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Dr. Tess Mauricio is back for our "Talk Takeaway" series, doing a segment on beauty and skin care. She will tell us the benefits and the challenges of different skin colors and the products that can make each skin type as beautiful as possible. Dr. Tess is a Board Certified Dermatologist, a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine, and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of The University of California San Diego. She is the founder of Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center and co-author of the new book “California Total Beauty.”
BROWN SKIN - EXFOLIATE AND USE SHEA BUTTER
Browner skin is more prone to irritation, dry skin, and scarring. African Americans tend to develop thick scars called keloids sometimes from as little trauma as acne on the chest and it can be very difficult to treat. Dark skin can really benefit with regular exfoliation to avoid ashy and dry cracking skin.
I recommend using a body scrub (you can make your own at home) in the shower and immediately apply moisturizers afterwards to keep skin from drying. Exfoliate your skin to reveal a layer of fresh, smooth skin. Put a few tablespoons of coarse sea salt in a bowl, and add enough orange juice to make a paste. Apply to skin by rubbing gently in a circular motion. Rinse with cool water to tighten pores.
Moisturize with shea butter to complete the process. Shea butter is among the top natural treatments that can be used on dry and sensitive skin. It is chocked full of vitamins and nutrients that provide a protective layer on the skin. Shea butter has the ability to refresh the skin and bring back its original suppleness and texture. The good news is that dry skin responds fast to the effects of shea butter.
MEDIUM SKIN - FIND NON-HYDROQUINONE SKIN BRIGHTENING PRODUCTS
Find and use a non-hydroquinone skin lightening and brightening product on a regular basis to even the skin tone and reveal glowing skin. People with medium skin should not use products with hyrdoquinone because it will make their skin color uneven. Most of the signs of aging that happen with medium skin involve discoloration, blotchy uneven pigmentation so if you start early you may be able to help prevent this from happening!
Patients with medium skin and some Latinos are prone to getting a very challenging condition called melasma where there is gradual darkening of the skin usually in a map like fashion on the cheeks and can involve the upper lip and even look like a mustache. This tends to occur during pregnancy and, for some, remains for the rest of their lives. It can be a very difficult condition to treat.
People with medium skin have beautiful exotic skin with moderate natural protection from the sun. Your aging will be slower and you will find you stay away from wrinkles and sagging compared to your friends with fair skin.
LIGHT SKIN - APPLY PRODUCTS WITH LICORICE EXTRACT AND CHAMOMILE
Soothe a light complexion with an anti-redness lotion or moisturizer. These use ingredients like licorice root extract and chamomile to calm ruddy skin over the long term. Licorice extract and chamomile (also called bisabolol) both have anti-inflammatory properties. Some anti-redness products are tinted green so they temporarily neutralize redness.
LIGHT SKIN - VISIT YOUR DERMATOLOGIST ONCE A YEAR
People with light skin have a much higher predisposition for developing pre-skin cancers we dermatologists call “Actinic Keratoses” or AK’s. People with light skin may have growths on their skin that are rough, scaly and do not go away, no matter how many times you peel or apply products on them, you may have AK’s. AK’s have to be treated otherwise they can turn into skin cancers.
Find a dermatologist that you trust and like and have regular skin exams at least once a year to look for AK’s and possibly skin cancers. You should also have your moles checked regularly. And ask your doctor about the many options you have, if you are interested in utilizing the latest technologies to reverse the signs of aging and sun damage.
Even though the signs of aging are accelerated when you have light skin, there are so many technologies, like lasers to reverse the signs of sun damage, that works so much better and safer on light skin. As a dermatologist, treating light skin with lasers is much simpler, easier and we can actually do a lot more to create results that are very dramatic and really can take years off in a single session!
FAIR SKIN - BUY SKIN PRODUCTS LABELED “HYPOALLERGENIC”
Look for products formulated for sensitive skin and those labeled “hypoallergenic,” meaning it's less likely to cause an allergic reaction. If you’re out in the sun, wear over-sized hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect your fair skin from burning.
Fair skin was not designed to enjoy the California sun or be tanned. There is very little natural protection from ultraviolet exposure and sun damage, so the aging process is accelerated. When you have fair skin, you may find your first wrinkle in your early 20’s and you may find that your skin quality and firmness is deteriorating faster than that of your darker-skinned friends. Skip cosmetics and skincare items containing fragrances, soap and alcohol. Fair skin is easily aggravated and can sting or burn in response to these products. Avoid tanning – get used to spray tanning instead, if you like that look. There is no such thing as a safe tan. A tan is an indication that there has been sun damage on your skin cells. Start appreciating your fair beautiful skin even at a young age and keep it fair for the rest of your life and you can keep yourself looking younger longer!
Most people all over the world who were not born with fair skin go through extremes to lighten their skin. Hence, the skin lightening and skin whitening treatments and products that’s readily available. It may be shocking to learn but fair skin is considered the standard of beautiful skin for most of the world.
OLIVE SKIN - WASH YOUR FACE WITH GLYCOLIC ACID CLEANSER
Use glycolic acid cleanser and use products with vitamin C to constantly exfoliate, deep clean pores and minimize oiliness. This will help prevent breakouts and minimize the discoloration from acne before they even happen!
Because of the extra oiliness, olive skin tends to also break out more – some women are breaking out all the way to menopause. And because olive skin has a strong tendency to create pigmentation, acne is not only a bigger problem but worse yet, once the pimples are gone, we are left with dark scars that can last a long time.
Everyone knows that Asian skin ages well. The skin’s dermis is thicker so there is less sagging that happens with aging and the skin stays tight, which is why pores appear smaller. Asian skin also is oilier and over time, this keeps the skin from getting dry and wrinkly.