After dealing with her own skin issues, and seeing thousands of patients with similar complaints, dermatologist Susan Taylor created a skin care system to address the specific needs of deep skin tones. Why does brown skin need specialized products? There are fundamental and structural differences compared to Caucasian skin. We have more melanin, which has some advantages, like better protection from the sun and skin cancer, but also problems like uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. Brown skin can be very sensitive or rosacea-prone, too, even if it doesn’t show up as redness the way it does on Caucasian skin, and our acne scars can last for months. That’s why I don’t use ingredients that can cause inflammation or irritation. My products also don’t contain ingredients like alcohol and lanolin, which can cause both. What’s the biggest mistake made by women with darker complexions when it comes to taking care of their skin? Definitely not using sunscreen. It’s critically important, since the sun can make uneven tone even worse, undoing any benefits from skin care.
What’s the star product of the line, and why? I can’t choose between the Absolute Radiance Intensive Exfoliating Serum, which has glycolic acid to gently remove dead skin cells, soy to even out tone and pomegranate to decrease inflammation, or the Naturally Flawless Advanced Botanical Brightener, made with bearberry, black tea and allantoin, which work to fade dark spots.
What recent in-office advances have been made for darker skin tones? Now women with dark skin can safely get laser hair removal, since the newer light sources are capable of targeting just hair, not melanin. The Fraxel laser, in experienced hands, can be great at evening out tone and stimulating collagen without risk of scarring.
Can anyone with any skin tone use your products? Absolutely, especially anyone with uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation, and even those with sensitivity or rosacea, because the ingredients are so good and well thought out.
Dr. Susan Taylor’s Rx for Brown Skin, $18-$34, at Sephora
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