Each of us is born with unique, beautiful skin from generations of family that have come before us, and our skin carries distinctive traits based on our heritage and ethnicity. For those who have Hispanic or Latino ancestry, there may be a wide array of glowing complexions in the family tree.
If you are lucky, you may already be experiencing the benefits of a skin type that is less likely to show a sunburn or signs of premature aging, which is in fact common among both Latina and Hispanic complexions! Yet, it’s important to consider how to best care for your specific skin; each skin type requires tailored skin care routines and protections to keep it looking as healthy and radiant as can be.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is an expert when it comes to the skincare needs of her Latina and Hispanic patients, as well as in treating any and all patients with darker or olive skin tones. Because both the Latino and greater global Hispanic population is multi-cultural and diverse, special care of the skin is necessary both in terms of the products used and treatments performed. Contact the office today to learn how Dr. Green, in her private NYC boutique office, can help you create a unique skin care routine that perfectly caters to your skin type.
Hispanic and Latino Skin Types
Latina and Hispanic celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara have developed a reputation for having absolutely flawless skin. Whether their youthful glow is shining on social media or on the red carpet, it has led many to wonder if Latina and Hispanic skin types are less likely to develop signs of aging. It turns out this may in fact be all-natural Latina beauty! A recent study with the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that those with Latinx or Hispanic heritage tend to have less muscle movement around the eyes and along the forehead than those of other backgrounds, which can in fact lead to fewer fine lines and dynamic wrinkles over time.
However, regardless of your background, melanin concentration, or oil balance, your daily habits and skin care routine will always inform the aging process the most out of any possible factors. Plus, your specific genetics play a large part in determining how your skin will age–it’s always useful to look to your mother or father as a predictor for how your skin might age over time.
Skincare for Hispanic and Latina Skin Types
In general, Latina and Hispanic skin types, particularly medium and darker skin tones, have enough concentration of melanin in the skin to act as a barrier against intense sunburn or UV damage. The melanin concentration that many Latina skin types have is the equivalent of about 3 or 4 SPF, far greater than those with paler skin tones. However, this does not mean that patients with darker skin color are immune to the harsh and damaging effects of the sun!
In a recent interview with Parents Latina Magazine, Dr. Green encouraged patients to find the best sunscreen for them: “Finding a sunscreen you’ll actually use is the absolute best thing you can do for your skin. Wearing it daily can help keep dark spots under control as well as stop any new ones from forming.” Daily sunscreen lotion–either as a lightweight formula or sunscreen built in to a daily moisturizer–is essential for every skin type in order to avoid sun damage, burns from prolonged sun exposure and, of course, risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is not only the most common cancer in the United States, but also often goes un-diagnosed. For those with medium or dark skin tones, this is often due to the misconception that those with more melanin concentration don’t need to be protected against the sun’s rays. According to a comparative in Miami-Dade county, FL, late-stage melanoma diagnosis is more common among both Hispanic and African American patients than patients with paler skin types. For any and all skin types, regular sunscreen use, as well as visits to the dermatologist, should be a regular part of a person’s health care routine in order to prevent the further development of any potentially cancerous cells.
Skin Treatments for Latina & Hispanic Skin Types
Treating Melasma & Hyperpigmentation
One of the most common problems in darker skin types is hyperpigmentation or Melasma. Melasma is an area of darkened skin cells due to a combination of sun exposure, hormones, and sensitive skin. These dark spots are a common example of hyperpigmentation. Even though the skin may have consistent, natural pigment, Hispanic women are more susceptible to dark spots or discoloration which can get accentuated by the sun, tanning, and IPL lasers, as well as topical treatments or misleading beauty products.
Chemical peels are one of the best treatments to restore your skin’s radiant, healthy glow by removing the top layer of skin and producing younger, fresher skin. Another common procedure that Dr. Green performs is microdermabrasion with oxygen facials to illuminate the skin and provide a refreshed complexion.
For melasma, Dr. Green utilizes Cosmelan and has had amazing success with reducing hyperpigmentation even in the most difficult cases. Cosmelan is a topical, medicated peel that Dr. Michele Green applies to a patient’s face in the office, and is then removed several hours later at home. The patient removes the peel with water and applies a tailored regimen of Cosmelan products to remove any brown spots in just two treatments.
Laser Hair Removal for Darker Skin Tones
Though new products and treatments are constantly being developed in the dermatology world to treat all skin types, laser hair removal on darker skin must be done with the proper lasers and with appropriate precautions. Dr. Green has all of the latest lasers specifically designed for laser hair removal on Mediterranean, Latina, and dark skin types. She is proficient in using the Gentle Yag laser, which removes hair painlessly within a few minutes and requires zero downtime. In Dr. Green’s private NYC office, you can have laser hair removal done quickly without any side effects or risk of hyperpigmentation.
Skin Tightening for Darker Skin
Patients with darker skin tones must be very cautious in selecting laser treatment for their skin. Many resurfacing lasers can cause hyperpigmentation and may not be appropriate for patients with darker skin tones. Thermage, for skin tightening, is the perfect laser for all skin tones, since the laser works through radiofrequency and is a “color blind” laser. This technology means that it is safe and effective for skin tightening for patients with all skin tones, including Hispanic and Latina skin.
Treatment for Dark Under-Eye Circles
Another common problem for those with Latina and Hispanic skin types is darker skin under the eyes, which can be especially pronounced in patients with a darker complexion. Dr. Michele Green is an expert in cosmetic facial injections. She utilizes Belotero and Restylane to conceal dark under-eye circles and fill this delicate tear trough area. The injections have an anti-aging effect, creating a youthful, brighter, and well-rested appearance.
Skin Care Products for Latina & Hispanic Skin Types
Dr. Green specializes in treating hyperpigmentation with a variety of skin care products, such as her MGSKINLab’s Vitamin Infusion, which contains a non-irritating Retinol formulation, her Vitamin C-packed Vita-C Serum, as well as topical hydroquinones that have a brightening effect on dark spots. Dr. Green will specially formulate a skin care routine based on the problem areas of your skin, and to avoid any additional issues such as overuse of certain topical agents that might further damage hyperpigmented skin cells. Special protocols, including strict sun avoidance, as well as any in-office or at home treatments, will be tailored for your skin to both reduce dark spots and rejuvenate skin.
Acne Treatments for Hispanic & Latina Skin
Acne scars are also a often problem with Latinx and Hispanic skin types, particularly for those patients who have oily skin. Acne breakouts and irritating pimples can cause skin discoloration as the irritated skin is more susceptible to scarring. Certain acne treatments, such as the Blue Light treatment, can help darker skin cells without irritating the skin like other drying, topical agents.
Dr. Michele Green utilizes the Blue Light to “zap those zits” away in a matter of minutes. The Blue Light kills the bacteria without the need for oral antibiotics. Dr. Michele Green warns that most traditional lasers cannot be used on darker skin colors. For those with more concentrated melanin in their skin, Dr. Green recommends either microneedling or eMatrix to treat acne scars. Both of these procedures have little down time and are “color blind”, meaning they can be used safely on all skin types, including Latinx and African American skin types. Several treatments, scheduled at monthly intervals, will heal these acne scars and treat any discoloration, marks, and scars effectively.
In order to prevent any new breakouts or pimples from forming, Dr. Green offers in-office acne hydrafacials, which start with a skin surface cleansing, followed by a mild glycolic acid treatment designed to exfoliate the skin and vortex technology to extract the impurities in the skin. This allows Dr. Green to extract any active pimples, and a purifying, soothing face mask is applied. Dr. Green also offers oxygen facials which creates a natural cleansing and moisturizing process designed to refresh the skin. Dr. Green has also designed an innovative, 3-step MGSkinLabs at-home acne treatment that helps to reduce acne for a wide variety of skin types and skin tones. It features a pore minimizing cleanser, exfoliating glycolic and salicylic acid pads, and acne spot treatment.
Dr. Michele Green is an expert in treating Latina & Hispanic skin, and brings this knowledge to treat her NYC patients as well as her international ones in her private office. For more information on these procedures, please contact Dr. Michele Green at 212-535-3088 or contact us online today.