When it comes to skin tone, not all med spa treatments are created equal, and those with darker skin tones must carefully vet their treatment options to avoid negative outcomes like permanent pigmentation changes. To help empower you in choosing safe and effective med spa treatments to address a variety of skin concerns, our board-certified doctors, Kenya Lee, MD and Marvin Lee, MD, are sharing 5 treatments ideal for people of color.
Understanding your skin tone
Medical aestheticians classify skin tones by the Fitzpatrick Scale, which ranges from Type I (the palest skin tone) to Type VI (the darkest skin tone). Developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, the Fitzpatrick scale estimates the skin’s response to UV exposure. In sum, the darker your skin tone is, the more resistant your skin is to UV rays.
However, this advantage against damaging UV rays also puts darker skin tones at risk for pigmentation irregularities following certain med spa treatments: when the skin’s surface (epidermis) is injured or inflamed, melanocytes (the skin cells that produce melanin) are stimulated and increase production. To avoid potential pigmentation changes that can be triggered by skin care products and treatments, people who have Type IV – Type VI skin tones must be especially vigilant in choosing safe options for their skin and vetting their providers’ experience in treating people of color.
Dermaplaning is a professional exfoliation treatment that gently scrapes away facial hair and sloughs off dead skin cells and other impurities from the skin’s surface.
We use a sterile blade to carefully scrape away the top layers of skin, revealing the healthier, fresher layers underneath. Immediately after your treatment, you’ll notice that your skin looks brighter and less dull. Dermaplaning is a great non-invasive option for people of color because it addresses peach fuzz, helps skincare products penetrate deeper into the skin, and amplifies the effects of other treatments—without risking pigmentation changes.
Aerolase Laser Treatments
If you’re looking for a safe laser treatment for all skin types, the Aerolase Neo Elite® Laser is a great option to consider.
The Aerolase laser system can treat a comprehensive range of skin concerns, including acne, hyperpigmentation, and the effects of skin aging. It also offers safe and effective laser hair removal and treatment of “ingrown hairs” or pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) on skin of color.
Aerolase uses technology that allows energy to pass through the skin without causing heat-induced damage on deeper skin tones. This makes it a great choice for people with darker skin types who were once limited in their laser treatment options due to the increased risk of pigmentation changes such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) or hypopigmentation (loss of pigment).
SkinPen® microneedling is a safe and effective treatment for people with darker skin tones. Our experienced med spa team uses the FDA-cleared SkinPen® to make tiny micro punctures in your skin that stimulate collagen and elastin formation, helping to reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. This treatment is particularly desirable because it is gentle enough not to cause damage while still providing noticeable results.
That said, the precise settings of the device need to be tuned for your needs and, as such, it is important to have your microneedling treatment performed by a qualified provider who fully understands how to safely treat melanin-rich skin.
Chemical Peels are a popular and effective treatment for people with darker skin types, with good reason. They effectively treat common skin concerns such as fine wrinkles, dark spots, or acne—and we additionally offer several different peel variants to help you get the best results. However, it’s important to use caution when selecting a peel, as not all treatments are safe for darker skin. Our VI Peel, in particular, is a favorite due to its effectiveness in treating acne scarring, signs of aging, and pigment issues, as well as boosting collagen. Other safe options include Alpha Hydroxy Acid peels and TCA peels.
Morpheus8 is a popular new treatment which can simultaneously tighten skin and remodel fat—it’s no wonder celebs including Kim Kardashian love it! This minimally-invasive option can be safe for all skin types and tones, making it an ideal choice for most individuals.
Using radiofrequency technology, Morpheus8 Body subdermally tightens skin, reduces fat, and stimulates collagen production. It is also an excellent cellulite treatment—but if you have melanin-rich skin, energy-based treatments must be appropriately tuned to prevent hyperpigmentation and other potential issues, and performed with extreme care by a qualified physician. (Ask to see before and after photos of their actual patients to be sure they have successfully treated patients like you!)
Transform your skin in Colorado Springs, CO
Skin treatments must be tailored to your individual skin type in order to be safe and effective. A consultation with a physician-led medical spa can help you determine which options will work best for you. At PureLee Redefined, co-owners Dr. Kenya and Dr. Marvin Lee evaluate each procedure for safety and efficacy before offering it to their patients. Whether you have a particular treatment in mind or want to explore all your skin care options, we would be happy to meet with you and design a treatment plan that will achieve safe, beautiful results you will love. To schedule your consultation, call us at (719) 452-8541 today. You may also contact us or schedule an appointment online.