Skin of Color vs Caucasian Skin
Melanocytes are packets of cells that contain the pigment called melanin. With skin of color, these melanocytes are huge, whereas with caucasian skin, they are tiny. That is why with skin of color, these melanocytes get triggered so easily due to its large size while caucasian skin melanocytes are not prone to pigmentation. And that is the main difference between a caucasian skin and brown/asian/dark skin tones.
How Pigmentation Happens
Melanocytes are the packets of cells that have the pigment melanin. The next layer of cells above the melanocytes is called Keratinocyte which are the skin cells. Melanin enters the Keratinocyte cells and reaches the surface of your skin where the pigment becomes visible on the skin. The amount of time it takes for melanin pigment to reach the surface of the epidermis (top layer of the skin) through the Keratinocytes is about 30 days.
This entire layer is just 0.5mm to 1mm thick. That is why when you peel the skin, you see immediate temporary results because what you basically did with using a chemical peel is that you took away all the keratinocyte skin cells which had melanin in them. And suddenly your skin looks brighter.
That’s temporary brightness because the melanocytes are going to trigger the melanin production again and reach the surface of your skin 30 days later. You have not yet fixed the melanocytes by reducing the rate of melanin production in the melanocyte packets, the pigmentation is going to come back again in 30 days. All you did was clear the top layer of the skin, without really treating the root cause.
How to reduce Melanin Production
Tyrosine -> L-DOPA -> Melanin
In order to control the rate of Melanin production from Tyrosine, we need Tyrosinase Inhibitors that reduce the rate of melanin production.
Why Pigmentation Happens
Pigmentation can happen due to internal or external factors like:
- Hormonal Pigmentation (puberty or pregnancy)
- UV Damage
When any of the above happens, inflammation happens. The inflammation in the skin triggers melanocytes which start to produce too much pigment (melanin).
Cause of Melasma
The cause of melasma is UV Damage. When your skin experiences chronic UV radiation on the skin, it leaves free radicals on the skin which trigger the melanocyte.
Even if the UV radiation does not lead to development of free radicals on the skin, the skin will still experience inflammation due to the sun radiation which again triggers your melanocyte packets.
Increase in enzymes damages the base membrane in our skin which leads to Dermal Pigmentation. It is the worst form of Pigmentation that is extremely difficult to fix. Sunscreen is extremely important.
Best Actives for Pigmentation with Dark Skin
The key to finding the right active ingredients for treating Hyperpigmentation in skin of color is to pick an ingredient that is the most effective with the least irritation.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Azelaic Acid
- Octadecanoic Acid
- Phytic Acid
- Ferulic Acid
- Licorice Extract
- Mulberry Extract
- Kojic Dipalmatate (instead of Kojic Acid which can be irritating for skin of color)
The Skin Care Routine for Hyperpigmentation in Dark Skin
Cleanse with Simple Micellar Facial Gel Wash ($10 | 150ml)
Recommended By: Dr. Vanita Rattan
Cosrx Foaming Cleanser ($10 | 150ml)
Use Simple Micellar Gel Wash first and then Cosrx Foaming Cleanser for your double cleanse.
Recommended By: Dr. Vanita Rattan
The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA ($11 | 30ml)
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($8 | 30ml)
The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate ($12 | 30ml)
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid
Moisturize using Cetraben Cream ($17 | 500g)
CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 ($12 | 75ml)
Common Mistakes While Treating Hyperpigmentation in Dark/Brown Skin
Glycolic Acid Peel
Glycolic Acid peels are the most standard treatment however the glycolic acid contains extremely tiny molecules that go right into the deep layers of skin and create hot spots or burn in the areas that they hit. With dark skin types, this could lead to inflammation and eventually more hyperpigmentation.
These should never be done on asian/brown/dark skin. This can lead to severe pigmentation.
Laser Treatments involve an energy beam that hits the skin in the form of light. This energy heats up the water in the cell, and the cell will either repair itself or be damaged.
A visible light, an infrared light or UV rays - any form of energy to the skin of color can trigger our melanocytes.
This is a very powerful Tyrosinase Inhibitor. As we mentioned earlier, we need tyrosinase inhibitors to reduce the rate at which our melanocytes produce the pigment melanin. When you use Hydroquinone, you get amazing results because you completely block your melanocytes by using this.
The problem is that the pressure built by controlling the Melanocytes is too irritating for skin of color. You can only use Hydroquinone for as long as 3 months because if you use more than that, it is going to damage your skin anyway. Once you come out of Hydroquinone use, you have already angered your melanocytes with all that pressure, which is when a rebound pigmentation occurs which is worse than what you started with. Hydroquinone is too aggressive for skin of color. Avoid it by all means.
Table of contents
Always cleanse your skin when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Exfoliate at least once a month with a gentle exfoliator. Use your active ingredients (Vitamin A & Vitamin C). Use a moisturizer. Use SPF 50 every 3 hours of the day.
Hydrafacial is a treatment that starts with cleansing your skin, exfoliating and then reintroducing peptides and hydration. It also includes microdermabrasion and suction It unclogs the pores and exfoliates your skin. The procedure is as follows:
Skin texture is the look and feel of your skin’s surface. A healthy skin texture is smooth, soft, hydrated with firm collagen (no pores) and has good skin elasticity. An uneven Skin Texture, on the other hand, will feel rough, dry and dull. The main reason for a textured skin is improper care of the
To shrink and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores that are clogged and congested, Use a cleanser twice a day. Use a topical Retinoid serum (Vitamin A). For Exfoliation, use a leave-on salicylic acid gel. Niacinamide improves the elasticity of the skin. Sit in a Steam room or get steam.
Mistakes Made when popping a pimple and how to safely pop a pimple/spot. Salicylic Acid: You can use this option if the pimple is just starting to form and you want to get rid of the pimple. Witch Hazel: You can use this option if the pimple is already formed and matured.
This article is aimed at helping you identify the type of acne scar or combination of acne scars that you may have on your face. Once you have identified the scar type, you will later come to know what dermatological treatment(s) are out there and what results you can expect. This article will also
Most of the skin care products you see are made for caucasian skin. The skin of color is prone to Hyperpigmentation and breakout much more when compared to caucasian skin. The skin of color differs from caucasian skin as asian/brown/dark skin tones have large melanocytes (cells that produce the pigm
The key to finding the right active ingredients for treating Hyperpigmentation in skin of color is to pick an ingredient that is the most effective with the least irritation. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Azelaic Acid, Octadecanoic Acid, Phytic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Licorice Extract
Hyaluronic acid (aka hyaluronan) is a clear gooey liquid. It’s job is to retain moisture and keep the tissues lubricated and moist. It can hold a 1000 times its own weight in moisture and water. With time, Hyaluronic Acid decreases in our skin and leads to aging and saggy skin. Learn how and when to
4 simple steps to getting rid of sebaceous filaments. Use a 2% Salicylic Acid cleanser or face wash regularly.Use a Retinoid (or Retinol which is less potent). They control the amount of sebum production. Use 1-2% Benzoyl Peroxide. It also controls the sebum levels and also minimizes the appearance
It can BURN your skin: The pH of Lemon Juice is extremely low compared to our skin. The AHA acid molecules in the lemon juice are very tiny and when applying on your skin, they fly through the skin and can burn your skin and lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
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Have you always wondered why your face and hands are much pigmented and darker than the rest of your body? Alpha Arbutin is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant tyrosinase inhibitor (controls melanin production) that is considered a safe and effective