Wondering Wednesday #6 – How does skin tone affect aging concerns?

The colour of your skin is about more than just colour — and it just may dictate how you age.

When you consider skin tone, the skin’s visible colour is what comes to mind first. We choose makeup shades using this information, and may also be a good indicator of the skin concerns we have, or will experience later in life. A patient’s skin tone is often considered by dermatologists when recommending office-based treatments since skin colour can help predict how a particular patient will respond — and whether you have a fair, medium, olive or dark skin tone might help predict how it will age.

It all comes down to melanin, which is the pigment that gives the skin its colour. Lighter skin tones have less melanin, and those with a dark skin tone have more. Since melanin provides a small degree of natural sun protection, those with darker skin often experience delayed signs of aging skin as compared to their lighter-skinned counterparts, but all skin tones are susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer caused by unprotected UV exposure. The Fitzpatrick scale was created by dermatologist Dr. Thomas B. Fitzpatrick in 1975, and it is still widely regarded as the primary method for classifying skin type by colour and its related features — and understanding the unique challenges and propensities of each of the six skin types.

Fitzpatrick skin type 1

  • Skin colour (before sun exposure): Ivory
  • Eye colour: Light blue, light gray or light green
  • Natural hair colour: Red or light blonde
  • Sun reaction: Skin always freckles, always burns and peels, and never tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 2

  • Skin colour (before sun exposure): Fair or pale
  • Eye colour: Blue, gray or green
  • Natural hair colour: Blonde
  • Sun reaction: Skin usually freckles, burns and peels often, and rarely tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 3

  • Skin colour (before sun exposure): Fair to beige with golden undertones
  • Eye colour: Hazel or light brown
  • Natural hair colour: Dark blonde or light brown
  • Sun reaction: Skin might freckle, burns on occasion, and sometimes tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 4

  • Skin colour (before sun exposure): Olive or light brown
  • Eye colour: Dark brown
  • Natural hair colour: Dark brown
  • Sun reaction: Skin generally doesn’t freckle, burns rarely, and tans often

Fitzpatrick skin type 5

  • Skin colour (before sun exposure): Dark brown
  • Eye colour: Dark brown to black
  • Natural hair colour: Dark brown to black
  • Sun reaction: Rarely freckles, almost never burns, and always tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 6

  • Skin colour (before sun exposure): Deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown
  • Eye colour: Brownish black
  • Natural hair colour: Black
  • Sun reaction: Never freckles, never burns, and always tans darkly

Fitzpatrick skin type tendencies beyond sun exposure

In Dr. Fitzpatrick’s work and based on research performed over the past four decades, dermatologists can now make general assumptions about the skin concerns and age-related changes each of the above skin types is most likely to experience.

Fitzpatrick skin types 1 and 2

Beyond being extremely sensitive to sunlight, these skin types’ biggest issue is skin redness. Generally found in those of English, Scottish and northern European descent, these skin types also experience a higher rate of collagen breakdown at an earlier age due to a lack of natural melanin-related sun protection. Discolouration can be an issue in these Fitzpatrick skin types since the skin produces pigment as a defense mechanism, but fine lines, wrinkles and redness are the primary aging skin concerns. The skincare goals: Reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier

Fitzpatrick skin types 3 and 4

Those of central and southern European, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Hispanic and some Asian descent most often fall into these skin types. Though prone to fine lines that usually appear later as compared to lighter skin tones, uneven skin tone (especially after acne heals) is often a primary concern. People with these Fitzpatrick skin types often think their skin tone provides more natural sun protection than it actually does.

The skincare goals: Replenish moisture to help support the extracellular matrix

Fitzpatrick skin types 5 and 6

These skin types are generally of Indian, African or Asian heritage and some people tend to believe their dark skin tone is not affected when exposed to the sun. These Fitzpatrick skin types tend to experience visible signs of aging much later than those with lighter skin (and more in the form of volume loss than fine lines and wrinkles). The skincare goals: Replenish moisture to help support the extracellular matrix

A note about melanin and sun protection

Yes, melanin does offer a degree of natural sun protection, but no, this doesn’t mean those with darker skin tones can skip the sunscreen. All skin types need daily sun protection not only to avoid sunburn, but to mitigate long-term sun-induced damage.

AgeWell  Skincare that promotes healthy aging for all skin tones is designed to support healthy aging. It features the ingredients all skin tones need to fight visible signs of time such as fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. Formulated with hydrating ingredients that help address increased dryness associated with age, plus bakuchiol, stabilized vitamin C and sustainable plant stem cell extract. These products work together to provide visibly significant results, and complement conscious lifestyle choices that benefit your overall wellbeing and help you age well.

The “star” is bakuchiol, and this plant-derived retinol alternative offers all of the benefits of this dermatologist-revered ingredient minus the side effects. Bakuchiol is a great option for Fitzpatrick skin types 1 and 2 because it delivers improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without extra redness or irritation. This ingredient is also ideal for Fitzpatrick skin types 3, 4, 5 and 6, because it offers visible improvement in the signs of aging without the harsh effects often associated with retinol.

This content is intended for educational purposes. Arbonne cosmetic products do not affect the structure or function of the body. Arbonne products do not cure, treat, prevent or mitigate any condition unless specifically stated on the product label.

If you would like to know more about AgeWell, or how you can order this amazing product (my choice taking care of my skin) I can be reached at eemaunleashed@gmail.com

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