Global Skin

Posted on October 14th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 5 comments

Your heritage affects how and when you’ll show signs of aging.

Canada’s leading dermatologists advise on the best fixes.

Skin is our biggest beauty obsession. We tan it, tattoo it,
buff it, squeeze it, love it and sometimes even hate it. Our fixation
with it has bred many myths, whether it’s the misguided notion of the
“safe tan,” the idea that chocolate causes acne or the belief that skin
can be categorized as either thick or paper-thin. None of these is

In an exhibition called “Ultra Peau,” un voyage sensorial
(Extreme Skin, A Sensory Tour), held this summer at the Palais de Tokyo
in Paris, curators set out to debunk some of the most persistent beauty
myths surrounding the body’s biggest organ by inviting visitor on a
tour “under the skin” of different nationalities.

And guess
what? We’re all the same! Well, almost. “The only place where things
start to differentiate is at the epidermal/dermal junction and in the
dermis of the skin,” says dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK On
in Toronto. “That’s where the melanocytes, or pigment-producing
cells, are located, with dark-skinned people producing more than those
with lighter skin. But below that, all skin is structured the same,
regardless of colour.”

If the quantity of melanin in the dermis is the only thing
that separates us, does this affect the way we age or should care for
our skin? Most dermatologists say yes. Asian women, for example, insist
they have very specific skincare needs, and it’s true. “Even though
they are fair, Asians have a higher melanin content in their skin than
Caucasions do,” says Kellett. “When they get a pimple or an irritation
and they fiddle with it, it can leave a darker scar. So, despite being
pale, they are prone to huperpigmentation and should use products
designed for sensitive skin.”

There is also a common conception that black skin ages more
slowly than white skin, and people point to Halle Berry’s flawless
complexion as proof. And who can forget the quip that supermodel Naomi
tossed at the press last year between her catwalk and court
appearances? When asked how she stayed so young-looking and if she had
had any cosmetic work done, the 36-year-old didn’t miss a beat. “I
don’t need to,” she said, “because black don’t crack.”

From Elle Canada, October 2006, text by Trisse Loxley.  To read the entire article please click here

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