We’ve all heard the old adage, “black don’t crack” referring to the exceptional way that women of color age. Yes to all of that! Melanin is beautiful and melanin is protective from sun damage (and therefore from the aging effects of UV radiation). That’s all good, but that’s not the whole story. While Black women and people of color, in general, tend to age well, we do start to look older and see changes in our skin, it just ages differently than that of our fair-skinned friends. So…if we don’t get as much sun damage, as many fine lines and wrinkles, and thin and crepey skin as early, then what does happen to our skin? More importantly, how do we prevent and correct it?!?! Here are some common skincare treatments for women of color.
Common Skincare Treatments for Women of Color
This is one of the most common complaints that I hear from people of color – it’s usually either “tired eyes” or “undereye circles” or “dark circles”. People think it’s because they haven’t been getting enough sleep or because they’re not drinking enough water. Here’s a tip – it’s none of the above. Drink all the water and get all the rest just because it’s good for you, but it won’t fix your undereyes.
What can we do?
- Fillers – when it’s a volume thing, like the under eyes are hollowed out, then fill them back up with a hyaluronic filler like Restylane. It’s natural-looking, soft and an impactful way to rejuvenate the eye area.
- Thermi Smooth Face – this is a non-invasive way to tighten skin. Sometimes your eyes look a little sad or tired just because the skin is a little sad/tired looking and we need to add some pep (i.e. new collagen and elastin). We create that with thermi! It helps with the lower and upper eyelids too.
- Eye Creams (for maintenance and early prevention) – Total Eye will be your best friend. Now in different shades for all skin colors.
Jowls, Nasolabial Folds, Heavy Smile Lines
Women (and men) of color often say “I feel like everything is falling.” Well, this is true. It’s true of everyone as we get older. All the tissue moves down and in, i.e. away from the upper and outer portions of the face. Everything starts to look like it’s sagging. Best advice: start early!
What can we do?
- Fillers – if you’re just starting to feel a little heavy/droopy in the cheeks/mid-face or see a hint of a smile line/fold, then we can just fill it. We all lose volume over time, so fillers replace it and keep lines and light folds at bay.
- Ultherapy – This is a long-lasting natural way to stimulate your skin to lift and tighten. It’s an ultrasound energy-based treatment that goes deep to stimulate the supportive tissues of the skin and create new collagen to lift.
- Instalift – as you might imagine, this is an instant lift! For heavier folds, heavier jowls, you’ll need some extra oomph to your treatment. These are threads that go beneath the skin and actually lift the folds.
As we get older, we collect more discoloration and freckles. Although our melanin gives us some protection for the sun, over the years, it all adds up…especially if we aren’t careful to use sunscreen and sun protection. Often I see patterns of blotchy pigmentation on the forehead, cheeks or around the mouth. Again, this gets worse over time.
What can we do?
- Chemical Peels
- Skincare products for brightening
Frown Lines, Forehead Lines, All the Lines
As we get older, we’ve had more years of frowning, squinting, raising our brows, etc. We give those muscles quite a workout and we develop a little muscle definition. But wait. That’s not a good thing on our faces. You start to see creases where you frown in between your eyes, or on your forehead, or around your eyes – when you’re NOT making that face! So yes, skincare treatments for women of color (and men) include Botox and Dysport too!
What can we do?
- Botox and Dysport – these are the two brands of toxins that we use at Steele Dermatology. They are safe and look BEAUTIFUL when done properly! There are safe for all skin types and all ages (20’s and up mostly). Don’t worry, you won’t look frozen or weird, just smooth and happy 🙂
Texture Changes – Large Pores, Uneven Skin Tone and Texture
- Lasers – Laser Skin Toning Laser Genesis tightens, smooths and evens out skin over several treatments. There’s no downtime and it’s safe for all skin types. It’s your lunchtime laser to make and keep your skin youthful and smooth.
- Microneedling – this is a tad more aggressive and more invasive, but you’ll see the results. For advanced skin texture or color issues, microneedling will give you the results you want. The tiny needles create tiny injuries in the skin that jumpstart your body to make new collagen.
- Hydrafacial – Everyone needs hydrafacials in their life! It’s like part microdermabrasion, part chemical peel and part traditional facial.
Of course, you may have some stubborn areas of fat that you dislike at any age, but they may get to be even more stubborn as you get older. We can treat almost any area of fat anywhere on the body with CoolSculpting or Liposuction. These procedures aren’t weight loss tools though! They are for areas of fat like the abdomen, muffin top, bra fat, back fat, thighs, etc.
What can we do?
- CoolSculpting – CoolSculpting is a non-invasive, safe, and effective way to get rid of fat cells by freezing them. It’s really quite simple and based on solid science that fat cells are uniquely sensitive to cold and will die if exposed to the right temperatures for the right amount of time. All while the rest of your tissues are completely protected.
- Precision Liposuction – Precision Liposuction is a minimally invasive way to suck out unwanted fat cells. You are awake but sedated during the procedure, so you avoid any potential complications from going under general anesthesia. You have an easier and more comfortable recovery than that of liposuction under general anesthesia.
Visiting the dermatologist can be intimidating for many women, but it’s important for everyone regardless of skin color. Although dark skin has high levels of sun protection from melanin, it does not make us immune to the effects of the sun. If you are interested in learning more about skincare treatments for women of color, Steele Dermatology has the experience and knowledge in treating deeper skin tones to help you look and feel your best. Request a consultation and see how we can help you meet your appearance goals!