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How to Choose Beauty Products According to Ethnicity and Skin Type

In recent years, the mainstream beauty industry has finally gotten the memo that skin comes in all shades—introducing a welcome slew of new multicultural offerings. In fact, in 2014, the multicultural beauty sector’s growth outpaced that of the overall market for cosmetics and toiletries.

It’s certainly a much-needed development, but even with a broader array of hues hitting the market, finding the right regimen is about more than just fitting into a certain category. Along with ethnicity, board-certified dermatologist Kally Papantoniou suggests taking your skin type into account when buying beauty products. While dermatologists use various means to determine your skin type—the Baumann skin type solution, for example—Papantoniou uses the Fitzpatrick scale, which goes from one through six—from lightest to darkest—and is determined by how much one’s skin burns or tans.

“When it comes to skin, I don’t look at geography as much as I do at skin type,” says Papantoniou. “The two go hand in hand—it’s all about how much pigment there is in your skin.” Get Papantoniou’s tips on choosing the right products for your unique skin type below:

  1. Types 5 and 6
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    Types 5 and 6

    NeoStrata's Lotion Plus exfoliates and hydrates to renew the appearance of photodamaged skin. Featuring a glycolic acid formula, it removes rough, dulling dermal cells, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles as it diminishes the look of hyperpigmentation to promote a clear, bright complexion. The lightweight lotion replenishes moisture without leaving a heavy residue on the skin for a long-lasting, comfortable wear.Key Ingredients: * Glycolic Acid: smooths skin surface and enhances clarityKey Benefits: * Sloughs away rough, dry or scaly skin cells * Refines skin's surface and enhances clarity *
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  2. Briogeo Rosarco Oil 1oz.

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  3. Types 3 and 4

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  4. Type 2
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    Type 2

    SkinCeuticals' Phloretin CF provides powerful antioxidant protection to normal, oily and combination skin types. Designed for daytime use, this antioxidant serum neutralizes free radicals to prevent signs of accelerated skin aging. The blend of phloretin, pure vitamin C and Ferulic acid improve the appearance of discoloration, fine lines and uneven skin tone. Phloretin neutralizes damaging free radicals, improves cell turnover and lightens signs of discoloration. L-ascorbic acid protects your skin from oxidative stress while providing visible anti-aging benefits, while ferulic acid enhances
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  5. Type 1

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Jen Jones Donatelli

Jen Jones Donatelli is a Los Angeles-based journalist who specializes in all things lifestyle and wellness. To date, her work has appeared in outlets including REDBOOK, Natural Health, Livestrong, Pilates Style, Whole Life Times and many more. When not writing, she can be found hanging and exploring LA with her husband, twin babies and adorable mutt Tanner.