Honey, olive, bronze, tan, caramel…These adjectives are often used to describe the rich and vibrant colors of Hispanic skin. And while Hispanic skin is naturally more resistant to sun damage and less likely to experience premature aging than lighter skin, it comes with its own challenges.
Common Hispanic Skincare Concerns
If you are a woman of Hispanic descent, you may not have to worry as much about a severe burn while soaking up the sunshine, but that does not mean you are immune to UV damage. While the more concentrated melanin in your skin offers some protection — and the darker your skin, the more natural protection you have — you still need to wear sunblock.
Hispanic women are also particularly at risk for developing brown patches on their faces, a condition called melasma, which can be triggered by sun exposure. The following describes the process of melasma:
• UV rays stimulate the body’s melanocytes, the color-making cells in the skin, resulting in larger brown patches.
• Hormone changes can also cause melasma to appear, particularly during pregnancy.
• Patches usually appear on the cheeks, forehead, chin and the area above the lip and bridge of the nose.
Additionally, Hispanic skin tends to be oily and while that oil can help keep skin stave off signs of aging, it can also lead to breakouts. Hispanics, particularly those with darker skin, are at risk for developing dark spots as a pimple or breakout heals, known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). These spots can last for months, or even years, and may worsen with sun exposure.
Skincare “Musts” for Hispanic Skin
• Cleanse Twice a Day. To help prevent breakouts, it is important to wash your face in the morning and the evening. A cleanser containing salicylic acid will exfoliate the skin’s surface and help keep pores clear.
• Moisturize with an SPF. Use an oil-free moisturizer with glycerin and an SPF of at least 15 every morning. It will hydrate skin while helping to protect it from sun damage, even on cloudy and rainy days.
• Prioritize Key Ingredients. In the evening, hydrate with a non-comedogenic moisturizer, meaning it won’t clog pores. Skin naturally repairs itself at night so be diligent about applying a moisturizer with Niacinamide and retinol to speed skin surface cell turnover.
Understanding the true nature of your skin type and those common concerns can help you care for your skin properly and feel your best beautiful.