How To Describe Skin Color
Skin is an organ of the body that covers all over the body surface. The skin performs many functions such as acting as a barrier against pathogens, regulating water loss, thermoregulation (i.e., preventing overheating or undercooling), sensation, and metabolism. It also plays a key role in protecting us against ultraviolet radiation from sunburns, skin cancer, and aging. The skin’s protective function can be compromised by injury, infection, disease, environmental factors, and lifestyle habits.
The normal skin color varies from white to pink, and to yellow, brown, and black. In the different ethnic groups, there are pronounced variations in skin, head hair, and body hair. These differences may occur due to genetic inheritance, hormones, ethnicity, age, sex, nutrition, diet, health status, diseases, medications, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity level, and other factors.
In order for your skin care products to work effectively they must match your skin type. If you want them to look more natural, it is best if you visit a dermatologist who has extensive knowledge about skin types, their characteristics, and how to apply various skincare products to achieve better results. You will also have access to different brands, textures, ingredients, colors, etc. available in the market. This article provides information on how to describe the color of your skin.
You need to know what kind of skin tone you have before purchasing any product because this will help you choose the right product with which you can get optimal benefits. There are three basic categories of skin tones: cool, warm/neutral, and neutral.
Cool skin tones include the following:
Warm/Neutral skin tones include the following:
Neutral skin tones include the following:
If you do not fall into one of these categories, consult your doctor before using any product so he or she can determine your skin tone accurately.
Your skin is composed of several layers of cells. The outermost layer called epidermis is made up of dead skin cells. The innermost layer called dermis contains collagen fibers, elastic tissue, nerve endings and sweat glands. When we talk about the color of our skin, it is actually referring to the color of the top layer of the skin i.e., the epidermis.
A person with dark skin usually has a deeper complexion than those who have lighter skins. However, people of Middle East, Africa, and South America tend to have darker complexions than Europeans. People in Australia and New Zealand are usually fair while Americans are considered to have light complexions. Asians often have very pale complexions compared to Caucasians.
People with cool skin tones are prone to freckles and redness. They should use products that contain anti-oxidants like vitamin C. A good way to prevent freckles is to wear sunscreen lotion daily. Sunlight exposure increases the risk of skin cancer. UV rays interact with oxygen molecules present in the air to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). Free radicals generated by ROS cause damage to DNA leading to mutations and malignant transformation. Exposure to sunlight should be limited during daytime hours when the amount of ozone and carbon dioxide is high. Use sunscreen lotion frequently even on cloudy days. Wear sunglasses and hats to protect yourself from direct sunlight.
People with warm/neutral skin tones are prone to developing rashes and acne breakouts. They should use products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, resorcinol, glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxyl acids, and retinoids. Avoid hot showers, saunas, and steamy rooms since they dry out the skin. Dry skin causes irritation and inflammation. Soak the face gently in lukewarm water instead of hot water.
People with neutral skin tones are prone to having problems with oiliness, dullness, hyperpigmentation, melasma, photoaging, and pigmented spots. They should use products that contain moisturizers, vitamins A, E, and K, bioflavonoid, zinc oxide, green tea extract, licorice extracts, soy proteins, and plant extracts. Moisturize regularly especially after washing the face and cleansing thoroughly. Exfoliate once every week to remove dull skin cells. Vitamin A helps repair damaged tissues; vitamin E improves circulation and protects cell membranes; and vitamin K prevents blood clotting, reduces wrinkles, minimizes fine lines, and slows down the formation of new ones. Green Tea Extract is used as a dietary supplement and is rich in antioxidants including polyphenols and flavanols. Bioflavonoid helps improve skin texture and firmness. Zinc Oxide is an effective antioxidant and helps reduce skin discolorations caused by oxidation. Licorice Extract reduces swelling and wrinkling. Soy Proteins soften the skin and increase its moisture content. Plant extracts provide essential oils needed for healthy skin.
People with cool skin tones can benefit from applying toners containing botanical extracts such as chamomile, lavender, rosemary, mint, sandalwood, peppermint, eucalyptus, juniper, and ylang-ylang. Toner removes dirt and grime from the pores leaving behind fresh, clean skin. Most toner sprays come in pump bottles rather than spray cans for convenience.
People with warm/neutral skin tones can benefit from applying astringents that contain witch hazel, aloe vera gel, calamine, menthol, camphor, eucalyptus globules, methyl chloride, cajeput oil, and lemongrass. Astringents tighten pores and unclog blocked pore follicles. Glycerin is a humectant. It holds water in the upper layers of the skin and maintains proper humidity levels. Sodium PCA combines salicylic acid and sodium lauryl sulfate. Salicylic Acid dissolves keratin, which leads to smoother skin texture. Sulfates make the solution foaming and easier to spread. It takes longer for the skin to become irritated with astringent solutions but shorter with cleansers. Mild astringents are less irritating and suitable for sensitive skin. Choose mild astringents based on personal preference. If you have allergies, ask your doctor before using any astringents.
People with neutral skin tones can benefit from applying creams and ointments that contain emollients, humectants, occlusives, and preservatives. Emollients soften the skin and lubricate the rough surfaces of sebaceous glands. Humectants keep the skin well moistened by retaining water inside the cells. Occlusives seal off pores from external influences and keep the skin protected from pollution. Preservatives prolong the life span of the cream and mask unpleasant odors. Creams and ointments absorb quickly into the skin and penetrate deep within the subcutaneous layer where they remain active for long periods of time. Use moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering to lock in the necessary nutrients.
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