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Salon City Exclusive New Column!


Welcome to a brand-new Salon City exclusive: The Color Beauty with Nellie Muganda. Our readers asked for more about beauty for women of color-and who better to supply answers than Nellie, profiled in last issue, makeup artist, stylist and owner of San Franciscoís happening Neja Salon. This issue, Nellie talks about the importance of skincare for ethnic skin. Sheíd love to answer your questions next time - please e-mail them to neja@speakeasy.net.

There is a myth that if you have oily skin; you donít have to worry about using moisturizers or sunscreen on a daily basis. The truth is since women of color have skin that tends to be very oily, we are also prone to skin that is very sensitive. But we fear that if we use moisturizers on a daily basis, weíll be adding to the oil, sometimes making a bad situation worse.

The darker the skin (whether you are of African American, Southeast Asian, Native American or Asian decent), the more the skin is prone to oiliness, as well as large pores. That oil that we see on our faces comes from these large pores. And the more large pores one has, the more exposure to sun, wind and everyday pollution can be harmful.

Everybody needs some kind of moisturizer, for firming the skin, or for protection from pollution and sun exposure. The sun can be very drying to our skin. Even though we donít show signs of sunburn, that doesnít mean that we can be out in the sun and not suffer skin damage. When you have the right kind of moisturizer and sunscreen, you stay a step above. These lotions can be very lightweight. Chose ones that are oil-free to give you the protection that you need, and also a matte finish.

Ethnic skin has great resistance to wrinkling. We should be thankful that we rarely show our age; but our skin can be vulnerable to discoloration and dark under-eye circles. Having regular facials and using the right kind of moisturizers and sunscreen will help slow the aging process, and can also eliminate most of the age spots and the skin discolorations that many of us see.

Since our skin can be challenging to care for, itís important to find a spa or skincare salon that you are comfortable with. Visit your aesthetician beforehand and ask any questions you have about the services they offer or the treatments you may be interested in. Ask if they can give you samples to take home and try before you come in for a treatment; many spas and salons will be glad to do this for you.

There are many treatments that work wonders on ethnic skin: light peels done in a series can really help to slough the top layer of your skin, smoothing it, and if you have discoloration and age spots these peels help in minimizing that too. Since our skins tend to be on the sensitive side, itís important for you to find someone who will treat your skin gently. Have a small patch tested on your skin before continuing with your treatment. Another myth says that the darker the skin, the more aggressive the treatment should be. We have seen people burned and scarred because of this misconception. If you choose to go with a series of peels, you need to start with a low dosage that can increase with each treatment, dictated by what your skin can tolerate.

Taking proper and loving care of your skin returns many benefits - for a lifetime.