalyptus to name a few.
For cleansing always use cleansers free of sulfates. The acid in a pH-balanced facial cleanser can work wonders to improve the smoothness of skin regardless of type. Also lightweight foaming face washes are an excellent starting point for all skin types.
Avoid artificial fragrances and heavy oils in your moisturizers that can clog your pores and cause acne, irritation and other skin complications. Sydelle Cosmetics has the amazing Vibrant Visage foaming face wash and an array of moisturizers as well as an all-natural facial moisturizer which uses witch hazel to help reduce the appearance of pores and veins.