Ethnic skin types

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White skin

All ethnic skin types vary in the degree of melanin they produce. Although all ethnic skin types have the same number of melanocytes cells, black skins have melanocytes capable of making large amounts of melanin.

Ethnic skin type



White skin (British, Scandinavian, East and West European, North American, South Australian, Canadian, New Zealand origin)

Generally a pale buff; some skins may appear pinkish while others have a sallowish tone

• Relatively small amounts of melanin present in white skins, as melanin is produced to varying degrees

• Ages faster than black skins and it is important, therefore, to start protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation as early as possible

• Other types of white skins tan more easily and are far less sensitive, and whilst being pale in the winter, may establish a golden tan easily without burning

Oriental/light Asian skin

(Chinese, Japanese or Middle East origin)

Creamy colour with a tendency to yellow and olive tones with more melanin present

• Rarely shows blemishes and defies normal signs of ageing

• Scars are more likely to occur and hyper-pigment, causing unevenness, troughs, pits and hollows on the skin's surface

Ethnic skin type



Dark Asian skin (Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan or Malaysian origin)

Very dark skin colour which is deeply pigmented with melanin

• Smooth and supple with minimal signs of ageing

• Sweat glands are larger and more numerous in this skin type, which gives a sheen to the skin that is often mistaken for oiliness

• Deeply pigmented, it does not reveal the blood capillaries

Mediterranean skin (Italian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Yugoslavian, South American or Central American origin)

Looks sallow with some reddish pigment

• Good degree of melanin present which obscures the colour of the blood vessels

• Tends to have a generous coating of sebum and is therefore oily

• Tans easily and deeply without burning

Afro-Caribbean/black skin

(West Indian/African origin)

Darker with a higher degree of melanin

• Oily with higher degree of sebaceous glands

• Desquamates easily

• Forms keloid scars when damaged

• More likely to be affected by several different types of disfiguring bumps (see pages 53 and 69, DPN)

Mixed skin

Clients with a mixed skin will usually have a combination of characteristics of all of the above skin types

The shades of colour and characteristics will vary greatly depending on the mix

Oriental/light Asian skin

As black skin is thicker than white skins it is prone to congestion and comedones. Black skin generally ages at a much slower rate than white skin, mainly due to the extra protection afforded by the melanin. A disadvantage to having more melanin is that it makes the skin more 'reactive'. This means that almost any stimulus such as a rash, scratch or inflammation may trigger the production of excess melanin, resulting in dark marks or patches on the skin. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Occasionally some black skins develop a decrease in melanin, or post-inflammatory hypopigmentation in response to skin trauma. In either

Dark Asian skin Mediterranean skin Afro Caribbean/black skin

Dermatosis papulosa nigra

(DPN) is a benign cutaneous condition that is common in black skins. It is characterised by multiple, small, hyperpigmented, asymptomatic papules (see page 69).

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  • Patricia
    What is a Ethnic skin?
    2 years ago
  • bernice
    Which skin type is african carribean?
    2 years ago
  • Jana
    What difference in skin and nails in variety if ethnic groups?
    1 year ago
    What ethnic is indian with black skin?
    11 months ago
  • Vanna
    What are the skin characteristics and types for a african caribbean?
    10 months ago
  • ines
    What is a congetsed skin type and their characteristics?
    6 months ago
  • Ambessa
    What ethnicities are skin type 5?
    5 months ago
    What ethnicity is white but skin tans easily?
    5 months ago
  • Reino
    What are the different characteristics of different ethnic groups?
    3 months ago
    Which client group with the finest skin?
    3 months ago
  • livia
    What is the difference between asian skin and caucasion skin?
    3 months ago
  • auli
    What type of ethnic groups does Reaction Revive by Viora work on?
    2 months ago
  • swen
    What type of skin do caucasians have?
    2 months ago
  • antje
    Why human skin color can not be used to idify between human ethnic groups?
    2 months ago
  • Candida
    Are all ethnic skin types suitable for patch testing for irritation?
    1 month ago
  • wolfgang
    What ethnicities have black skin?
    1 month ago
  • kedija
    What ethnic group has the most oily skin?
    24 days ago
  • Tyyne
    What are the characteristics of black skin?
    5 days ago

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