Made for melanin

ELLE (Canada) - - Beauty -

FED UP WITH HER life­long strug­gle with sen­si­tive, break­out-prone skin, Texas-based phar­ma­cist Deepika Vyas did what any en­ter­pris­ing woman might do: She started her own skin­care line. What’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary about AVYA Skin­care, which launched this year, is that it caters to one of the in­dus­try’s most over­looked mar­kets: peo­ple with deep skin tones. Melanin is the pig­ment that gives hair, skin and eyes their colour; more melanin equals darker skin. Melanin of­fers some nat­u­ral perks, like abun­dant col­la­gen and elastin, and a de­gree of pho­to­pro­tec­tion. This im­proves re­sis­tance to wrin­kling, but it comes with greater sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to dis­col­oration and scar­ring. “The main con­cern peo­ple with deeper skin tones have is pig­men­ta­tion changes,” says Dr. Renée A. Beach, a Toronto-based der­ma­tol­o­gist and as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Toronto’s fac­ulty of medicine, who also sees in­creased sen­si­tiv­ity to cer­tain skin­care in­gre­di­ents, like ben­zoyl per­ox­ide, and de­vices, like lasers, in some pa­tients with deeper skin tones. To com­bat these con­cerns, AVYA prod­ucts con­tain an­tiox­i­dant-rich and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory in­gre­di­ents, like turmeric, and min­er­al­based sun­screens, which are less likely to ir­ri­tate than chem­ical fil­ters. The Darker Skin Tones line from Dr. Bar­bara Sturm and ac­tress An­gela Bas­sett con­tains sim­i­larly calm­ing in­gre­di­ents, like mag­no­lia-bark ex­tract. But do deeper skin tones need to use spe­cially for­mu­lated prod­ucts? A ba­sic skin­care rou­tine that con­sists of cleans­ing, mois­tur­iz­ing and sun­care pro­tec­tion is “per­fectly ad­e­quate” for all skin tones, says Beach. That may be so, but putting the fo­cus on peo­ple with deeper com­plex­ions marks a nec­es­sary shift in the mar­ket—one that’s long over­due. ALI­CIA COX THOM­SON

AVYA Skin­care Anti-Ag­ing Power Serum ($213); Dr. Bar­bara Sturm Darker Skin Tones En­zyme Cleanser ($95)

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