Beauty and skin care launches designed specifically for darker shades of skin have reached a fever pitch of late—and we love to see it. Celebrities like Rihanna, athletes like Naomi Osaka, and industry professionals like Pat McGrath have all launched successful brands that meet the demand of people of all skin tones. Their success demonstrates that there is a huge demographic eager to pursue their aesthetic goals. At the same time, it has revealed that there are still challenges present for medical aesthetic practitioners to address the unique needs of people with darker skin. Below, we explore the complexities of treating a broader spectrum of skin tones, and what new medical aesthetic technologies are doing to solve them.
Like beauty trends, the field of medical aesthetics is constantly evolving. In recent decades there has been mounting pressure for the cosmetic and aesthetic industries to cater to a wider range of skin tones. In answer, the latest modalities for aesthetic treatments have been designed with inclusivity in mind. While older medical aesthetic technologies tended to have too many risks for darker skin to be considered beneficial, new devices and protocols are becoming more centered on providing optimal treatment results to patients with a wider range of skin types.
One of the risks associated with previous medical aesthetic technologies for darker skin tones is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which occurs when the skin overproduces melanin, or disperses pigment irregularly, in response to inflammation or injury. PIH is the skin’s natural reaction or defense to inflammation, which may be the product of acne, an infection, an irritant, a burn, or a cosmetic procedure. It results in flat, discolored spots on the skin that create an uneven skin tone. PIH is a common skin concern among people with Fitzpatrick skin types IV to VI—which comprises a significant portion of the global aesthetic market. This segment of the population, which includes Latin Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, people of African descent, people of Middle Eastern descent, and the Indigenous peoples of North America among others, is at the highest risk of experiencing PIH. Ironically, until recently the therapies that were used to treat PIH also came with a high risk of causing PIH as a side effect of treatments that were too harsh for darker skin tones. The newest medical aesthetic technologies have diminished that risk so significantly, that most treatments are now safe for this demographic.
Unfortunately, many prospective clients who have darker skin tones may have received the message that medical aesthetic treatments are not safe for their skin type. However, with the right technology and a focus on this demographic in your marketing efforts, you can bring them into your clinic with the confidence that new technologies can safely and effectively meet their aesthetic goals.
The latest in skin-resurfacing involves fractional radio frequency (RF). This method has risen in popularity because it offers a safer solution for patients with darker skin tones. Innovations on fractional RF systems, like the NanoFractional RF™ technology used by Venus Viva™ MD, prove to be the safest choice for patients with a wider range of skin types. NanoFractional RF™ utilizes needle-shaped pin tips as the electrode to deliver the RF energy and allows operator control of ablation and coagulation. Due to the highly adjustable power and pulse duration, the Venus Viva™ MD can ensure high enough energy delivery to be effective without further risking PIH.
Regardless of tone, all skin is susceptible to aging. Wrinkle reduction treatments a synergistic combination of Multi-Polar Radio Frequency (RF) and Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) technologies. Safe for all skin tones, Multi-Polar RF delivers heat deep below the skin’s surface, stimulating fibroblasts for improved collagen production. Meanwhile, PEMF is proven to promote the formation of new blood vessels while inducing fibroblast proliferation via an increase in growth factor FGF-2 to support improved collagen synthesis. Advanced safety features, like Real-Time Thermal Feedback on the Venus Legacy™, allow for greater operator control over target temperature selection, helping to further improve patient safety. The result is smoother, firmer skin with a reduced risk of PIH and optimal results for improved patient satisfaction.
Lasers have been used in medicine for decades, but their application for hair removal only took hold in the 1990s. Early lasers were typically very slow and painful, and they only worked on people with dark hair and fair skin. Today, diode laser hair removal treatments are generally seen as the safest and most effective modality for treating a wider range of Fitzpatrick skin types. Our Venus Velocity™ and Venus Epileve™ devices use state-of-the-art diode laser technology to penetrate each hair follicle thoroughly while also reducing the amount of energy absorbed by the melanin in the surrounding epidermis. This allows for safe hair removal without post-treatment PIH in people with darker skin tones.
The expectation that all skin types are treated equally has become mainstream in the aesthetic industry. However, not all device technologies live up to these expectations. It’s time to do a careful audit of your products and services to make sure that your clinic offerings are safe for all skin types, and that you have a spectrum of services to offer those with darker skin. Luckily, many of the latest advancements in aesthetic devices ensure that treatments can be performed on all shades of skin, including those made by Venus Concept. Reach out to speak to one of our experts today to see how your clinic can start serving a wider