What’s Your Skin Type?
Anti-Aging Advice for Everyone
As Singular as Snowflakes
Like snowflakes, no two faces are identical. Even the faces of identical twins contain subtle differences. The color of skin, eyes and hair varies, as does the shape of the eyebrows, cheekbones, lips, and noses.
How skin ages also varies. That’s why each person should follow a skincare routine customized for their skin type. Knowing how your lifestyle and the environment affect your skin helps you choose the skin care routine that’s best for you.
How wrinkles and spots tend to appear is based largely on skin tone. Caucasians, African Americans, Latinas and Asians are all prone to developing lines, sagging, and spots. But each ethnicity develops these problems at different rates and in different ways. This makes how you fight back all the more important.
Dermatologists tend to organize skin into six types. Type I is the lightest, and type VI the darkest. Individuals who possess skin type four or above have more melanin in their skin, which protects them from the sun.
This explains why people who have darker skin often look younger than their lighter-skinned peers. A black African with skin type VI, for example, doesn’t suffer the aging effects of the sun as much as a blond-haired, blue-eyed, light-skinned person of Scandinavian descent who is a level one. But that doesn’t mean darker skin goes undamaged. More melanin, though, puts skin at a higher risk of scarring and pigmentation problems. People with darker skin are also not completely safe from sun damage, and so it’s important to wear sunscreen, even if you have dark skin.
Unsure of how to care for your skin based on your ethnicity and skin tone? Read on for skincare advice for every ethnicity.
Skincare for Every Ethnicity
Multiracial Ethnicity: How multiracial individuals age depends on the prominent characteristics they inherited. Most mixed-race women’s skin tone falls somewhere between that of their parents. So the way their skin ages will also likely fall somewhere in the middle. That means, for example, that if you’re half African American and half Caucasian, you probably won’t see wrinkles in your early 30s unless you’re exceptionally fair. Keep In mind, though, that aging differs from person to person, and from heritage to heritage. The top issues for multiracial women are:
By the mid-40s, the tear-trough area under the eye starts to sag, making the cheekbones and middle of the face look flat rather than plump and youthful.
For interracial people, mottled pigmentation, where large, irregular areas on the nose or forehead are a darker color, is a big complaint. It usually results from excessive, unprotected sun exposure.
Caucasian: Got fair skin? Unfortunately, you’re going to suffer more signs of aging. Blame the sun. Pale skin offers minuscule protection against it, allowing UV rays to break down collagen and cause wrinkles. This can all start happening as early as your 20s. The skin tries to fight back by making pigment to protect itself—but more often than not this leads to unsightly dark spots. The good news is, however, that Caucasians can be more aggressive with anti-aging treatments since they don’t have to worry as much about post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. To avoid aging, Caucasians should:
Wear sunblock. Wearing a sunblock daily is a must for pale skin—indeed, it’s an essential weapon in the fight against early signs of aging. Fair skin only has the equivalent of a mere SPF 3.5, so individuals should aim for a sunblock with a minimum SPF 30.
Use retinoids. Fair skin may get stuck with wrinkles and spots—but there’s one way to fight them. Retinoids make skin smoother, and promote normal maturation of cells, which can help prevent skin cancers.
Quit smoking. Everyone knows that smoking kills. But did you know that cigarettes are toxic to the skin, depriving it of oxygen and increasing the risk of skin cancer? And smoking accelerates the aging process in people with fair skin.
Latina: Latina skin tone varies immensely. There are light Latinas who age like Caucasians, and very dark Latinas who age like African Americans. However, the vast majority of Latinas are beige to brown, and they show signs of aging approximately ten years later than Caucasians. The main complaint from Latinas is melasma, or brown patches of discoloration that appear most often on the cheeks, chin, upper lip, and forehead.
To combat melasma, dermatologists recommend a regimen of bleaching creams, antioxidants (niacinamide, idebenone, or vitamin C ), and the right sunscreen. What’s more, Latinas should wear a sunscreen containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
African American: African Americans are the luckiest of the bunch. They typically don’t start seeing wrinkles until they’re in their 50s. Why? Because the more pigment you have, the less you wrinkle. But even though African Americans aren’t prone to getting wrinkles, they still face two main concerns:
African American women tend to experience aging through volume loss. But products exist to stem this problem. Sculpting creams stimulate collagen. For quicker, more dramatic results most dermatologists recommend injectable fillers such as Juvéderm to enhance volume, or radiofrequency treatments such as Thermage to tighten sagging skin.
Uneven skin tone
African American skin has melanosomes—or pigment packages—within the pigment cells that are large and more widely dispersed. They can react aggressively to the slightest irritation, causing dark spots in the skin. To get rid of dark spots, most dermatologists recommend bleaching creams with hydroquinone.
Middle Eastern and South Asian: Because both Middle Eastern and South Asian skin contains extra pigment, it generally doesn’t get wrinkles until the 40s and 50s. However, this skin type is more prone to dark blotches from cumulative sun exposure, hormones or irritation. This problem can be combated with lightening lotions, creams containing retinoids, light laser peels, and acne treatments.
East Asian and Southeast Asian: Asian skin has more melanocytes (cells that produce melanin) than fairer skin. Melanin protects skin from sun damage, but it also can go haywire and produce brown spots, uneven skin tone, and melasma. To treat these issues, dermatologists recommend bleaching agents like hydroquinone or kojic acid, or pigment-targeting lasers. Asians are also prone to seborrheic keratosis, raised brown bumps that can be frozen, cauterized, or removed with a scalpel.
Precautions Everyone Should Take
Regardless of which ethnicity and skin type you are, there are universal precautions that everyone should take to fight the effects of aging. These include:
- Exercise. Exercising can reduce stress and help you sleep better, leading to healthier skin.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep is your skin’s chance to repair damage done during the day. Seven to eight hours a night allows your face to relax and smooth wrinkles. Sleep also gives you a chance to avoid dirt and grime in the air and rejuvenate.
- Eat healthy, look healthy. Foods can affect skin, especially when a nutritional deficiency exists. A vitamin C deficiency, for example, can cause scurvy. A deficiency in zinc can lead to a scaly, red rash. An iron deficiency can lead to hair loss. The best thing you can do for your skin is to eat well-balanced meals and take a daily multivitamin.
- Think before you drink. Drinking water moisturizes your skin from within. When you drink water, the cells absorb that water and look plumper. This eliminates wrinkles. The opposite is true of beverages that dehydrate the body and skin, especially alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Coffee, alcohol, and soda can also deplete the body of nutrients that keep skin from looking tired and dull, and they can cause facial flushing, thereby worsening skin conditions such as rosacea.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is second only to sun damage in causing wrinkles and dry skin. Studies have shown that smokers have significantly more fine lines than nonsmokers.
- Reduce stress. Stress produces hormones that increase the levels of free radicals in the body, suppressing the immune system, dehydrating the body, and thinning skin. Stress also wears down the body’s ability to fight free radicals and bacteria.
- Wear sunblock every day. This is the most important tip of all – the sun causes 90% of skin damage. You should wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays with a SPF 30 or higher.
LaserAway Is the Nation’s Premier Skincare Provider
And if you want to go beyond just creams and lotions, consider treatments like laser resurfacing and dermal fillers, all of which can turn back the clock years in a matter of weeks. Contact your local LaserAway for more information. We’re proud to offer the most medical spa service options of any national skincare provider. We hire only the most highly trained staff experienced and certified in administering laser and other dermatological procedures. What’s more, we use only the most innovative techniques and cutting-edge laser technology.
We aim to make your medical spa experience comfortable, enjoyable and satisfying. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today by emailing LaserAway.net or calling the staff at LaserAway at (888) 965-2737. We look forward to helping you turn back the clock.