Characteristics of Asian skin

You may not think so, but Asian skin is classified as dark skinned. The skin can be divided into different skin types. According to Fitzpatrick’s classification, there are six skin types. Different skin types are classified according to how they react to UV radiation. Skin types I-III are light skin types. Skin types IV (Mediterranean skin), V (Asian skin) and VI (Negroid skin) fall under the dark skin. Asian skin is therefore one of the darkest skin types. The skin color of Asians can vary from light to dark brown.

There are small differences and features are often underexposed. The biggest challenge for Asian skin is hyperpigmentation. Therefore, caution is advised when you treat an Asian skin

More about pigment

Characteristics of dark skin

Dark skin, ranging from light brown to black, has different properties than light skin. First, dark skin contains more pigment. As a result, dark skin is better protected against the sun than light skin. Dark skin contains the same number of pigment cells (melanocytes) as light skin, but these cells produce increasingly larger pigment granules (melanosomes). But dark skin can also burn, so a good sunscreen is certainly not an unnecessary luxury.

Did you know that?

People with dark skin have their own natural SPF12 value, and skin type 2 (fair skin and blond) only have protection with SPF 4. In other words, SPF12 means it only protects about 90% from UVB rays, but not against UVA rays. SPF4 protects about 78% against UVB rays.

Properties of the skin

Asian Skin

Dark skin has more cell layers in the epidermis, making the skin more compact. It makes dark skin less prone to aging and wrinkles. Darker skin also contains larger fibroblasts. These are the cells that are responsible, among other things, for the production of collagen and are involved in wound healing. Darker skin has finer collagen fibers in the dermis, but they are denser and parallel distributed.

Dark skin also contains more sebaceous and sweat glands and is therefore usually slightly oilier than light skin. In addition, dark skin contains more small superficial blood vessels than light skin. Dark skin loses more transepidermal moisture than light skin and is therefore often drier.

The ceramide content in the skin can differ between different ethnic groups. In general, Asians have higher levels of ceramide in their skin compared to dark-skinned and white people.

Ceramides are essential lipids that play an important role in maintaining a healthy skin barrier. They help retain moisture, protect against external irritants and prevent moisture loss. A higher ceramide content can contribute to a stronger skin barrier and better skin hydration.


Although Asians generally have a higher ceramide content in their skin, they may still have sensitive skin. The relationship between ceramides and skin sensitivity is complex and influenced by several factors.

While ceramides play an important role in maintaining a healthy skin barrier and reducing moisture loss, other factors may influence skin sensitivity. Skin sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental factors, irritation from certain ingredients in skin care products, allergies, and other skin conditions.

Dark skin, especially Asian skin, is very sensitive to pigment changes and therefore needs special care. Asian skin reacts quickly to irritation, damage or inflammation. This can lead to increased or decreased pigmentation or scarring. Many treatments stimulate the skin’s self-healing capacity, but you have to be very careful with Asian skin.

For caring and effective skin care for Asian skin, Iconic Elements’ Sensitive Cream, Calming Cream and Natural Moisturizer Body are some excellent choices.

  1. Sensitive Cream: This cream has been specially developed to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin. It contains ingredients such as Avena Sativa (oat extract), which are known for their soothing properties. It is ideal for reducing redness and protecting the skin.
  2. Calming Cream: It is ideal for reducing redness and protecting the skin. It contains, among other things, Marshmallow Root and Avena Sativa to reduce redness and inflammation. It is a soothing and moisturizing solution for sensitive skin.
  3. Natural Moisturizer Body: This body cream is enriched with natural ingredients and provides excellent hydration for the entire body. It helps to keep the skin supple and hydrated, preventing dryness, which can be a challenge especially in colder climates.

These Iconic Elements products are kind to Asian skin and can help keep it healthy and radiant. Remember to always choose a skincare routine that suits your specific skin type and needs.

Differences in Asian skin

Asian skin types range from skin type (Fitzpatrick) III to IV in Chinese, type V in Japanese, and type VI in Indians and Pakistanis. So there are many types. The biggest challenge for Asian skin is pigmentation, such as hyperpigmentation after inflammation caused by skin damage, acne or skin diseases.

Melasma (pregnancy mask) and nevus of Ota are also more common in Asian people. Another difference with light skin is that Asian skin contains more collagen, which slows down the aging of the skin. Asian skin is more sensitive, perhaps because the epidermis contains a relatively large amount of water, which means that water-soluble substances such as soap and shampoo penetrate deeper into the skin and cause skin irritation. Asians also often have drier skin or more acne problems due to excessive oil production. Asian skin tends to have larger scars than fair skin, and you’ll also see thicker scars after an injury. More about scars

Sun Protection

Asian Skin Sun Protection Skin Cancer Ak Suntan Lotion On The Back
Mineral Sunscreen With Antioxidants In It Is Better

Asian skin should not be over-treated, such as with scrubs or concentrated active substances such as vitamins A and C. Because any skin irritation causes pigmentation and/or redness.

That is why it is important to always recommend sun protection after the treatment. It’s also important to know that in dark-skinned people, starting with skin type 3, pigment cells are activated during the day by blue light, not just UV rays.

This is because their melanocytes have a protein (OPSIN3) that reacts to visible blue light. As a result, these areas of the skin may develop brown spots despite using SPF 30 sunscreen.

In terms of visible light protection, it may indeed be more beneficial for darker and Asian skin types to provide additional protection. Visible light can contribute to the formation of free radicals and the development of pigment problems. While there are currently no specific sunscreen filters that target only visible light, wearing sun-protective clothing and avoiding exposure to direct sunlight during peak hours can also help protect against visible light. Ingredients with antioxidant effects can also provide protection against visible light.

So the advice is always this: use a mineral sunscreen (titanium dioxide AND zinc oxide) and an antioxidant such as vitamin B3, Q10, vitamin E. It works better and gives better coverage than chemical sunscreens. Unfortunately, this advice is rarely given. Usually people only recommend sunscreen and say nothing about the most suitable sunscreen.

Did you know that skin cancer occurs in people with tinted skin?

Although the chance of developing melanoma in people of color is less than in white people, it occurs in all races. So the idea that people of color don’t get melanoma is a myth. The melanomas they develop are more likely to be in unusual places. hands/feet, mucous membranes and eyes. Acral melanoma forms in areas that are not normally exposed to the sun, such as the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under finger or toenails. It has a fairly aggressive course.

Asian skin differences

Different Asian skin types. For Asian skin, dermatologists distinguish Fitzpatrick types 3 and 4 (Japanese/Chinese/Korean) and types 5 and 6 (Indian/Pakistani). We notice a clear difference for Asian skin. The Japanese are sensitive to redness in the skin. Like the Chinese, they have oilier skin, enlarged pores and also pigment spots. Age spots play a bigger role in Indians. Freckles, age spots, melasma, Nevus of Ota, fungal infection and eczema are common among Chinese people. Acne is also common in Asians.

It is important not to treat too much (topical, laser, peeling), to give good advice on sun protection and good advice on skin hydration, because Asians dry out their skin faster. Asian skin is more permeable and therefore prone to dehydration. Dry skin can cause itching and can lead to eczema. Vaseline is often recommended, but since Asian skin is a bit oily, it doesn’t feel good and can cause other problems, like acne! Therefore, it is better to recommend other emollients that are more suitable for this skin type. This also applies to Surinamese and Africans, who swear by Vaseline even in the summer.

Skin problems

Common Asian skin problems include oily to dry skin, itching, atopic eczema, acne, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, melasma and lichen planus.

Skin diseases can look different on dark skin than on light skin. The important difference is that dark skin does not show any redness. A skin condition that looks red on fair skin may appear purplish gray on dark skin. This sometimes makes it difficult to accurately identify the condition. To recognize the symptoms of inflammation, it is important to feel warmth, swelling and other palpable abnormalities in the skin.

Dark skin is more likely to develop excess scar tissue (keloids). Skin lesions in darker skin are usually located around the hair follicle (follicle), usually annular (ring-shaped), and papules are often more visible (papules, as in eczema). Eczema patches on dark skin tend to be papules (bumps) rather than red scaly patches (erythema patches). Scratching can cause thickening and coarsening of the skin.


Dark skin has a higher risk of pigment changes. And within that, Asian and Mediterranean skin types have a higher risk of hyperpigmentation than very dark skin (type VI) because their skin pigment cells react quickly.

Skin damage caused by inflammation (acne) or trauma can cause post-inflammatory hyper- or hypopigmentation (pigment loss). So both dark and light white spots can occur.

Hyperpigmentation (brown spots) can occur when the melanocytes become overstimulated, for example after chronic eczema or psoriasis in remission. Another potential pigmentation problem in Asian skin is pigment “leakage” from the epidermis into the dermis due to basement membrane damage. This deep pigment is often dark blue and difficult to treat. Hypopigmentation can occur from conditions such as pityriasis alba. For pityriasis alba, a mild form of atopic eczema in young children. More about pigments

Iconic Elements has two products, the Spot Reducer and the Targeted Pigment Serum, that can be particularly effective in treating pigment spots. Here’s how they work and why they’re effective:

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Both the Spot Reducer and Targeted Pigment Serum contain niacinamide, an exceptionally powerful ingredient known for its ability to brighten the skin. Niacinamide regulates the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for dark spots on the skin. This causes pigment spots to gradually fade and the complexion becomes more even.

Arbutin: The Targeted Pigment Serum contains arbutin, a natural ingredient derived from plants. Arbutin is known for its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation. It inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the production of melanin. This makes the complexion more even and reduces dark spots.

Malic Acid:This ingredient, found in the Targeted Pigment Serum, has mild exfoliating properties. It helps remove dead skin cells and improves the overall texture of the skin. This contributes to reducing the visibility of pigment spots.

This powerful combination of ingredients in both the Spot Reducer and the Targeted Pigment Serum provides an effective three-pronged approach against hyperpigmentation. They not only regulate melanin production, but also reduce the transfer of pigment to skin cells and provide gentle exfoliation of the upper layer of the skin.

Use these products regularly to reduce the signs of melasma and enjoy a more even and radiant complexion. Discover the potential of Iconic Elements’ Spot Reducer and Targeted Pigment Serum for radiant skin!

Asian Skin Vitiligo Squad, Eye Bags Circles Asian Skin Age Spot, Supplement Pigment, Corners Of The Mouth, Tranexamic Acid Pigment Spots Targeted Pigment Serum, Spot Reducer, Pigment Spots, Sun Damage
Pigment Squad

The phenomenon of pigmented cosmetic dermatitis (PCD)

PCD is a non-eczematous variant of contact dermatitis. This is characterized by dark spots (hyperpigmentation) with little or no signs of dermatitis. It mainly occurs in people with dark skin and people with skin type fitzpatrick 4 and above.

The hyperpigmentation is located on the cheeks, forehead and sometimes the entire face. PCD consists of diffuse or blotchy brown hyperpigmentation. In severe cases, the pigmentation is even black, purple or blue-black; in mild cases it tends to light brown. Occasionally red spots or papules are visible, indicating mild contact dermatitis. PCD can also lead to itchiness Nowadays it is rare because the cosmetic industry no longer uses strong skin sensitizers in products.

Also read – skincare routine less good for Asian skin

In the world of skin care, it is crucial to realize that not every routine is suitable for every skin type. This is especially true for Asian skin, which has specific needs and characteristics. In this blog, we discuss five skin care routines that are less effective for Asian skin and offer alternative recommendations for effective skin care. More on products that are not as good for Asian and dark skin.

While you are here

The skin flakes, it is dry and itchy. What is this, do I have eczema or very dry skin? There are a number of clues to distinguish between these two skin conditions.

Self diagnostic clues

The major difference between dry skin and eczema is the presence of inflammation (inflammation). In eczema, the skin barrier does not work properly, resulting in moisture loss from the skin and disturbances in the top layer of skin (epidermis). If your skin is red, itchy, and flaky, it’s probably more than just dry skin and you probably have eczema.

Another important clue between eczema and dry skin is that eczema gets worse if not treated properly. It can then lead to other complaints such as tears, cracks, skin thickening and intense itching. People with eczema are also more prone to skin infections due to a disrupted skin barrier. More about dry skin or eczema

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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