Common Aging Problems for All Skin Types
We are all prone to free radical damage from the environment and UV rays and depending on our skin type; some may experience more damage than others. But regardless of our ethnicity, we all have a unique set of skin problems to overcome when it comes to aging.
Lines and discoloration are a universal challenge. However, fixing those problems will differ depending on your skin type. Here are the most common problems from sun damage and irritation:
Caucasian skin types are at highest risk of free radical damage from the environment and ultraviolet rays. That’s because light skin automatically protects itself from damage by producing dark pigment, which manifest in the form of freckles, dark spots and melasma to shield the skin from harm.
The Fix – Antioxidants. Many powerful antioxidants like green tea, vitamin C and coffee berry help repair damaged skin. The most effective remedy is to apply a retinol cream at night to help resurface the skin and then use antioxidants during the day to stimulate the collagen formed during the night. For more on this anti-aging strategy, read our article Best Wrinkle Combo.
Many have light skin, resulting in more photo-damage and pigment problems than those with darker complexions, resulting in sagging skin and Melasma.
The Fix – Retinol cream. This entices cellular turnover which stimulates collagen to firm the skin. Retinol products also resolve pigmentation problems, resulting in a smoother, more even complexion. Retinol products can be irritating though. To learn more about how to use Retinol products effectively, read our article on Using Retinoids.
Since we know that the skin forms pigment to protect it from sun damage, you might not think that those with black skin have much to worry about. But black skin cells tend to become sticky and fail to shed properly as they age. This creates an uneven skin tone resulting in darker patches on the cheeks, forehead, and neck.
The Fix – Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Also called AHAs, these can be lactic acid, glycolic acid or malic acid and they break down the bond between the dead skin cells so they can shed more readily. Granular scrubs work, but AHAs are less likely to irritate dark skin.
East Asian and Southeast Asian
Chinese and Korean people are prone to seborrheic keratosis – small raised brown spots on the face. These cannot be faded away- since they are growths they can only be removed by a medical practitioner.
The Fix – The key to avoiding this common skin condition for those from East and Southeast Asia is to avoid the sun and wear a broad spectrum sunblock every day.
South Asia and Middle East
The people from these regions or ethnicity have deep olive skin which is especially prone to dark patches on the forehead, check and upper lip area. This can also be exacerbated by picking the skin, injury to the skin or irritating skin products.
The Fix – Hydroquinone cream will lighten these areas. Spot treatment for precise, target applications is ideal since hydroquinone is not a product for general use. Read more about Hydroquinone before deciding to use this treatment.
For more information on your skin type, see our article on Know Your Skin Type