So what are the rules of thumb for darker skin types? Below we will break down some of the basics for you and your clients.
Darker Skin Types Are Prone To Certain Skin Conditions
- Moles & Other Skin Color Changes: Similarly to fair-skinned individuals being prone to freckles, darker skin types are prone to moles or dermatosis papulosa nigra, which are small, dark, or skin colored bumps typically found on the face and neck.
- Ashiness: We all get dry skin once in a while. But for those with darker skin types, it is more easily seen. Luckily, this is an easy fix with a good moisturizer with ingredients like cocoa butter-based or coconut, for example.
- Keloid Scars & Hypertrophic Scars: Darker skin-toned people, in particular African Americans and Asians, are prone to scarring due to the fact that their pigmentation cells differ from other skin types. In addition, these cells are also larger and located in different areas, which allows them to be more reactive and susceptible to various kinds of discolorations. Specifically in Asians and African Americans, the fibroblast cells and collagen are also more reactive and disobedient than in fairer-skinned individuals, paving the way for a higher incidence of raised scars.
Any Kind Of Trauma To The Skin Can Cause Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Chemical Peels, Dermalplaning, Microneedling, And Microdermabrasion Can Help With Dark Spots
When it comes to chemical peels and darker skin specifically, if your clients are prone to hyperpigmentation, you may want to start (and stay) with a light peel to err on the side of caution.
Daily Sunscreen Use Is Vital
If your clients with darker skin tones are not wearing daily sunscreen, you may want to nudge them to do so. There are a variety of options available and ones specifically for dark skin tones that blend seamlessly rather than leaving a white cast. Suggest a sunscreen with at least a SPF 30 that offers full spectrum UV protection for both UVA and UVB rays.
Approach Laser Hair Removal With Caution
The most important part of removing hair with a laser for darker skin types is to do a test patch—especially since people’s reactions to lasers can vary greatly. The reaction (or lack thereof) will dictate if the settings need to be adjusted one way or another. Regardless, laser hair removal should be approached with caution and on a case-by-case basis for individuals with melanin-rich skin.