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Understanding Darker Skin Tones

Posted: May 21, 2010

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4. What skin care ingredients should darker skin tones avoid? What should they look for and why?

Clients with darker skin tones should avoid products that are abrasive or irritating since they can contribute to hyperpigmentation. Steer clear of skin care that contains the following ingredients: fragrances, alcohol, propylene glycol, lanolin, dyes or alpha hydroxy acids in high concentrations. Also, avoid cleansing with a puff or loofah, which can cause irritation. Look for broad spectrum SPF with natural minerals, such as titanium or zinc oxide, and make sure your cleansers, moisturizers and serums have antioxidant ingredients, such as vitamins C and E, coffee berry extract, licorice root and soy (to name a few). Retinols (vitamin A derivatives) can help improve overall skin health when used properly in small amounts.

5. Regarding cosmetic procedures, such as laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion and fillers, are there any that you recommend for people with darker skin tones or any to avoid?

People with darker skin tones should be careful before having certain cosmetic procedures. Botox, and injectable fillers have been studied and proven to be safe and effective in combating signs of aging in brown skin. Although micodermabrasion and laser resurfacing are options for those with darker complexions, you’re more likely to have post-inflammatory hyperpigmenation and scarring after these procedures. If your clients do decide to try one of these treatments, make sure their physicians are proficient in performing them on a non-Caucasian population, otherwise permanent skin damage may result.