While skin color often dictates the shade of foundation that women wear, few ladies may be aware that one’s heritage can also dictate her skincare routine requirements. “Even beyond color, recent research shows that race and ethnicity play an important role in how the skin will respond to products and procedures,” Jessica Wu, clinical instructor of dermatology at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, told Allure magazine.
But finding the right types of products for your skin based on your ethnicity doesn’t have to be difficult – with a bit of advice from industry experts, it can be easy.
According to Fran Cook-Bolden, director of the Ethnic Skin Specialty Group in New York City, pigment-making cells are highly productive in black skin. “Harsh cleansers are just one more thing that can upset black skin and excite pigment cells,” Cook-Bolden told the news source.
A gentle face wash, like Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser, will clean skin without irritating chemicals that can cause inflammation. SkinMedica Skin Polisher features “ultrafine jojoba beads [that] allow you to use this [product] at least twice a week without irritation,” the publication reports.
Women who have white skin must deal with pigment issues of their own. The news outlet reports that white skin is prone to redness, sometimes caused by rosacea. Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, swears by B. Kamins Chemist Booster Blue Soothing Skin Concentrate. “I use this when my skin flares up with redness,” she told the magazine, as the blue-green tint counteracts redness while bisabolol tempers irritation.
“Rich moisturizers are a must, because as light skin thins, it gets drier,” added Graf. L’Occitane 24 Hours Ultra Rich Face Cream contains 25 percent shea butter and is formulated to help replenish skin’s hydrolipidic film.
According to Allure, South Asian and Middle Eastern women’s skin is susceptible to melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. “As this skin ages, everything drops,” Hema Sundaram, a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, told the news provider, who recommends SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum. “There are good studies showing that it stimulates new collagen formation to improve elasticity and also helps with hyperpigmentation,” she added. “One Indian patient calls it ‘liquid gold for the skin.'”
Sundaram also recommends Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30. “This is the one sunscreen that really helps prevent my melasma – because it’s broad-spectrum, it’s easy to reapply and it gives complete coverage,” she told the magazine.
East Asian and Southeast Asian women should opt for exfoliants that boast lactic acid, like Kinerase Pro+Therapy Advanced Radiance Facial Peel, as Wu reports that lactic acid is less likely to irritate Asian skin than stronger salicylic acid.
“Studies show that Asian skin is more sensitive than other types,” Wu told the news source, adding that she usually recommends a soap-free cleanser. Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Creme is a soap-free formula designed to remove makeup, dirt and surface oils without stripping skin of lipids.
Latin ladies looking for clear skin, however, may want to select a treatment that contains salicylic acid. Because Latinas are a diverse mix of ethnicities, their skin can have issues associate with light complexions, like lines and rosacea, and dark skin, like melasma. Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, which benefits Latinas with rosacea. “[It] redistributes pigment, which makes the skin look more even-toned,” Vivian Bucay, dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, told the new source.
Murad offers a few products that contain salicylic acid. The brand’s Clarifying Cleanser boasts 1.5 percent salicylic acid and is formulated to eliminate surface bacteria. Their AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser brightens skin by dissolving skin cell buildup, and features licorice extract, which is reported to have anti-irritant and anti-inflamatory properties.