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The Anti-Aging Challenges of Different Skin Colors – and Their Solutions – Part 1

black woman washing faceOn her recent appearance on the CBS TV show “The Talk,” Dr. Tess discussed the anti-aging challenges of different skin colors and the products that can make each skin type younger-looking and as beautiful as possible.

Her advice from the TV show is being shared here in a two-part series. Part 1 looks at brown, medium, and olive skin colors.

Browner skin is more prone to irritation, dry skin, and scarring. African Americans tend to develop thick scars called keloids sometimes from as little trauma as acne on the chest and it can be very difficult to treat.

Dark skin can really benefit with regular exfoliation to avoid ashy and dry cracking skin.

I recommend using a body scrub (you can make your own at home) in the shower and immediately apply moisturizers afterwards to keep skin from drying. Exfoliate your skin to reveal a layer of fresh, smooth skin.

Put a few tablespoons of coarse sea salt in a bowl, and add enough orange juice to make a paste. Apply to skin by rubbing gently in a circular motion. Rinse with cool water to tighten pores.

Moisturize with shea butter to complete the process.


Find and use a non-hydroquinone skin lightening and brightening product on a regular basis to even the skin tone and reveal glowing skin.  People with medium skin should not use products with hyrdoquinone because it will make their skin color uneven.

Most of the signs of aging that happen with medium skin involve discoloration, blotchy uneven pigmentation so if you start early you may be able to help prevent this from happening.

People with medium skin and some Latinos are prone to getting a very challenging condition called melasma where there is gradual darkening of the skin usually in a map-like fashion on the cheeks, and can involve the upper lip and even look like a mustache.  This tends to occur during pregnancy and, for some, remains for the rest of their lives. It can be a very difficult condition to treat.

Use glycolic acid cleanser and use products with vitamin C to constantly exfoliate, deep clean pores and minimize oiliness.  This will help prevent breakouts and minimize the discoloration from acne before they even happen!

Because of the extra oiliness, olive skin tends to also break out more – some women are breaking out all the way to menopause.  And because olive skin has a strong tendency to create pigmentation, acne is not only a bigger problem but worse yet, once the pimples are gone, we are left with dark scars that can last a long time.

Part 2 – Light and Fair Skin Colors

Help for Dark Patches on the Face

If you suffer from dark patches on your face, you are not alone. Women who notice brown or gray-brown patches on the face, especially the cheeks, upper lip, nose, forehead or chin may have a medical condition known as melasma. Millions of women suffer from this skin condition and many of them feel embarrassed and unattractive because of its effects.

Melasma is a natural darkening of the skin caused by an excessive production of melanin, the pigment in your skin that causes you to tan. Experts believe that the discoloration is caused by changes in a woman’s hormones. This can often coincide with: the use of birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy or the third trimester of pregnancy (sometimes called “pregnancy mask”). Melasma typically occurs only on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, which is why the face is the main target. Severity of the condition can vary.


Because this is a condition based on hormone levels, those with melasma may find that it clears up on its own, over time, with no treatment necessary. But, if you have found that your skin is not clearing up quickly, as you would like, or that your quality of life is negatively being affected by your melasma, please visit us at the dermatology clinic for a solution. With a consultation we can determine if a prescription for Tri-Luma® Cream is the answer. Those who’ve used the product notice a difference in 4 weeks and typically the maximum effect is achieved in just 8 weeks of a once daily treatment.