People with skin of color will soon make up the majority of the United States. This will have a significant impact on the practice of professional skin care. Generally, lighter shades of skin have been the dominant skin type in the United States. This is the skin type that the majority of skin care treatments are currently based on. However, these traditional facial, body, and skin care treatments often fail to meet the needs of your clientele who has dramatically changed over the last decade. Darker skin responds differently to chemical and manual therapies than lighter skin. Aestheticians must understand these differences. Inappropriate treatments or products are a recipe for skin disaster; therefore, it is imperative for the skin care professional to understand the physiology, anatomy, and histology relating to all skins of color.
Variations in Skin Color
Look at the rainbow of skin colors that make up the millions of skin types and where they originate. There is enormous variability in skin pigmentation, especially among distinct racial and ethnic groups, making it difficult to define skin types simply by ethnicity, race or culture. Individuals with darker skin comprise a wide range of racial and ethnic groups, including Africans, African American, African Caribbean, Japanese, Chinese, Asians, Latinos, Indians, Jewish and Pakistanis, to name a few. In the last several years, demographics shifted with respect to the predominate Caucasian skin types treated and are juxtaposed with like-kinds that can appear light, only to have genetic ties to infinite blends of many racial combinations.
Many of our clients are from multicultural backgrounds, so it is important to conduct a client interview along with Fitzpatrick’s traditional classification before you begin treatment. After determining skin type, all aestheticians must understand what is appropriate and inappropriate concerning skin treatments and products for all ethnic types.
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