[By Cynthia Roland]
When it comes to skincare, it’s never a “one for all” formula although the basic trio of “cleanse, tone & moisturise” remained largely unchanged. If you come from an ethnic group of naturally dark or tanned skin, you do have special needs that you should take heed. Here are 5 useful skincare tips scoured and verified, to help bring out the best of your glistening complexion this spring!
Say yes to sunscreen
Seriously, don’t belittle this! Just because you’ve a darker skin tone doesn’t mean harmful UV rays can’t get to you. Having more melanin gives you added advantage when it comes to how your skin handle sun exposure and how soon the damage become visible, but it certainly doesn’t mean damage from unprotected sun exposure isn’t happening. Even though it takes longer and more intense sun exposure for visible damage to occur on darker skin, UV damage is always greater on skin that’s chronically exposed to sun than skin that’s properly protected with a broad spectrum sunscreen. If you’re afraid of leaving undesirable opaque white streaks on your tanned complexion, instead of a physical blocker, opt for a chemical variant such as the Sloane Inc. Ultralite Clear Finish Sunscreen SPF50. With a super lightweight non-comedogenic formula that doesn’t clog pores, this soleil protector forms a breathable shield to safeguard you from both burn-causing UVB beams and wrinkle-inducing UVA rays with a multi-filter chemical sunscreen complex. In addition, natural botanicals and potent plant-extracts provide extra perks to help smoothen and brighten skin, giving your dark complexion a desirable sun-kissed glow along with excellent sun protection.
For dark skinned beauties, regular skin exfoliation is an extremely important skincare ritual to improve on your skin texture and tone. Microdermabrasion is a highly effective physical method of exfoliation that propels a fine stream of inert microscopic crystals against the skin to gently exfoliate the epidermal layer and promote a thicker healthier dermis while smoothing and refreshing the skin. The use of a vacuum within the system helps to increase circulation in the area, thus smoothly removes dead skin, promotes healthy cell turnover, and stimulates the creation of collagen. This affordable, pain-free procedure immediately leaves the skin clearer and brighter, with no complicated special post treatment care to take note of nor any significant downtime that will hinder your daily routine.
Concealers vs correctors
Correctors are different from concealers, because instead of “concealing” the problem area like what a concealer does, they neutralize the area. For darker skinned ladies, it is often better to correct than to conceal. You want to be able to neutralize a color before adding another color on top of it. For example, if you have dark under eye circles, concealing a color on top of another will make you look cakey and enhance the flaw. Look out for colour correcting options when putting together your makeup kit. Neutralizing colors such as oranges and bisques will serve you well in counteracting the dark undertone of your skin to let your natural beauty shine through.
Hands off acne
No one should be squeezing or picking on pimples, more so if you’ve a naturally dark skin tone. Pigmented skin is known to be more prone to nasty looking dark marks otherwise known as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH. PIH respond remarkably well to chemical peeling with alpha and beta hydroxy acids used to slough off stubborn dead cells, thereby reducing bumpiness of the skin and tackles the uneven discoloration. There can be mild flaking of the skin for a few days post-treatment but it’s nary noticeable and definitely worth the trade off for skin looking brighter and smoother after 4 to 6 sessions done at monthly interval. Contrary to popular belief, there are several lasers which may be suitable for blemishes in darker skinned individuals with sub-optimal response to lightening creams and peels. This range from simple Pigment Lasers to lighten superficial blemishes to deeper Fraxel Restore Laser treatment for addressing stubborn marks and even puckered scars left behind by previously inflammed acne.
Beware of ingrown hair
An ingrown hair is a benign skin condition that happens when the sharp tip of the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin of the hair follicle, appearing as a small tan bump under the skin.People with darker skin tones are worse affected possibly because their hair is often more coarse and curly. If you happened to fall into this category, you would’ve faced this annoying condition at least once or should be keeping your eyes open so that you can deal with them in the proper way. Not removing hair is one foolproof way but when this isn’t an option, you can opt for hair removal methods that lessen the risk of developing ingrown hairs. Laser Hair Removal is a great long term investment that is by far the most effective and safest way of getting rid of unsightly body hair, avoiding and tackling ingrown at the same time.
“There are different FDA approved laser technologies that can be used for hair removal in both lighter and darker skinned individuals,” explained Dr Jinly Wong, medical consultant from The Sloane Clinic “The number of sessions you require for best results will depend on the density, thickness and color of your hair but on the average, 4 to 6 treatments done regularly at approximately 4 to 8 weeks’ intervals will give appreciable answers to your hairy woes.”
* Selected as Editor’s Choice Mar 2016*