When my friend Rhiana found out I was building a website on micro dermabrasion, she asked me whether the procedure was safe to have on black skin. She is Afro American and wanted to try a rejuvenating treatment for the fine lines around her mouth. Luckily, having researched the topic before, I was in a position to assure her that both professional and at-home micro derm abrasion are safe on dark and black skin.
Before continuing, you might want to read about the top home microdermabrasion kits reviewed and compared by myself and my friends (I really like home microderm systems because they are convenient to use and don't break the bank) or find out more about doctor-performed microdermabrasion.
I used to think that darker skin is less sensitive than white skin simply because it's thicker. Imagine my surprise when I found, after some research, that black skin is, in fact, much more sensitive than white skin. The explanation is simple.
Brown skin is darker than Caucasian skin because it has more melanin, a natural skin pigment. Melanocytes (cells full of melanin) react more violently to stress factors than regular cells. That's why black skin may suffer breakouts, irritations and permanent discolorations when exposed to UV rays, pollution, mechanical and chemical factors, while paler skin is more resistant.
High sensitivity is not the only drawback of brown skin. Compared to white skin cells, melanocytes take longer to develop adverse reactions from bad cosmetics and even longer to recover from stressful treatments.
I can decide, for example, whether a certain cosmetic product is good for me in less than two weeks, while my friend Rhiana needs at least one month to make the same decision. The good news is that salons and cosmetic companies have recently started to adapt their treatments and products to the special needs of darker skin.
As I explained to Rhiana, microdermabrasion is the only non-surgical resurfacing procedure considered to be safe on dark and black skin because it's a mild exfoliating treatment. While before and after care rules are similar for both black and white skinned patients, extra caution is needed with the darker skin, whether we're talking about the professional procedure or at-home kits.
I advised Rhiana to do a patch test before having professional micro derm abrasion in a medical facility, spa or beauty salon. If no adverse reactions appear in the following three weeks, then the treatment is considered to be completely safe. Well trained specialists who perform micro dermabrasion on dark skinned patients also reduce the speed of the crystal flow during the procedure, in order to cut down the risk of skin injury and permanent scarring.
Another thing Rhiana was interested in is the recommended microdemabrasion frequency on dark skin. I explained to her that since black skin takes longer to recover from exfoliation, she should wait at least three weeks in between treatments.
After I told her that at-home microderm abrasion is milder than the professional procedure, Rhiana decided to try a few personal kits before going to a spa for the in-office treatment. Unfortunately, cosmetic companies have yet to design a home microdermabrasion kit especially for black skin. However, Rhiana's experience and hundreds of online reviews show that there are at-home micro abrasion products that work very well on dark skin (Neutrogena, Dermanew, Youthful Essence, and Olay).
When using a personal kit, remember to do a patch test first. Don't overdo it with the massage because the micro crystals may injure your skin, causing scratches, permanent scaring or discolorations.
Next, a few words on home vs clinic microdermabrasion.
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