Rich complexion is characterized by a higher level of melanin but the skin of all races is somewhat the same. Due to high melanin composition, melanin-rich skin requires more care and specific products to maintain healthy and great looking skin. This is because skin of color is more predisposed to hyperpigmentation, sensitivity, aging, and more oil production. More melanin is an advantage because it protects us from UV rays. On the other hand, however, a rich complexion predisposes us to more skin reactions and inflammation. We are more sensitive to UV and also to some ingredients in skincare products. Therefore, it’s important to put some time in our daily skin care routine because we live by busy lives, an spend a lot of time outdoors exposed to the sun and other environmental conditions.
To prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, people should avoid using bleaching creams, retinoids creams, or chemical peels (EVANS, 2018). Beautiful, marvelous, gorgeous, glowing, stunning, magnificent…. The list is endless of how we would want our complexion to be described. This does not happen naturally; we have to continually take care of our skin for it be healthy and feel great. The rich glow in skin of color is difficult to maintain because of hyperpigmentation. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be due to burning, acne, cuts, dyschromia, or mostly UV light, either natural or artificial sources. To protect our skin from harmful UV rays, one should:
1. Minimize excessive sun rays.
2. Avoid using the tanning bed and booths. Remember, spending 20 minutes tanning booth is equivalent to 2 to 3 hours in the midday sun.
3. Wearing photoprotective clothing such as long sleeves, sunglasses and hats with wide brims when possible.
We age differently and melanin skin is very unique. There are advantages and challenges. Therefore, to avoid hyperpigmentation and keep the attractiveness of our NON hyperpigmented skin, the daily use of sunscreen can keep it looking that way. It is good to remember the 4W of sunscreen:
- WHO: To sun exposed people.
- WHAT: Broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 for indoors and SPF 30 or higher outdoors
- WHEN: Reapply every 2 hours and every day
- WHERE: To all exposed skin
- WHY: Protect skin from UV rays. This avoids incidences of hyperpigmentation, freckles, acne and increases radiance of skin of color
Sun exposure is one of the top culprits for hyperpigmentation. UV exposure can trigger the uneven distribution of melanin in the skin. The greater concentration of melanin in individuals with Rich Complexions is very responsive to sunlight, making these skin tones more susceptible to discoloration.
EVANS, J. (2018). Pigmentary Disorder Tx Tips for East Asian Skin. Skin & Allergy News, 39(7), 42-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0037-6337(08)70490-x
Tidy, N. (2015). Keeping skin safe from the harmful effects of uv rays. Primary Health Care, 13(6), 32-34. https://doi.org/10.7748/phc2003.07.13.6.32.c441
Uzogara, E. (2017). Dark and sick, light and healthy: black women’s complexion-based health disparities. Ethnicity & Health, 24(2), 125-146. https://doi.org/10.1080/13557858.2017.1315376