If you’re part of the melanin club, you’ve been blessed with a rich, beautiful dark complexion. While having darker skin comes with challenges, there’s plenty to be proud of and thankful for. Unfortunately, the world of skincare and beauty isn’t always made for people of color. Not all procedures are created equally and doing them on dark skin can actually cause damage. That’s why we’re here to break down the do’s - and don’ts - of skincare and melanin.
Melanin is a natural skin pigment that’s also responsible for hair and eye color. Everyone has melanin, and everyone has the same number of melanocytes - the skin cells that make melanin. The amount of melanin that your melanocytes produce affects how dark your skin is. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin will be. There are also different types of melanin:
Genes are the biggest factor in melanin production, so your parents will have a lot to do with how your skin looks. As we age, we develop a skin routine that compliments our skin. But what should you do if you have more melanin and want to get other procedures done? IPL? Laser Hair Removal? Chemical Peels?
Here's a breakdown.
Treatments to Avoid
Generally speaking, anything with lasers on darker skin is a bad idea. Lasers burn the skin, and darker skin has a lot of pigment, so burning dark pigment can result in post-inflammatory pigmentation, causing the skin to either be darker or lighter than when you started the treatment. People with darker skin should avoid Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments, 1540 Wavelength, laser hair removal, and C02 (MORE?). Not all lasers are created equally - so talk to your provider to understand which solutions are best for you.
Luckily, there are medspa options that people of color CAN use. Microdermabrasion, (some) chemical peels, dermaplaning, and microneedling are all safe and effective at treating acne, pigment issues, and scarring. These methods aren’t as intense, and will take multiple sessions overtime, but when it comes to skincare, slow and steady wins the race. If you’re looking to tighten or contour, surgical procedures are a great way to get immediate results without compromising your complexion. A mini facelift, brow lift, or a neck lift can make a huge difference.
Of course, if none of these are options for you, a great skincare routine can go a long way. Our TransformRX products are medical-grade skincare created without extra or unnecessary ingredients. Darker skin tones can still get sun damage, so applying sunscreen is a good idea. Retinol, like our Night Resurfacing Retinol, can help exfoliate and brighten skin - improving skin’s texture and tone irregularities.
Whatever your skin solution looks like, make sure you talk to a provider on which treatments are best for your skin type and complexion. At PryorHealth, our aestheticians require consultations before your appointment to ensure the best treatment - to help your skin look its best! Schedule an appointment with our medspa to see which treatments are right for you, or schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons for a more dramatic result. Visit pryorhealth.com to learn more.
If you’re looking to take years off your appearance or regain that shapely fit physique, connect with one of our patient care specialists to learn more about our full range of surgical, medspa and wellness services.
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