Everything You should Know about Black and Brown Skin

Everything You should Know about Black and Brown Skin

Human skin has a wide range of tones and colors, which can be seen in a wide range of demographic populations. It is an important factor to consider when it comes to skin care because different skin colors require different types of care in order to keep skin healthy and glowing. This article will explore the impact of skin color on skin care.

Note that though there are many factors that influence the color of people’s skin, the pigment melanin is by far the most important.

Let’s start at with some definitions shall we ?

What is the epidermis?
The epidermis is the superficial part of the skin. It is made up of a superposition of four cellular layers. Its basal part, the active agent of cell regeneration, is mainly made up of two types of cells, keratinocytes and melanocytes.

What are Melanocytes?
Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin, the primary determinant of skin color in people with darker skin.

What are Melanosomes?
Melanosomes are the organelles, small differentiated structures delimited by a membrane, within melanocytes that create, deposit, and transmit melanin pigment. 

What is the impact of skin color on skin structure? 

  1. Skin color affects the position of melanosomes within the epidermis and with it its structure. In darkly colored skin, they are concentrated and evenly distributed over the basal layer, whereas melanosomes break down more quickly in white skin.

  2. The optimal pH for melanin synthesis is 6.8, which black skin’s melanosomes come near, whereas white skin’s melanosomes have a more acidic pH.

  3. The different responses to skin aging has been related to the differences in epidermal structure across skin colors.

  4. There is no discernible skin thickness difference between white and black skin, black skin possesses more corneocytes in the stratum corneum implying a more dense and compacted layer.

What are some unique specificities of black and brown skin ?

  • Black and Brown Skin have a high risk of vitamin D deficiency due to a heightened production of UV-protecting melanin causing this essential vitamin to be restricted upon absorption. This can lead to dehydration and dullness in skin. 
  • Deeper skin tones shed skin cells 2.5 times more rapidly than lighter ones (also known as desquamation), causing 
    1. An added dullness when dead cells remain on the skin's surface.
    2. An overproduction of natural oils  to counter-act the effects of dehydration, leading to acne-prone skin.
  • Trauma to the skin ( pimples, insect bites, hormonal changes …) can trigger the melanocyte cells to go into overdrive, resulting in an over-production of melanin that may lead to hyperpigmentation, persistent discoloration and lead to an uneven complexion.
  • Melanin-rich skin is made to flourish in warm and humid environments. In colder climates, cell renewal can become slowed and impaired, skin becomes less compact, more fragile, sensitive, dehydrated, with an accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles are far less common for darker skin tones thanks to melanocytes that aid in transmitting melanin and its inherent protection from collagen-damaging UV light. Aging in darker skin tones can be shown through the loss of volume throughout the face, and through textural changes. (increased pore size, rougher skin texture, additional hyperpigmentation and sun spots).

Now that you know everything about Black and Brown skin, you can learn better how to create a routine that works for your skin's nature. 

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