Skin of colour

Skin Care Matters

with Michelle Vernon

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!

As our motto states “Out Of Many One People”, we are a nation filled with many ethnicities making us multiracial and a rainbow of skin colours.

Black skin has a wide range of colour variations, from a light coffee colour to a deep ebony black. Asian skin exhibits hues that range from light yellow to a dark, golden tan. Indian skin colours range from light to dark red-brown. White skin ranges greatly from milky alabaster white to dark olive skin tones.


Problems with skin of colour

Transepi­dermal water loss (TEWL) tends to be greater in skin of colour. Losing excessive moisture leads to a reduced ability for the skin to protect itself against topical offenders.

This impaired barrier function is thought to contribute to heightened sensitivity to topical stimulation, such as chemical peels. Skin of colour also tends to have larger oil glands, leading to more oil production and increased incidences of acne.

One of the most common skin conditions seen in skin of colour is post-inflammatory hyperpig­mentation (PIH). The common link to any pigmentation disorder is inflammation. This may occur from skin inflammation due to acne conditions, hormonal imbalances medication, cosmetics, inflammatory skin diseases, adverse reactions to chemicals and ingredients, and heat and laser treatments can also be sources of pigmentation disorders.


Three types of skin of color clients

1. Novice skin-of-color clients

New to skin care, the novice skin-of-color client has never had a skin care treatment before. To prep novice skin-of-colour clients for peels, a deep cleansing facial would be recommended plus a home-care regimen that includes the use of acid-based products for two to four weeks.


2. Experienced skin-of-color clients

This client has had skin care services in the past, such as enzyme or chemical peels, or microder­mabrasion treatments, but not on a consistent basis. I would recommend professional treatments on a biweekly or monthly basis, depending on the client's skin sensitivity.


3. Seasoned skin-of-colour clients

A regular skin care client, the seasoned skin-of-colour client has had a series of chemical peels, microder­mabrasion or laser treatments. They use acid-based products in their home-care regimen on a regular basis and has used prescriptive medications for skin care conditions.

This client is focused on correcting a current skin concern and committing to a skin care maintenance programme.

The following chemical peel methods are often safe for seasoned skin-of-colour clients.

• Buffered glycolic/​alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peel - series of three treatments;

• Medical-grade glycolic/AHA peel - series of two treatments; or

• Silk Peel - series of six treatments.

All treatments can be performed on a biweekly or monthly basis depending on the client's skin sensitivity.

In order to effectively treat and remedy the client's skin condition, knowing the skin type and where they fall on the Fitzpatrick scale is vital for optimum results.


Michelle Vernon is a licensed aesthetician who operates the Body Studio Skincare located at 20 Constant Spring Road, Mall Plaza, Kingston 10, and Fairview Shopping Centre, Montego Bay. She may be reached at telephone 908-0438 or 684-9800; IG @ bodystudioskincare; E-mail:; Website:






1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon