Dark skin myths

Although they are certainly less fragile than white skin, dark skin is not immune to the inclemency of the sun or any external aggression. It is quite resistant, but there is a breaking point very close to any other dermis, according to Dr. Eva de Abreu. This expert takes us by the hand to get to know better those cinnamon and ebony skins that abound in the tropics to realize that they need as much care as the certainly more vulnerable light skin:

• “Dark skin has a greater number of cell layers and a significantly higher percentage of lipids than white epidermis. As a result, people of color seem to have more compact skin. This characteristic causes a kind of barrier to be produced that causes less percutaneous absorption and a blockage to cosmetic products.

• By producing more sebaceous secretion, they are particularly sensitive to greasy products that can induce the appearance of acne. However, this helps them to have a lower tendency to age.

• Dark skin contains a greater number of sweat glands, which translates into greater transepidermal water loss and, therefore, greater dehydration. This dehydration gives way to flaking that gives the typical whitish color to the surface and dulls its shine. Black skin is 2,5 times more prone to flaking than fair skin and is also more prone to keloids (raised scars) when deeply wounded.

• Dark skin contains higher levels of melanin (the pigment that gives the human dermis its color) compared to other skin types. This amount of pigment varies drastically from one person to another, but there are special characteristics that require specific knowledge and treatment, because the nature of melanin is reactive and unstable. 

THE STAINS

According to De Abreu, the colored epidermis is more prone to the development of dark spots. This is why many of the most effective blemish treatments, such as certain lasers, cannot be used on dark skin. Acne and scars in general can produce more noticeable blemishes than other skin tones. 

TREATMENTS

Facial Cleansing: with non-greasy or slightly astringent products that compensate for the increased sebaceous secretion of this skin.

Scrubs: They should be gentle and soothing, with extracts of aloe vera and chamomile.

Hydration: The most suitable moisturizing cosmetics for dark skin are the light, low occlusive formulas made with non-comedogenic ingredients (which can cause or promote pimples, blackheads, blackheads or skin hyperpigmentation. Finally, Dr. de Abreu lets a clamorous wake-up call: "Making people aware of the correct care of dark skin is of great importance to promote skin health and avoid diseases, blemishes or skin cancer" 

GREATER HYDRATION

In dark skin, the horny layer is not thicker but it is more dense. The barrier function is less effective than in fair skin and black skin is easily dehydrated with high transepidermal water loss. It flakes and has a grayish appearance, especially in cold climates. Indeed, it does not tolerate cold well and, in a temperate climate, as it perspires little, its natural hydration system is deregulated. The skin on the body is often very dry, even rough, with a “crocodile skin” appearance, particularly on the legs. Therefore, it is necessary to permanently hydrate the epidermis and nourish dry areas. Skin dryness on the face treated with unsuitable products can cause hyperseborrhea and shine on the skin, which is why non-comedogenic moisturizing products are necessary. In turn, the hair and scalp are also often very dry, which leads to the use of oily hair treatments that can promote the appearance of acne on the edge of the scalp or aggravate it. Too frequent cleaning with aggressive hygiene products should be avoided, as well as repeated treatments, since they alter the hydrolipidic film and accentuate skin dryness and irritation of a skin that is already damaged by reduced humidity, cold and rubbing of clothing. . 

NOTE: Dark-skinned people are more prone to discolorations, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and melasma.   

 

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