Next in the ‘Iperoxo Prosopo’ series learn the importance genetics plays in the facial room and how it relates to Mediterranean skin types.
Mediterranean skin: genetics and skin type
Last time, we discussed the importance of choosing the right professional to help achieve amazing skin. By investing in a facial at a spa, the esthetician, as a skin care professional, has the educational degree, hands-on experience, and a vast working knowledge of ingredients that will guide you on the right path. But before the spa experience begins or your concerns are addressed, certain background information must be obtained. This series of questions are part of what I like to call, the ‘Anatomy of Amazing Skin Care’.
The questions relate to these 5 building blocks that aid an esthetician in choosing the right facial products: genetics, skin type and skin conditions; nutrition and well-being; skin products at home; and last but not least, professional facials and treatments.
The first step in creating your professional skin profile begins with the inquiry of your genetics.
Genetics’ crucial role
Genetics plays one of the most crucial roles in how the skin will respond to certain ingredients. This aids us in deciding what facial you can safely receive. The esthetician will analyze the skin’s ability in handling exfoliation, by taking into account:
- Natural Attributes: eye color, natural hair color, skin color, and freckles on unexposed areas.
- Questions regarding your reaction to sun exposure, such as what happens when you stay in the sun too long; to what degree do you turn brown; and if you burn or turn brown.
This information is plugged into the Fitzpatrick scale, which is a chart categorizing these natural attributes and reactions to sun exposure into 6 skin type classifications. It determines how someone will respond or react to a facial treatment. It also tells us the potential of irritation and pigmentation. (You might be familiar with this form if you have ever visited a tanning salon prior to being allowed in their beds) Dermatologists and laser technicians will also use this recognized tool for your safety and benefit.
For estheticians, the Fitzpatrick scale allows us to assess rather quickly, what kind of exfoliation we need to use; what strength of exfoliation; what kind of steam time your skin can handle; and what machines for exfoliation can be used as well. Analyzing your genetics is a very easy, yet very decisive role it plays in getting the appropriate care in a facial.
Mediterranean skin characteristics
Most Greeks will have Mediterranean skin characteristics that fall into the Fitzpatrick scale of type 3 (iii); type 4 (iv), and sometimes, type 5 (v). This includes darker Caucasians, Mediterranean Caucasians, and Multi-ethnic Caucasians (Middle Eastern and Hispanic). The eyes can vary in color, natural hair color will most likely be dark brown (though it can be light as well), and skin tones vary from light skin to dark/olive to darker skin. The way Greeks tolerate sun exposure will also range from ‘sometimes burns’ to’ gradually tans’ to ‘moderately tans’ to ‘tans very well’.
The characteristics of Southern Mediterranean and Southern European people are very similar. They tend to have:
- oily, olive/dark complexion
- signs of aging appear later
- darker, thicker scars more common
- wrinkles appear later and in more localized areas
- fine lines wrinkling is less common
- bruising is less
- skin cancer is more rare
With this information, an esthetician can make solid recommendations for Mediterranean skin types that include chemical peels, laser hair removal, appropriate SPF, and anti-aging facials that are more medium-to-aggressive in efficacy.
Genetics, heredity, and environment = skin type
Genetics is defined as the science of heredity. And heredity deals with similarities and the differences of your genes that are in turn influenced by your environment. This then produces how the skin behaves.
Your skin will behave in these 4 ways: Normal, Dry, Oily, and Combination–which we commonly describe it as a skin type. Most of the time, when I come across Greeks or anyone who fits the Mediterranean Skin profile, they tend to have combination skin leaning more towards oily than dry. To analyze this, the esthetician will simply touch your skin, and ask about any dryness or oiliness that occurs at any given time of the day.
In reality, ethnically different skin types do not require a different approach to skin care because the overall structures and functions of our skin (histology) are very similar, irrespective of color, and are therefore cared for in very similar ways. Every skin needs a cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer whether in the facial room or for home care; it is the skin type that dictates what ingredients in each product that will be most beneficial.
Getting a clear picture
Once we have a clear picture of your genetics and your skin type, the facial is almost ready to begin! We know what type of exfoliation and what level of irritation your skin can handle; we know what kind of pigmentation from sun exposure we can expect; we also know the progression of aging; and last but not least we know which ingredients we need to use to manage your skin type.
Next in the ‘Iperoxo Prosopo’ series
Next time, ‘Iperoxo Prosopo’ will continue with the next element of the anatomy of amazing skin care, discussing skin conditions and skin concerns.
Would you like to have an Iperoxo Prosopo? Contact me today and schedule a complimentary consultation to discover your personalized ‘Anatomy of Amazing Skin Care’.
‘Iperoxo Prosopo’ Series by Peg Karadimas
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