Cosmetics for Skin Care Eastpointe MI
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Natural Radiance—What Hue are You
By Lara Evans Bracciante
Walk down any Main Street and take note of the array of skin tones that make up this multihued world. Skin colors run the gamut from pale to golden to a deep, rich brown. According to the New York City-based Skin of Color Society, soon the majority of people in this country will have pigmented skin of some hue. Yet misconceptions abound about darker skin—what it needs and what it doesn’t to keep it glowing and healthy.
“Skin of color” refers to a mixed bag of ethnic heritage—African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Native American, Native Indian, and Pacific Islander. According to experts, only Celts and Scandinavians are purely “light-skinned.” The rest of us, more than likely, have genes from ancestors we maybe didn’t know we had, and that contribution means our skin may react in idiosyncratic ways to how it’s handled, to certain products, and to exposure to the environment.
Despite what we may assume about skin hue and sensitivity, light skin can in fact withstand stress much better than skin of a darker tone. The reason lies below the surface. Pigmented cells in brown skin are larger and more loosely packed, which means the skin is often sensitive and tends to overreact to certain stimuli. For example, darker skin is more likely to scar and get irritated. Long after a blemish or cut heals, a dark mark is likely to linger on the skin. Even doing the right thing—using a sunscreen—can result in an unforeseen response, like a blotchy, reddened complexion.
So, what to do about this mysterious and over-responsive skin? First understand that the reason some skin flourishes with certain products while yours goes into panic mode is traceable to the complexities of your ancestry. Even if your complexion is pale, it may harbor the quirkiness of your family tree—a great-great-grandmother from China, say, or from Sardinia or Haiti.
Second, celebrate the good news—skin of color is less susceptible to signs of aging. Fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots are not as likely, which means there’s an age-defying appearance to those with darker skin.
Third, adjust your approach. Because darker skin is more sensitive, you need to use a gentle touch and avoid products with irritating chemicals. Be wary of products with glycolic acid, and think twice about dermabrasion—both commonly used skin treatments can irritate some darker skins, not rejuvenate them. Instead, try herb- and vitamin-based products, which work with the body to bring health to skin naturally.
What’s your type?
First you need to assess your skin type. Is it dry, oily, or normal? While this may sound basic, skin of color can be tricky; dark skin may appear oily when it’s really just reflecting light. Also, skin type can change over the years, so you may not be dealing with the kind of skin you pampered effectively in decades past.
Dermatologist Fran Cook-Bolden, MD, coauthor of Beautiful Skin of Color (HarperCollins, 2004), recommends a simple test to check...
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