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The Anatomy of Global Skin Tones

Pamela Springer June 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
professional skin care client with skin of color

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The role of the ethnic consumer continues to be an important part of the skin care industry. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that, by 2050, 49.5% of the U.S. population will have skin of color, replacing baby boomers as the critical growth demographic within the United States and United Kingdom. People of mixed racial heritage have surpassed Hispanics as the fastest-growing demographic group.

The skin care industry is beginning to embrace the needs of women and men of certain ethnic descents. Clients of Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Asian and African-American descent and their subgroups are in need of product and service options targeting their unique skin disorders. Corrective management of these skin types has to go beyond the norm. Skin care professionals must better understand the skin’s mechanism as it relates to ethnic differences, as well as its reactivity to topically applied substances. Once these differences are understood, effective protocol strategies that address the unique skin-related challenges will create value for these clients. It is also important to invest time and incorporate the knowledge of the cultural differences as it pertains to your area’s demographics.


The epidermis is comprised of epithelial tissues that have a thickness ranging from 0.05 mm on the eyelids to 1.5 mm on the soles of the feet. It contains no blood cells but is nourished by the blood vessels housed in the dermis. It is the outermost layer and is comprised of five distinct sections: the stratum corneum (horny layer), stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum (granular layer), stratum spinosum (spiny layer) and stratum germinativum (basal layer).

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