While we have varying skin tones, most Latina skin types are susceptible to certain problems (boo!). But don’t pile on the foundation just yet. Beauty Undercover’s Susan Campos gives us the scoop on which treatments are best for common skin problems associated with Latin skin.
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Hyperpigmentation (or those pesky brown spots) is a result of excess time spent in the sun. Most of us think because we tan and don’t burn, we are made for the sun – but that’s simply not the case. “I know as a teenager I literally spent hundreds of hours in the sun without protection,” said Campos. “Since Latina can be prone to hyperpigmentation, you can get brown spots on the face and body, so sunscreen is key everyday!” The best way to get rid of brown spots is with bleaching creams that are available over the counter or by prescription from a dermatologist. Another great treatment for this condition is microdermabrassion- a process which “sands” the skin to diminish those dreaded brown spots.
“Many Latinas are blessed with olive skin so they that don’t age as quickly,” Campos said. “There are a number of tools out there these days that combat wrinkles. Some come from a bottle, and others are more radical.” If you are looking for an over the counter lotion, try a product that contains retinoid, or ask your dermatologist about the big gun of retinoids: retina-A. Some people prefer fillers, Botox and lasers for wrinkles. If you go the laser route make sure you talk to your doctor about which lasers are best for olive skin, because not all lasers are created equal and can actually discolor your skin.
The best treatment for dark circles can be found in your makeup bag, “I am cursed with dark circles,” said Campos. “I’ve tried it all and the only thing that works is concealer!” The key with concealer is to find the right color that matches your skin’s undertones (yellow, green, or red) correctly. “Go outside in the sunlight to see if the color really fits,” Campos suggested. If you’re looking for a more extreme approach, CO2 lasers are said to do the trick (but are controversial, so make sure you really do your homework on these).
Acne is very common among Latinas of all ages. Lucky, there are plenty of products and treatments that can zap those zits away. “One of the best tools for acne are blue lights that you can put on your skin,” Campos says. “The blue light kills bacteria, and this actually works.” The light can be pricey, so if you’re not looking to fork out the cash for this product, make sure you wash your face every night with a good, gentle facewash. We love Cetaphil skin cleanser.
Scars and Stretch Marks
One drawback to darker or olive skin tones is the tendency to scar and develop stretch marks, especially after pregnancy. Olive oil and vitamin E are a great affordable remedy for stretch marks and scars, “I use olive oil in the shower every day,” said Campos. “Also, if you have a scar, put sunscreen on it!” There are also lasers available that can diminishes scars and stretch marks so talk to your dermatologist about this option if you are interested. Lasers may not get rid of them completely, but they can definitely help scars and stretch marks look faded.